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A Dying Wish

On the evening news tonight there was a story that has raised quite a few questions for me. 

Kristine was kidnapped and raped at age 14 and was put on medication for depression. The medication caused homicidal delusions.  She killed her elderly great aunt at age 15. She was tried as an adult, the insanity plea failed, and was convicted and put in prison for murder without parole. It is now 20 years later and she has terminal cancer throughout her body. She can no longer walk.  Her family is pleading to allow her to come home and die as a free woman with her family.  Read more here.

The news story asks, “should she be allowed parole to spend her remaining days free and with family?”

Though the news story stated that this has been a controversial topic, and I can clearly see both sides to that controversy, I believe she should be allowed to go home.

First of all, Kristine’s severe trauma at such a young age is not something to be taken lightly.  Being kidnapped and raped obviously took a very big piece of her.  She ended up in in-patient care because of the psychological damage it caused her.  Additionally, shoving pills down a girl’s throat is not a cure!  When she started having the negative side-effects of those meds, especially the hallucinations, those meds should have been changed immediately.  That was just plain negligence on the behalf of the care providers.

Second, not only was she suffering from trauma and improperly medicated, she was also very young.  Many people make stupid decisions and mistakes when they are young.  I am in no way excusing murder, but taking all other things into account, I personally believe she should have been admitted into a psychiatric care facility, NOT prison.  Prison is no way to rehabilitate such a damaged young girl.  And making the terms be for no parole just lets you know they gave up on her, considered her a lost cause.  How is that justice to her attacker, or to her?  What kind of example or standard is that setting for other traumatized young girls who need help?

And finally, I believe even though she was not allowed the opportunity for parole in her sentence, the effects of her terminal illness have her completely disabled.  Even if she was believed to be a threat before, she would no longer be a threat now.  This woman is still human, and should be allowed the human right to be with the ones who love her in her remaining few weeks or days.  Not to mention the fact that her family should be allowed to be blessed with time with her at the end of her life, for love and for closure. 

I’m sure my opinions on this case won’t make a bit of difference, but to Kristine and her family: my heart goes out to you and I wish you the best in the outcome of this last wish.

2 thoughts on “A Dying Wish

  1. Thank you for this post. I know many do not understand or believe in the freedom of Kristina. I was thrilled with the Parole Boards decision today. The reason is because I know Kristina, personally, and have read through all her records (inches thick) in detail over the years. I know her heart, have listened to her pain and anger she had to come face to face with over the past twenty years. We still write to one another and I have witnessed her heart for those young girls in pain.
    The NEWS reports have some of the ages incorrect. She was thirteen (yes, so very young) when she killed her aunt. By the time the court case came up she was still only 14 when convicted to Life Imprisonment.
    Her story is very sad but she turned it around to be a benefit to many young women over the years. She was brutally raped at gunpoint and was put into Orchard Place to help her cope. The “professionals” put her on various medications. Her doses were extremely high for her age, weight, and size. In her records you can read how she had BEGGED the staff and counselors to, please, take her off her medications or lock her in her own room as she was so fearful of everything she was seeing (halucinating.) These medications caused her to imagine things that were not real. The system failed Kristina. Yes, she committed a horrible crime. Nobody has been harder on her to be accountable for her actions than herself. She has never asked to be free. She never felt she deserved freedom. Her true family and true friends are the ones who have always fought for her.
    Thank you, again, for taking the time to post your blog.


  2. Thank You for telling me a bit more about what happened to this young woman before she killed her aunt. I have been wondering about the kidnapping and rape. Was the person or persons responsible for the kidnapping/rape caught and punished? If so what was the punishment?
    I have experienced a lot of frustration with our society for failing to realize the child was so horribly abused, and then not treated properly following the abuse (rape). I cannot understand the lack of compassion for her. I am pleased to learn the State of Iowa Parole Board did the right thing by making the decision to release her to her family. I understand her family wanted freedom for her, that they wanted her to have dignity in death, but I do believe there would have been less controversy had they simply requested that she be released to them that they might have these final days with her, rather than asking for her freedom. I agree that in the times to come more and more families will come forward asking for release of inmates who are dying. To be quite honest, I really see no reason why this should NOT be a standard procedure as long as the inmate is in fact terminal and there is no chance of recovery, families SHOULD, f they desire, be able to have final days with their loved one.


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