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Sentence Commuted for Sexually Assaulted New Mexico Prisoner
On May 30, 2002, New Mexico governor Gary Johnson (R) commuted the sentence of Belinda Dillon, a prisoner at the New Mexico State Women's Correctional Facility. The commutation came after several guards at the Dona County Detention Center, where Dillon was imprisoned in 1998, were convicted of sexually assaulting her or attempting to sexually assault her over a two month period.
Of the six guards implicated, three were convicted. Two received prison sentences of 18 months, the other one year. Ms. Dillon, by contrast, had been sentenced to six years in prison for stealing a small sum of money to support her drug habit. Gov. Johnson labeled her a victim of the drug war. "She received a harsh sentence for her nonviolent crimes while yet those who abused and mistreated her received collectively less time for their sexual offenses," he said. "It is morally and ethically appropriate to ... [commute] her remaining sentence."
Source: The Santa Fe New Mexican
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