Clemency is a phototext essay created with six women who are serving life or long term sentences in Michigan prisons for killing their abusers in self defense. Abandoned by police, doctors, lawyers, and courts who did nothing to stop the assaults or punish their assailants, these women found themselves subjected to the full, malevolent force of those same institutions when they defended themselves and their children alone.
The movie clip of Violet Allen is from the 1995 video, From One Prison. This documentary records the stories of the women represented here, in addition to others, currently in prison for defending their lives. The installation shot of Violet Allen is from te exhibition, Interventions, Detroit Institute of Art, 1995.