At the age of 18, Flozelle Woodmore life was going downhill. She had a 3 year old son to take care of and an abusive boyfriend who she’d been with since she was 13. One day that same boyfriend hit and threw her son against the wall. He chased her with an ice pick. She ran across the street, got a gun, and shot him.
She pleaded guilty to second degree murder and was sentenced to 15 years to life. At the time, abuse was not a legal justification for self defense in California. The law was corrected in 1992 but that was too late for Flozelle.
While in jail, Flozelle spent her time preparing for the day she might be free. She got her GED. He learned job skills. She became a counselor for women who were abused. She was a model prisoner. The victims mother and sister started advocating for her release in 1996.
Flozelle came up for parole five years ago. Not only was the victim’s family behind her, but the Judge who sentenced her. The parole board certified her parole. However, Governor Davis denied her parole. Each year she was denied by Davis and then by Governor Schwarzenegger.
But, something strange happened this year. Flozelle came up before the parole board again. Columnist Byron Williams mounted a letter writing campaign to get the Governor to change his mind. Others in the community acted on her behalf. The parole role granted her parole and Governor Schwarzenegger did…nothing. So, Flozelle Woodmore is a free woman, ready to start her life over.