Webster Associate Professor Joins Community Coalition for Clemency

| October 31, 2014
The Community Coalition for Clemency is asking Governor Jay Nixon to commute the sentences of 14 women. Anne Geraghty-Rathert, associate professor of Legal Studies and Chair of Women and Gender Studies, is a member of the recently-formed coalition, along with several other members of Webster’s community.

The Community Coalition for Clemency has asked Governor Jay Nixon to commute the sentences of 14 women who are incarcerated in Missouri prisons.

Anne Geraghty-Rathert, associate professor of Legal Studies and Chair of Women and Gender Studies

Anne Geraghty-Rathert, associate professor of Legal Studies and Chair of Women and Gender Studies

Members of the Community Coalition for Clemency held a press conference on the morning of Oct. 28 to ask Governor Jay Nixon to commute the sentences of 14 women who are incarcerated in Missouri prisons. Most of the women are victims of domestic abuse, with some having spent more than 30 years behind bars. Anne Geraghty-Rathert, associate professor of Legal Studies and Chair of Women and Gender Studies, is a member of the recently-formed coalition, along with several other members of Webster’s community. She was there to request clemency for three of her clients.

“All of these women suffered extreme mental, physical and sexual violence from family members throughout their lives, and were incarcerated because of that violence,” said Geraghty-Rathert. “Society has turned their backs on these women; they have slipped through the cracks their entire lives and we are here to give them a voice.”

Geraghty-Rathert is a practicing attorney and works with The WILLOW Project, a non-profit organization which provides legal assistance to women who cannot fully access the justice system due to poverty, oppression, exploitation and other injustices. Geraghty-Rathert is on the board for the non-profit, along with Robin Jefferson Higgins, Legal Studies department chair, and Eileen McManmon, Legal Studies department coordinator.

The power of clemency is granted to the governor in the Missouri Constitution. Its purpose is to allow for the show of mercy and to correct injustices in the criminal justice system. Governor Jay Nixon has until the end of his term to grant clemency to the 14 women that the Coalition named.

A statement released by the Coalition said, “October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and this new organization is raising awareness that domestic violence can lead women to kill their abusers because it is the only way they can protect their children and themselves.”

Read more about the clemency case requests at webster.edu.

More information on the Community Coalition for Clemency can be found on the organization’s Facebook page.

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Category: Faculty, St. Louis Campus News

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