Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Support Linda Lee Smith and Norma Cumpian -
long-term California prisoners

Greetings friends of Free Battered Women,

It is with deep sadness that I report that on July 3rd 2009, Governor
Schwarzenegger released his decision to reverse the Board of Parole
Hearings' decision to grant parole to survivor Carol Sue McInnis.

Carol Sue McInnis is a 70-year-old battered woman who has served
nearly 20 years on a 15-to-life sentence for the death of her abusive
and manipulative husband. Ms. McInnis uses a wheelchair and an
oxygen tank full-time. She is currently at the infirmary at Valley
State Prison for Women and has been diagnosed with Congestive Heart
Failure, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Diabetes.

Ms. McInnis had a stroke shortly after she was incarcerated and was
declared medically disabled in 1992. Due to extensive medical
limitations, vocation, education, and group therapy have been
virtually impossible for her to participate in during her
incarceration. Free Battered Women joins with Ms. McInnis and her
supporters in grieving over the Governor's reversal. We remain
committed to supporting Ms. McInnis' freedom.

Despite this devastating news we must continue to fight for the
freedom of many other survivors whose cases will be up for review
before the Governor in the next few months. We are hoping to help
secure the release of two survivors Norma Cumpian and Linda Lee
Smith, and we need your support.

Please take a moment to send a free fax to Governor Schwarzenegger
urging him to release incarcerated domestic violence survivor Norma
Cumpian. Ms.Cumpian has spent 17 years at the California Institution
for Women (CIW) on a 15-to-life sentence (plus a four year gun
enhancement) for the death of her abusive boyfriend. The Board of
Parole Hearings found Ms. Cumpian suitable for parole and I urge you
to support their decision to release her.

Ms.Cumpian is a 39-year-old woman who has had an exemplary
disciplinary record while in prison. She has used her time in prison
to transform herself through support groups, study, work, and
service. During her incarceration, Ms. Cumpian has displayed
considerable leadership skills, as well as a commitment to
self-improvement and support for others' growth. She has been a
leader within Convicted Women Against Abuse.

Please take a moment to send a free fax to Governor Schwarzenegger at
urging him to release incarcerated domestic violence survivor Linda
Lee Smith. In 1981, Ms. Smith was convicted of 2nd degree murder and
sentenced to 15-years-to-life in connection with the death of her
two-year-old daughter, Amy, who was beaten to death by her abusive
boyfriend. Although the victim in Linda's case was not her abusive
partner, the fact that she was a battered woman was significant in
her inaction to stop the crime. Linda has been found suitable for
parole by the Board of Parole Hearings ten times since 1989. Each
time, the Governor has reversed the Board's decision, despite the
fact that Amy's father and sister (who witnessed the crime) support
Linda's release. Linda currently is in her 29th year in prison where
she has remained disciplinary-free, earned a Bachelor's degree from
the University of La Verne, and continues to work toward her Master
of Theology degree from Fuller Theological Seminary.

Please add your voice to those calling for Ms. Cumpian's and Ms.
Smith's freedom by sending the Governor a free fax at



Emily Harris
Coordinator, Free Battered Women
1540 Market St., Suite 490
San Francisco, CA 94102
415.255.7036 x 304


Anonymous said...

Carol is obviously not a danger to society. I am surprised Schwarzenegger denied parole. Maybe he knows more about what Carol did than we do.

Anonymous said...

So what happened? Were Norma and Linda granted parole?

Anonymous said...

If you had the WHOLE story, you would applaud the decision the govener made. Remember, there are always TWO sides to a story.

Anonymous said...

I think it is important to list all the facts. This makes it sound like these women should be excused for the horrible things they did. These women are in prison for serious crimes. I agree with the governor's decision.

Anonymous said...

Carol "SUE" McInnis in no shape or form should be allowed out!!! She brutally MURDERED my Uncle and tried covering it up saying someone broke into the house and killed him! SO WHY SHOULD SHE BE RELEASED WHEN SHE MURDERED HIM WITH NO HESITATION OR SECOND THOUGHT?! This here is just PATHETIC wanting to change her story to being Abused. She deserves to stay in there and die in there for what she did!

Anonymous said...

Schwarzenegger denied them parole but Norma and Linda were freed years later.

Anonymous said...

Geez, I'm sorry. I didn't know the whole story about what happened to your uncle.

Anonymous said...

Well, Carol was freed in 2011. Tough luck, lady.