Target: Connecticut State Attorney John Smriga
Goal: Drop murder charges against Cherelle Baldwin, who faces prison for killing her abuser in self-defense.
A woman is currently on trial for reportedly killing her ex-boyfriend after he tried to strangle her. According to The Huffington Post, Cherelle Baldwin testified tearfully that she didn’t intend to kill Jeffrey Brown, and that she acted in self-defense.
According to Cherelle’s testimony, Jeffrey hit her with his belt and then wrapped it around her neck and tried to strangle her while Cherelle’s 19-month-old son cried nearby. She managed to escape and run outside to her car, where Jeffrey followed her. She struck him with her car in order to prevent him from strangling her.
The police did not believe Cherelle’s story because there were no visible injuries on her neck, and the district attorney charged her with murder, which could result in 60 years in prison. Never mind the fact that firefighters found a man’s belt under Jeffrey Brown’s body, which is consistent with Cherelle’s story. Never mind the fact that a strangulation attempt from which she escaped might not leave any bruises at all.
Too often, survivors of domestic violence are punished for defending themselves against their abusers. According to TakePart, about 90 percent of women currently in prison in the United States for killing men were abused by the men they killed. We cannot allow Cherelle Baldwin to face that same fate. We cannot allow this to happen to one more survivor.
Sign the petition below to demand that the Connecticut State Attorney drop the murder charges against Cherelle Baldwin.
Dear Attorney Smriga,
Cherelle Baldwin is currently on trial and facing up to 60 years in prison for killing her abusive ex-boyfriend in self defense. Throughout their relationship, Ms. Baldwin suffered physical and emotional abuse at the hands of Jeffrey Brown. When Mr. Brown attempted to kill her, Ms. Baldwin had to protect herself and protect her child.
Ms. Baldwin should not be punished for defending herself and her young son against an abusive man. If she is sent to prison, her son will be left without a mother, amplifying the destruction that Mr. Brown has left in his wake.
This is a tragedy that happens far too often in our country. Studies have concluded that about 90 percent of incarcerated women who are in prison for killing a man were abused by the man that they killed. The fact that these women have survived the trauma of abuse and the trauma of killing their abusers, only to be sent to prison, is a horrifying injustice.
I urge you to do what is right and drop the charges against Cherelle Baldwin. She is not a violent murderer; she is a victim of abuse, and she has already suffered enough.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Bridgeport, Conn. Police Department