Demand Justice for Terminally Ill Woman Imprisoned for Defending Herself from Abusive Partner

Target: Jerry Brown, Governor of California

Goal: Grant a 65-year old woman’s wish for parole after serving 25 years for killing her abusive boyfriend in self-defense

For 4 years, Glenda Virgil was physically, mentally, and emotionally abused by her boyfriend. When she finally gained the courage to leave him, he threatened to murder both her and her dog with a gun. Fearing for her both their lives, she killed her boyfriend. Even with all the evidence pointing to her abusive relationship with her now deceased boyfriend, this information was never submitted into trial. Virgil was convicted with second degree murder and has been in prison for 25 years. Please bring justice for this woman who has been grossly over-sentenced for an act of self-defense.

Two expert evaluations concluded and confirmed Virgil’s history of abuse with her boyfriend. They, in turn, believed that this contributed to the murder, making it an act of self-defense. However, this evidence was never brought into trial. Furthermore, during her 25 years in prison, the parole board never took her history of abuse into serious consideration. Instead, they denied her parole year after year.

Virgil endured 4 long years of abuse from her boyfriend—a person she had no control over. Though murder should never be an option, Virgil feared for her life. She was undeniably in a state of panic and emotional instability. How could she be treated like any other murderer when she was defending herself from a monster who threatened to kill both her and her dog? Why was her history of abuse not submitted to her trial? Why hasn’t the parole board looked into the stacks of evidence that represent her abusive past? These are questions that she, and many of her supporters, cannot answer.

In prison, Virgil has suffered from Hepatitis C, a back surgery, four pulmonary embolisms, and an aggressive form of lung cancer. Doctors have given her only 3-4 months to live. Even with the new “Sin by Silence Bill” that demands the parole panel look at information that gives evidence to prisoners’ history of abuse, Virgil has not been given a fair look from the parole board. Please demand justice for Virgil. She was a victim in the hands of her abusive boyfriend and now she has become a victim of the inadequate judicial system.


Dear Jerry Brown,

A woman by the name of Glenda Virgil was physically, mentally, and emotionally abused for 4 years by her boyfriend. She has been in jail for 25 years while being denied parole year after year. Over 25 years ago, she killed her boyfriend in an attempt to save her own life as well as her dog’s life. No evidence of her abusive history was submitted in the trial nor has it been reviewed by the parole board. With the new “Sin by Silence Bill,” the parole board should evaluate all the information from the past; however, they have instead denied her parole year after year.

Murder should never be seen as an option in any case; however, Virgil was obviously emotionally distraught from years of abuse. It is distressing to hear that women who are clearly defending themselves would be so severely punished without looking at the grand scheme of the entire situation. Yes, she murdered someone. But was it premeditated? Was it an isolated incident? Was she threatened? There were so many variables that were never factored into this woman’s trial. Now, she has only 3-4 months to live because of an aggressive form of lung cancer. Please allow her to spend her final days on earth with her loved ones as she should have been doing for the last 25 years.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Tim Pierce via Flickr

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One Comment

  1. What is going on with our justice system that victims of crime should be so unfairly punished, while others who inflict crimes go free or receive light sentences? give this poor woman a break!!!!

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