Christie Cheramie, USA - Write for Rights 2011

November 15, 2011

Christie Cheramie, USA - Write for Rights 2011

In June 1994, at the age of 16, Christi Lynn Cheramie entered the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women to serve a sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for a crime which had occurred four months earlier. She is now 33.

On the third day of jury selection for her trial in adult court, Christi Cheramie pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the stabbing death of her fiancé's great aunt in February 1994. A short time later, her 18-year-old fiancé pled guilty to second degree murder and was also sentenced to life without parole. Christi Cheramie's guilty plea -- made by a 16-year-old fearing that she would be sentenced to death if the trial went ahead -- means she cannot directly appeal against her conviction or sentence. She faces the prospect of living in prison until she dies.

After spending half of her life in prison, Christi Cheramie believes she has changed in many ways. Christi Cheramie has obtained a high school diploma as well as a degree in agricultural studies. She is currently in charge of a number of classes on this subject at the prison where she is incarcerated. Christi Cheramie has also completed nearly all available education and vocational programmes.

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