A woman who spent 35 years in prison is now trying to help other moms who are behind bars see their children more often.
None of us are perfect and all of us make mistakes. All you can hope is that the mistakes you make are ones that are easily reparable. For Judy Henderson, that was sadly not the case. In 1982, Henderson found herself tangled up in an armed robbery with her then-boyfriend. The situation escalated, and the boyfriend shot and killed a jeweler. That resulted in Henderson being found guilty of murder.
Henderson was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for 50 years. What will have hurt the most is having to leave two young children behind. Three-year-old Chip and 12-year-old Angel. Henderson explained to CNN that she continued to raise Angel as much as she could from prison, but her ex-husband wouldn't let her see or even speak to Chip until he was 16.
In 2017, Henderson was pardoned from her sentence and released from prison after 35 years inside. Since then, she has naturally been making up for lost time. Not only does she have her two children to think about, but she also now has three grandchildren. As well as spending as much time as she can with her family, she is also trying to help other moms living out the same life that she did.
While in prison, Henderson spent a lot of her time working with legislators to draft a bill that would grant parole to some incarcerated elderly individuals. Now that she is a free woman, Henderson has been able to ramp up her efforts. The bill would allow prisoners aged over 65 serving life sentences to receive parole hearings after 30 years instead of 50.
It is certainly a tricky situation and one that is probably hard to empathize with for those who haven't been in Henderson's situation. Some will say that those serving sentences that long don't deserve to be freed since they must have done something terrible. However, as you can see from Henderson's case, sometimes people who are otherwise good can get caught up in something bad.