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Supporters Plead With Governor To Release Sick, Aging Grandmother Convicted Of Killing Boyfriend

Glenda Virgil, 65, is serving time at California Institution for Women in Corona for killing her boyfriend who allegedly beat her. Now she has been diagnosed with cancer, and 24 years after the crime supporters want to see her released from prison.

A woman serving time at a Corona prison facilty after being convicted of killing her boyfriend because she allegedly feared for her life, is making headlines this holiday season.

Family and supporters of Glenda Virgil, 65, who in 1988 killed the man who allegedly beat her, is asking for clemency from Gov. Jerry Brown.

Dixie May Dunn, 19, is leading a campaign to get her grandmother released from California Institution for Women in Corona. Dunn says her grandmother is in a wheelchair and was diagnosed with an aggressive form of lung cancer in September. Doctors told her she had three to four months to live, Dunn said.

The campaign posted on Change.org has been joined by more than 50,000 people across the country who are signing an online petition asking the governor to release Virgil from custody so she can spend her last days with her grandchildren, according to Dunn.

“My grandma … was the victim of physical, mental and emotional abuse by her boyfriend over a period of four years before getting the courage to leave the relationship. When her boyfriend learned of her plans to leave him, he beat her for several hours and threatened to kill ... her, himself and their dog with a gun,” Dunn said. “Believing that her life would end if she did not act, [my grandmother] shot and killed her abuser."

During incarceration Virgil has dedicated herself to helping victims of abuse and trauma, Dunn said.

“It was talking to my grandmother that gave me the courage to leave an abusive relationship two years ago,” Dunn explained.

No evidence of Virgil’s abuse was allowed to be admitted at her trial in San Diego County in which she was convicted of second-degree murder, Dunn said. Virgil was sentenced to 15 years to life, and was eligible for parole in 2000, but Dunn contends the parole board has never given her grandmother’s case serious attention.

In late September, attorneys with the USC Post-Conviction Project and Assemblywoman Fiona Ma (D-San Francisco) submitted a formal request for parole to Governor Brown, according to Dunn and Virgil supporters. Additionally, Dunn plans to deliver the Change.org petition signatures in-person at Governor Brown’s office with Assemblywoman Ma and other supporters.

In 2012, Ma introduced AB 1593 and AB 593 -- the Sin By Silence bills -- spurred on by the story of Virgil and other victims of domestic violence.

AB 593 seeks to clarify Penal Code 1473.5 to include domestic violence victims who were denied the opportunity to provide expert testimony during their trials. AB 1593 seeks to provide domestic violence victims a chance to present their evidence during the parole process.

Inspired by Virgil’s story and other victims of domestic violence, documentary filmmaker Olivia Klaus produced “Sin by Silence.” The film premiered in 2009 and in 2011 had its television premiere on Investigation Discovery.

Kris Williams February 14, 2013 at 09:11 PM
You make my point for me. Violence. Violence is the problem, they are being abused. You are entitled to your opinion, but police don't have the resources to stop these guys. I recently read a story about a lady who was trying to find the police station on a 911 call and as she was running up the steps to get in the building she was shot in the back and then the retard killed himself ! How do you cure that? You kill him first, that is how. How can you worry about the perpetrator? It's bizarre.
Medusa February 14, 2013 at 10:19 PM
It figures that Constant Comment would continue to be constantly commenting on yet another subject he/she knows NOTHING about. Unless you have been a victim of domestic violence, you have no idea what these woman go through! You sure have a lot to say about people and circumstances you have no experience with. It amazes me how on each and every article you comment on, you always show your ignorance.
The Teller of Truth February 15, 2013 at 01:50 AM
At least his comments are far more interesting than yours, shows wisdom beyond your years, has plenty of friends to back him up, and only has ONE name meduza!
Kris Williams February 15, 2013 at 02:22 AM
I can't understand how these people are worried about the abuser's, they got what they deserve. I only wished more women would do this. I am becoming a Certified Firearms Instructor and give free lessons at the Women's Shelter. If anyone chase's them down after they've gotten away I want to make sure they can protect themselves.
Kris Williams February 15, 2013 at 02:26 AM
All you bleeding hearts worried about the abusers make me sick. If it was up to me and you could verify the women had been abused and stalked I'd give the women a cash award for ridding the world of this abusive scum.

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