Video: Only Woman Exonerated from Death Row Sentence

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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – Sabrina Butler’s story is one of tragedy and triumph and now she’s telling the world how it feels to be the only woman in America to escape from death row.

Butler couldn’t believe the words when she heard them. “Guilty” of murdering her infant son. She was just 17 years old and facing the death penalty. Six and half years after the guilty verdict, she won her appeal and was set free. Now she’s telling her story in a book about her life. Butler says there are some who still believe she’s guilty.

“I wanted to show the public or talk to the public in my own words as to how I felt and what really happened,” says Butler.

In 1989, Sabrina Butler lived in apartment on 27th Street in East Columbus with her infant son. What happened there changed her life forever.

Butler says she ran door to door when she discovered her son not breathing. As a teen mom, she knew very little about caring for a baby and didn’t know how to help him. She finally found a neighbor at home but it was too late. Later she discovered that her son had been suffering from an illness that lead to his death.

“My son that died had Polycystic kidney disease and now my daughter today is 9 years old and she was born with the same problem that he had,” says Butler.

Butler now tours the country fighting to end the death penalty. There are 144 people in the United States who have been exonerated from death row and Sabrina Butler is the only woman. She says becoming an activist has helped her to heal.

“What I do to channel and try to help heal myself is I speak. I go around and I’m an activist. I go from state to state talking about the death penalty. I talk about the unjust of the system. If we as a people don’t stand up and fight for what we believe in, change will never happen. It’ll always be the same,” says Butler.

Today Butler still lives in Columbus and is married with three children. She hopes that her book and speaking out will help others in the fight to improve the justice system.

“It’s not just the death penalty, I feel, too. It’s other cases where people have been charged with crimes they didn’t commit. I think that we need to look at these cases and look at the justice system a little bit more because it is flawed. It’s not right,” says Butler.

Last month Sabrina Butler spoke at a conference in Northern California as apart of her life-long quest to find justice for the wrongly accused.

If you’d like more information about Sabrina Butler or to purchase her book, you can go to

Categories: Crime, Local News, Top Story