Justice Thru Storytelling demands #Justice4Women
October 8, 2018
Founder & Executive Director
As seen on NBC, NPR, Megyn Kelly Today, and Ashleigh Banfield with Headline News, a grassroots effort to change an unjust law begins Oct. 30
SPRING LAKE, Mich. – Victims of domestic violence face a double injustice when expert testimony is limited in legal proceedings that could support their case for self-defense.
Learn more about Michigan’s archaic law and how, together, we can make a difference. Justice Thru Storytelling is hosting a special kickoff event Oct. 30 featuring three judges, legal experts, and one of the women who was affected by double injustice.
As featured in national media, Justice Thru Storytelling is committed to changing the narratives of women who face imprisonment for defending themselves or their children from potentially deadly domestic violence. We are focused on changing a longstanding law, People v. Christel, that restricts expert testimony regarding battered women’s syndrome in trials of those accused of injuring or killing their abuser in self-defense. By changing the law to be more in keeping with the majority of other states, psychologists and other domestic violence experts will be able to testify on behalf of women in Michigan stand accused of crimes against their abusers.
The public event will be from 7-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30, in the Spring Lake Country Club ballroom. Appetizers and desserts will be provided and a cash bar will be available. The event is free, although donations will be encouraged to continue this important work.
Among the speakers are:
Michigan Supreme Court Justice Bridget McCormack, who will explain the state of the law in an effort to give people a better understanding of People v. Christel’s impact in Michigan.
Retired Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Jack McDonald, who will address how this rule played out for a woman in his courtroom, particularly in the case of a teacher, Nancy Seaman, who was given a life sentence by a jury in his courtroom in 2005 after killing her husband in an act of self-defense. Eight months after the trial, McDonald overturned the first-degree verdict.
Former Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Norman Lippitt, who has practiced law since 1961 and presided over the trial of Karen Kantzler who killed her abusive husband, Dr. Paul Kantzler in 1987. Lippitt later regretted the life sentence Kantzler was given and in 1993 began advocating for her release. Lippitt, along with his successor, Judge Barry Howard, continued to advocate to the Michigan Parole Board and governor until Ms. Kantzler was finally released in December 2017 after 30 years behind bars. Ms. Kantzler will see Norman Lippitt for the first time since her release and present him an award for his efforts on her behalf and continued advocacy on behalf of legislative changes for People v. Christel.
Legendary civil rights attorney Dean Robb, who has been practicing law since 1949 and won an acquittal for his client Jeanette Smith in 1978 after she killed her abusive husband in self-defense. Robb learned of battered women’s syndrome at that time and said Michigan has made little progress in the past 40 years.
Let’s make sure Michigan women who are abused in their homes are not abused again in our courts. We need your help to make these important changes in our state. Let’s demand #Justice4Women. Learn how and why at this special event.
RSVPs are kindly requested (although not necessary) for event attendance – send a message through https://jtsadvocates.com/contact-us
We would like to give a special thanks to Thacker Sleight for being our 2018 Event Sponsor!
About Justice Thru Storytelling
JTS is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in West Michigan. Read more about its advocacy at https://jtsadvocates.com/
The goal of this campaign is to convince our legislators in the state of Michigan to change People v Christel to model the California law in order to bring #Justice4Women.