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.