Rose Parker seeks full pardon from governor

Rose Parker seeks full pardon from governor

September 14, 2010 1:02:31 AM PDT
A California woman, given a life sentence for killing her abusive ex-boyfriend and then paroled by Gov. Gray Davis, has a special request for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Rose Parker is asking for a full pardon. I spoke with her Thursday before she left for Sacramento to file her formal request.

"I should have been pardoned. If I don't fight for it, if I don't pursue it, it will just be dropped to the ground," said Parker.

Parker was paroled from a Southern California prison 10 years ago by Davis.

The deeply religious woman is now filing a request to Schwarzenegger for a pardon based on innocence.

I first met Parker at the California Institution for Women in Frontera 10 years ago. She was serving a 27 year to life sentence for killing her abusive ex-boyfriend -- a powerful, wealthy older man named Art Boga.

"I'm pregnant, my 19-month-old son is there, my brother came to rescue me, and I grabbed the gun and I shot. The bullet hit my brother and it hit him. Wounded my brother, killed Art," said Parker.

Parker was 23 when the shooting happened. She served 15 years, before Davis ordered her parole.

Davis said, "Rose Parker committed a grave crime. However, this case has all the characteristics of battered women's syndrome, a now legally recognized defense which was not available at the time of her trial."

Now, she's known as Dr. Rose Parker Sterling. She's married to Southern California minister Michael Sterling. She reunited with the children who grew up without her. She has also won numerous awards, graduated from theology school and counsels battered women, but the pain from that awful day will always with her.

"It's like a weight... it's a weight, that's on me. It's just there," said Parker. "I just pray that Gov. Schwarzenegger looks at the case and realizes that, 'Oh, this should have been done. Let me just give Rose Parker her pardon.' It's time, the time is now."

Parker is taking her request to the state capitol on Friday at noon, where she will also be asking people there to sign a petition supporting her request for a pardon.


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