Abolitionist Law Center published this on February 13, 2021: Avis Lee is finally out! At the age of 18, Avis was sentenced to die in prison. She was denied commutation five times during her 41 years in prison. Brilliant organizer and friend who co-founded Lets Get Free with Avis in 2013 is etta cetera. etta reflects, “When Avis learned that she was first denied a merit hearing in 2016, she said, ‘Guess, I’ll start working on my next application, tomorrow.’”
Unfazed and unrelenting, Avis believed in her own freedom; she is her own liberator.
Don’t get it twisted – Governor Wolf has not “freed” anyone. He did the bare minimum by signing off on commutation applications that sat on his desk for a half-year, and only signed them after the death of Bruce Norris who should be with his family right now.
In other words, Wolf finally did his job as Governor.
There is no praise for Wolf. Only mad love for ALL the organizers, volunteers, friends, families, movement lawyers, movement donors and survivors of state violence who, over many years, have signed countless petitions, created commutation kits, sent letters to Avis, attended rallies, public hearings, and workshops, and litigated on Avis’s behalf, guided by her own vision of emancipation.
Avis is free and you can support her homecoming fund here.
Learn more about Avis, her story and perseverance at the links below:
A Way Out: Abolishing Death By Incarceration in Pennsylvania (2018) Report from Abolitionist Law Center
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Avis Lee (2016)
More from ALC on the fight to Free Avis (2019)
“AVIS LEE, THEN AND NOW” (2014) video animation by Mary Dewitt