Friday, March 13, 2009

Help a Lesbian in Need Before March 17th

On August 18, 2006, seven young African American lesbians traveled to New York City from their homes in Newark for a regular night out.. When walking down the street, a man sexually propositioned one of the women. After refusing to take no for an answer, he assaulted them.

The women tried to defend themselves, and a fight broke out. The women were charged with Gang Assault in the 2nd degree, a Class C Felony with a mandatory minimum of 3.5 years. Patreese Johnson was additionally charged with 1st Degree Assault. Three of the women accepted plea offers. On June 14th, 2007 Venice Brown (19), Terrain Dandridge (20), Patreese Johnson (20), and Renata Hill (24) received sentences ranging from 3 1/2 to 11 years in prison.

These young butch women have been targeted by the media and the justice system.
Right now one Renata Hill's sentence is under consideration and she needs all the support she can get.  Please take a moment RIGHT NOW and write to the District Attorney and ask that Renata be released from jail. Letters should arrive before March 17th. Here is a sample letter.  Change it as you see fit. 

For more about the Jersey 4
Robert M. Morgenthau
District Attorney
New York County
1 Hogan Place
New York, NY 10013


Re: People vs. Renata Hill

Dear Mr. Morgenthau:

I am writing concerning the case of Renata Hill, who is scheduled to appear in court on March 17, 2009 for a potential retrial. Ms. Hill's original trial was stemming from an incident in August 2006. Her conviction for Gang Assault was recently overturned on appeal. Your office is about to make a decision on offering Ms. Hill either a retrial or a plea bargain where she would serve a
year in prison.

Whatever Ms. Hill's role on that night, she shouldn't have to go back to prison. Ms. Hill has already served two years. While she was incarcerated, she was separated from her young son. She also suffered the death of her mother, whose memorial she was unable to attend. I want to encourage you to stop further prosecution in this case, and to release Ms. Hill so that she may get on with
her life. I am writing as a person who identifies with the queer and trans communities. What happened during the incident involving Ms. Hill on August 2006 was terribly
unfortunate. I believe that none of the defendants who were changed actually went out there that night with the intention of criminal activity. Life is difficult for queer and trans people, and we ask that your office recognize the
constant threat of danger we live with.

Ms. Hill has been punished enough for her role in the event – both by actual imprisonment, and in the impact that imprisonment has had upon her life. I appreciate any assistance you can provide in preventing any further injustice.

Thank you for your consideration.


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