2019 is already off to a hopeful start as far as criminal justice is concerned. Thomia Hunter became the second woman to be granted clemency this month, this time by Ohio Governor John Kasich. Hunter is set to be released by July 15th of this year, which of course is contingent on her completion of a reintegration program provided by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, according to Cleveland.com.
According to Hunter’s lawyer, Tiffany Smith, Hunter received the news this past Wednesday via a letter from Kasich’s office—one that officially slashed the final portion of her sentence. Hunter was originally sentenced to life in prison in 2005 when she murdered her ex-boyfriend after being abused by him for years.
Hunter’s clemency comes after the Ohio Parole board recently uncovered information about Hunter possibly suffering from battered woman’s syndrome and additionally discovered that said a crucial piece of information was not revealed at her trial. Coupled with the evidence of this syndrome and the fact that evidence showed her ex relentlessly attacked her at 2:30 a.m. that fateful night inside her Woodland Avenue apartment, the Board had no choice but to recommend commuting Hunter’s sentence.
While Hunter and Smith are grateful for the commuted sentence, Smith in particular hopes that Hunter’s case (and even cases like Cyntoia Brown’s) can shine a necessary light on cases where “crime” is committed as a result of domestic violence or abuse that has been suffered and brings much-needed nuance to the conversation.