May 31, 2018
A Weil team, working with the Columbia Law School Criminal Justice Clinic, achieved a significant victory in an important pro bono case representing a victim of horrific domestic violence.
In 1989, our client killed her stepmother while suffering the effects of complex PTSD as a result of the severe and sadistic abuse inflicted by her own partner, who continually beat, tortured, knocked her unconscious and raped her. She was convicted of second degree murder and given a 25-year minimum sentence. Our client served 28 years and had been denied parole on four prior occasions when Weil and the Columbia Law clinic took up her case in February 2018 in connection with her fifth parole application. On May 1, 2018, after an intensive effort by the team, the parole board finally granted our client’s release. The Weil team included senior counsel Rich Rothman, associates Dori Cohen and Nigar Shaikh, and paralegal Sirak Biratu. The matter was referred through The Incarcerated Gender Violence Survivors Initiative, which the Firm, along with Sanctuary for Families, founded and is leading.