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Jack Lessenberry on Carol Jacobsen’s Fight for Clemency

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Image: Carol Jacobsen, Sentenced. Video Installation. 

In a recent Michigan Radio essay, commentator Jack Lessenberry discussed Stamps Professor Carol Jacobsen’s work as the director of the Women’s Justice and Clemency Project.

You’ve probably never heard of Melissa Chapman, who has spent the majority of her life in Michigan prisons. When she was 18, her violent and abusive boyfriend shot a man and forced her to help hide the body. She was sentenced to life in prison for that. She’s been there thirty years.

Delores Kapuscinski has been in prison even longer, for shooting her husband after what Carol Jacobsen says was years of severe physical and sexual abuse.

These women aren’t a threat to society,” Jacobsen told me.

They are two of eight women whose sentences she has been trying to get Governor Rick Snyder to commute before he leaves office. Jacobsen, the director of the Women’s Justice and Clemency Project, has long been one of my heroes. She’s been fighting for more than twenty years on behalf of forgotten women, the victims of horrible lives and domestic violence who got caught up in some crime.

Women who don’t belong in jail | Michigan Radio