Family pleads for terminally ill woman's release from prison

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The family of a Los Angeles woman with terminal cancer asked the governor Tuesday to release her from prison. Deborah Peagler’s spent a quarter century behind bars for her role in the murder of an abusive boyfriend. KPCC’s Frank Stoltze reports.

Frank Stoltze: Outside the governor’s downtown L.A. office, Angela Harris described how her sister’s boyfriend had beaten Debra Peagler and forced her into prostitution before she asked friends to “make him stop.” Harris said her sister didn’t know those friends would kill him.

In any case, she said, Peagler has lung cancer now.

Angela Harris: I just want to ask the governor please, please let my sister come home. She only has a short time to live and let her spend her last days with her family.

Stoltze: L.A. County prosecutors say Deborah Peagler did know her friends would kill her boyfriend. They express doubts about whether it’s a good idea to release her.

Advocates for battered women support her family’s request. They note the governor’s own plan to reduce overcrowding calls for releasing medically infirm inmates. The parole board’s also recommended her release.