Renee Boje, 30, an American freelance artist, faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 yrs to life imprisonment in the US for charges stemming from a highly contentious medicinal marijuana case. She is now in Ottawa to hand-deliver her personal submission to Federal Minister of Justice Anne McLellan. Letters of support continue to be received by the Justice Department, prior to the June 18 deadline.
Key points in Renee Boje’s submission include:
1. The extensive abuse of women in US prisons. The United Nations, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have all documented widespread sexual, physical and psychological abuse of female prisoners in the US. Such abuses have even been documented by The United States General Accounting Office and the US Department of Justice. Ms. Boje herself was strip-searched fifteen times during a 72 hour period when first arrested, twice in the presence of male guards.
2. Disproportionality of sentencing – Ms. Boje faces a mandatory minimum of 10 yrs to life, a sentence that is grossly disproportionate to any punishment she would likely receive in Canada even if she were guilty of the conduct alleged.
3. Inability to secure a fair-trial – Several of Ms. Boje’s co-defendants have been offered reduced sentences or charges in exchange for testimony against her. This method of securing testimony is inherently corrupting, since these co-defendants may falsify their testimony about Ms. Boje for the sake of reducing the penalties that they themselves face.
Press Conference – Thursday, June 15, 2000, 12 noon Parliament Hill – Charles Lynch Room
Renee will be hand delivering a letter to the Minister of justice at 1:00pm today and from 1:30-4:00 pm she will be collecting signatures for a petition to the Minister on the steps of Parliament.
For more information:
Renee Boje – (604) 740-7894 cell (in Ottawa)
Eugene Oscapella – Canadian Foundation for Drug Policy 1-800-668-5909 (Ottawa)
John Conroy Legal counsel for Renee Boje 1-877-852-5110 (Abbotsford, BC)