Cherelle’s case is far from unique, and is symptomatic of a criminal legal system that punishes survivors of domestic and sexual violence for surviving—particularly survivors who are Black. Learn more about Cherelle through this recent piece about her case.
Who has the right to self-defense? Starting Monday, 12 jurors will hear evidence about Cherelle Baldwin, a 24-year-old Black woman from Bridgeport, Connecticut, whose attempts to escape her ex-boyfriend ended in his death. Baldwin has been detained for nearly three years awaiting her second trial on charges of first-degree murder. Her first trial, which lasted six weeks in early 2015, resulted in a hung jury and mistrial. If convicted this time, she may spend decades in prison.
We join in solidarity with Cherelle Baldwin, her now-5 year old child, her parents and all the women criminalized for self-defense. We stand in solidarity with the families of over 18,000 women killed by a current or former male partner since 2003–that’s an average of 3 per day. We ask that the Fairfield County State’s Attorney, John C. Smirga, drop the outrageous charge of first degree murder, and release Cherelle Baldwin to her child and her family. She has already spent three years in jail for defending her own life.