She Was Sentenced To Die In Prison After She Killed Her Attacker

sara kruzan headshot
Zain Murdock
July 19, 2022

She was only 16. But in 1994, Sara Kruzan shot and killed George Howard - the older man who’d been grooming, abusing, and trafficking her to other men since she was 11.

But the court didn’t see her as a victim - or a child.

The judge ensured Kruzan was tried as an adult, banning her attorney from introducing evidence of her abuse at trial. Prosecutors encouraged the jury to empathize with Howard as a businessman with a family. 

Kruzan, who’d been in foster care after years of molestation by her mother’s boyfriends, wasn’t awarded that same empathy. “Don’t be persuaded by a young, attractive African-American,” the judge warned the jury!

She was sentenced to life in prison without parole. The court officials who assigned her fate and the “average” people like dentists and policemen Howard had sold her to went on with their lives.

After 18 years in prison, Kruzan was released in 2013. And on July 1, 2022, she was officially pardoned. 

But this isn’t enough. This system continues to villainize  Black girls and leave them unprotected.

“The way we treat our children shows who a country is,” Kruzan has said. And our children deserve to feel genuinely safe and protected. 

Let’s be honest: We need something new.

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