January 14, 2009

Gov. Blunt Commutes Sentences on Stacey Ann Lannert & Charity Sue Carey

Original Article that got me going on this rant...

It’s wonderful to see that someone is going to bat for these ladies! Yes, what they did they shouldn’t have done, but, if they felt it was their only option to get out of the abuse and to get it to stop, if they couldn’t find the help that they needed, I’m sorry, they did what they had to do to survive!

The thing is, that they shouldn’t have had to resort to this level!!  The help should have been there, they should have had other options out of the abuse.  No finger pointing, just fact.  IF the help was available and accessible to them, things may have been different, but it is what it is...

Gov. Matt Blunt commuted the sentences of Stacey Lannert and Charity Carey Saturday. The two women were victims of rape and abuse before committing crimes against the men who victimized them.

Stacey Ann Lannert murdered her father in 1990, at the age of 18, after being sexually abused for about nine years. She was then convicted of Murder in the First Degree and Armed Criminal Action and sentenced to life without parole.

I found a site for Stacey Ann Lannert, to reach out to get others to help get her justice.  From the information on the site, she got out of the molestation from her father, that turned into rape and sodomy, to move back in with her Mother that had divorced her father years before.  Because she was worried about her younger sister getting the same treatment, she went back to protect her.  After an abusive incident, she killed her Father because she knew of no other alternative.

In my mind, this would not constitute life in prison without a chance of parole.  No, she shouldn't have killed him, yes, she could have reached out, but if she did this right after an abusive incident, wouldn't that constitute a crime of passion?  Ok, you can tell I am NOT an attorney, but it just boggles my mind that a young woman that was being sexually molested, raped, and sodomized for years would go to jail after killing the monster that was doing it to her, and possibly her sister.

In phone conversations between the two sisters, Christy began sounding increasingly desperate for Stacey to return home. During one conversation she pleaded for Stacey to return and admitted to her that Tom had assaulted her.

I found another site with more information on what brought events to light, and that she became the substitute wife, and when she moved out, her younger sister took her place.

The sexual abuse that Stacey suffered did not stay a secret like Tom demanded. Her mother, cousin, her babysitter, and a psychologist suspected that she was being abused. Her mother discovered a blood streaked pair of Stacey's underwear hidden in the basement stairs that led to the television room where Tom often abused Stacey. Deborah would sometimes hear Stacey's cries from the basement but since Tom was downstairs with Stacey she figured Tom would take care of whatever caused the tears.

Out of all of it, this is what bothered me most!  Too many knew what was going on, YET, did NOTHING!  They could have saved her from killing her monster, protecting her sister and ending up for years in jail.  Yet, nothing was done!  Does this sound too familiar?

How is someone that is abused to this extent charged with this crime? Years of abuse, years of molestation, then rape and sodomy, and they claimed that she was in the right frame of mind when killing her father? What child or person wouldn’t have fantasies of killing their abuser to get them out of the abuse if they have no other way? What abuse victim wouldn’t take the chance to end the abuse when they see it? NO, I am NOT condoning the killings, but also pointing out that these women were abused and in both cases, someone they loved was also being abused by the abuser. As a Survivor, and Advocate, I know that many times Victims will not do for themselves, but will do for someone they love that is being abused.

In 2000, Charity Sue Carey murdered her husband at the age of 27. She was later convicted of Second Degree Murder and sentenced to 30 years. Thirty years is a sentence typically recommended for repeat offenders with aggravating factors. Carey and her son suffered extreme emotional and physical abuse from Michael Carey.

The news release said Michael Carey began abusing Charity six months into their marriage, abuse that worsened over the next three years when Michael began raping Charity and threatening to kill her and her son.

In an article released by seMissourian.com I found the below information:

Michael Carey's wife before Charity and a former girlfriend gave depositions that they were also abused by him, and the former wife testified that he had been convicted of raping her 13-year-old daughter, the news release stated.

Charity Carey made a 911 call the night of Oct. 24, 2000, and police arrived at the couple's mobile home to find Michael Carey lying in a pool of blood on the kitchen floor with small-caliber bullet wounds in his head and chest. There were signs of a struggle, but no evidence of a break-in.

Not surprising, Charity Carey was NOT his first victim!  She was just the last in a string of victims that he abused, yet, he wasn't stopped!  Again, a pattern that happens all too often.  I'm sure Charity Carey did not know that he was an abuser, or she wouldn't have married him, yet, how would she have known? 
She suffered years of horrendous abuse, her son was abused along with her, and yet, this could not be used a mitigating factors in her killing their monster??

I wasn't able to find that much information on Charity Carey, but did find one that gave the below information:
A client of Washington University Law’s Civil Justice Clinic, who was convicted for the murder of her abusive husband, has had her sentence commuted by outgoing Missouri Governor Matt Blunt.

Since 2005, the clinic has worked to bring to light the extreme physical and sexual violence that their client, Charity Sue Carey, suffered at the hands of her husband. Carey was convicted before much was known about “battered wife syndrome,” and her 30-year sentence for his murder would now be considered excessive. Thanks to the clinic’s efforts, the 35-year-old Sikeston, Missouri woman's sentence was commuted last week from 30 years to 10 years, making her eligible for release in April. 

"Stacey Lannert and Charity Carey have paid for their crimes," Blunt said in the release. "In both cases, the abuse these women suffered was clearly a mitigating factor in their actions. It is my hope and belief that when Ms. Lannert and Ms. Carey are paroled that they will become productive members of society."

Stacey Ann Lannert & Charity Sue Carey get years in prison for killing someone that had abused them for years. YET, abusers get off many times with a slap on the wrist for abusing, raping, molesting, terrifying, and torturing their victim for years. Does this sound right to you?

How many women are now in prison serving time for ending their abuse and that of their children?  How many women are paying the price for doing what they felt they had to do to stop the abuse?  A documentary was released recently about women that are behind bars for the crime of killing their abusers, called "Till Death Do Us Part".

This is a documentary that has been 5 years in the making. Prior to 1992, women were unable to use their abuse as testimony in criminal trials. Therefore, hundreds of women are serving life sentences in prison for killing their abuser in the defense of their life, or the lives of their children. I interviewed 40 women, 13 of their stories are incorporated in this feature length documentary. Til Death Do Us Part was released on April 8th, 2008.

I feel that these women have more then paid their price for what they did. In so many ways, I think they were failed, and that things would have turned out differently if those that saw what was going on or had clues that there was abuse would have acted, instead of standing by and letting it continue. Isn’t that something called “Failure to Protect?”


I know that while I went through my abuse with my husband, I dreamed of many ways to kill him so that I could get out. In the end, I saw a number flash across the screen that gave me hope, and helped me get out of the abuse. The National Domestic Violence Hotline saved my life, and got me in touch with local help that got me out of the situation. Adds that you don’t see much now-a-days, DV is NOT heard about enough! If I had NOT seen that number, that add, if I had not finally seen that there was help out there, I could have been one of the women that are sitting in jail for protecting themselves and those they love…

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