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Update: Inez
by Inez Garcia Defense Committee
Feminist Alliance Against Rape Newsletter Nov/Dec 1974

Inez Garcia was convicted of second-degree murder in October and is now awaiting appeal. Inez shot and killed one of the two men who had beaten and raped her. Women's groups, world-wide, are organizing in support of Inez. The following information, received recently from the Inez Garcia Defense Committee, provides up-to-date information about the case and what can be done to aid in the appeal and to raise bail for Inez:

Inez is in the Reception Center at the California Institute for Women (CIW) in Frontera. She is under psychological observation for 120 days which could result in a resentencing by Judge Stanley Lawson, her original judge. It is highly unlikely that Judge Lawson's own conscience will prompt him to reconsider the harsh, indeterminate sentence he has given Inez Garcia. But massive public pressure should be put on Lawson to set bail for her, pending appeal. Inez has been in jail a total of six months since March. Reports will come before Judge Lawson in mid-February. At that time we would like to present him with 20,000 signatures on petitions demanding Inez's freedom.

The case should come before the appellate court within a year. Decisions before the Appellate Court of California are rarely reversed. Inez has roughly one chance in 100 of being granted a new trial. Therefore in the coming months a huge amount of pressure must be brought to bear on Judge Lawson, the appellate court, and the powers that be in California. These actions are necessary in support of Inez:

Widespread circulation of petitions. We need hundreds of these petitions by the first week in February. Signed in black ink, if possible so that they can be copied. Please send them to the Defense Committee.

Demonstrations at the courthouse in Salinas by women in California during the days before Judge Lawson receives the reports (early February).

Nationwide discussion of the Inez Garcia trial, rape and a woman's right to self-defense in the media, in groups and individually. Support rallies and demonstrations to inform people, gather signatures and gather funds. Please contact the Defense Committee if you have questions, need more information or would like speakers.

Groups and organizations filing Amicus Curiaeu "Friends of the Court" briefs at the appeal. For information on the procedure contact Charles Garry, <address>.

Fund raising for Inez Garcia's legal defense and the continuation of her defense committee's activities. Benefits to raise money and inform people have been very successful in the Bay Area. Checks can be made payable to the Inez Garcia Defense Committee, or to Inez Garcia.

Informing women and men in the government of California and of the country. These people have the power to change Judge Lawson's behavior. It is important that these officials be pressured to speak on behalf of Inez Garcia. Governor Jerry Brown could pardon her. He should receive letters and telegrams protesting the court's unjust treatment of Inez as a woman and as a Latina, and demanding her freedom.

Women must and can help Inez and themselves by working together to change the attitudes which have imprisoned Inez and oppress us all. We cannot tolerate discrimination; we must not acquiese and endorse by our silence the government's baseless persecution of Inez Garcia and all women. By our united effort we begin to effect change.

The petition being circulated by the Inez Garcia Defense Committee has the following text:

WOMEN HAVE THE RIGHT TO DEFEND THEMSELVES. Inez Garcia defended herself when she was raped, assaulted and her life was threatened. As a result, she was found guilty of second degree murder, and is now a political prisoner. We protest the sexist, racist court and legal system that threatens all women and jailed Inez Garcia. We, the undersigned, DEMAND that Inez Garcia be released. The dignity and freedom of women will be claimed.

SIGNATURE                        LAST NAME (print)                    ADDRESS                       CITY, STATE, ZIP

Send petitions to Inez Garcia Defense Committee.