A Cambodian American woman who faced deportation after serving 16 years in prison has graduated from college.
Ny Nourn, who immigrated to the U.S. at age 5, thanked everyone who never gave up on her while she pursued a bachelor of arts degree in sociology from San Francisco State University.
Nourn was detained by ICE in 2017 after being incarcerated for 16 years for her role in the killing of her former boss, David Stevens, in 1998. She was convicted of first-degree murder in 2003.
Nourn proved during her trial that she suffered from battered women’s syndrome from Ron Barker, her then-boyfriend.
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Barker planned to kill Stevens after he found out Nourn had sex with her boss. Nourn told police she believed Barker would kill her as well if she didn’t cooperate. “Ny Nourn was released from prison after serving a life sentence; however with an immigration hold facing deportation to Cambodia, Ny was immediately arrested by ICE,” the Northern California Grantmakers said in its profile of Nourn. “After 6 months in detention with outpouring of community support, Ny walked out of ICE detention as a free person.”
“Since her release, Ny continues her advocacy work as an organizer with Survived & Punished, a member of the Asian Prisoner Support Committee and California Coalition for Women Prisoners supporting the release of incarcerated domestic violence and sexual assault survivors and immigrants facing deportation.”
She credits her success and happiness to the Asian Prisoner Support Committee (APSC), which provides support to incarcerated people and raises awareness about APIs that are imprisoned, detained and deported.
In a follow-up tweet, Nourn also pointed out the social inequality that is evident in mass incarceration.
She is now co-director of APSC and plans to raise $25,000 to “support incarcerated, formerly incarcerated, and deported community members.”