Garrard Beeney appeared in a recent 20/20 episode, “Kill or Be Killed,” which covers the trial of domestic abuse survivor Nikki Addimando and the Firm’s pro bono work to reduce her sentence under New York’s Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act (DVSJA).
Garrard Beeney told 20/20 that Nikki’s conviction “encapsulates everything that’s wrong about the way society addresses survivors of domestic violence and certainly with the way we treat them in the criminal justice system.”
In 2019, although claiming self-defense after horrible abuse, Nikki was convicted of murdering her abuser and then-boyfriend and she was sentenced to 19 years to life in prison. Garrard’s team obtained a resentencing for her under the DVSJA, which allows courts to resentence a domestic violence survivor who suffered abuse that contributed to the conduct for which they were convicted. In 2021, Nikki’s sentence was reduced to seven-and-a-half years in prison by the state Supreme Court’s Appellate Division. Nikki’s pending clemency petition to New York Governor Kathy Hochul is supported by more than 600,000 signatories, and her clemency application remains pending.
“Nikki does not deserve to be incarcerated, her children do not deserve to be separated from their mother. But Nikki’s case is not just about Nikki. It’s about all survivors,” said Garrard.
Read “Nikki Addimando case puts spotlight on criminal justice for victims of domestic violence.”
Watch the 20/20 episode, “Kill or Be Killed.”
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