74-year-old woman freed from prison after three decades for crime she didn’t commit

By Michelle Kapusta,

A California grandmother has been released from prison after serving 32 years for a crime committed by her former boyfriend.

According to the New York Daily News, Mary Virginia Jones, 74, was released from prison on Monday after a judge decided to switch her life sentence to time served. The decision was based on new evidence brought forth by University of Southern California law students that took up her case and argued that she was forced into her role by an abusive boyfriend.

CBS Los Angeles reported that in 1981 Jones was convicted of first-degree murder, kidnapping, and robbery. The district attorney's office agreed to accept a plea of no contest to lesser charges in exchange for Jones' release.

"I'm so excited, emotions can't express the way I feel right now," said her daughter Denetra Jones-Goodie. "She knew this day was coming, even when we doubted it, she knew this day was coming."

The students argued that Jones suffered from "Battered Women's Syndrome." Her former partner died in 1988 while on death row.

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