In 1995, 16-year-old Sara Kruzan shot and killed the man who abused her and trafficked her for sex. She was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the murder.
But in the ensuing years, her story and the contours of the human trafficking industry have become more widely known, leading to an evolving sentence. First, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger commuted her sentence to 25 years in 2010, which then dropped to 15 years not long after. She was finally released after 18 years in prison. Now, she’s been fully pardoned by Gov. Gavin Newsom.
“She has provided evidence that she is living an upright life and has demonstrated her fitness for restoration of civic rights and responsibilities,” reads her signed gubernatorial clemency certificate.
“Ms. Kruzan committed a crime that took the life of the victim. Since then, Ms. Kruzan has transformed her life and dedicated herself to community service. This act of clemency for Ms. Kruzan does not minimize or forgive her conduct or the harm it caused. It does recognize the work she has done since to transform herself.”