Rape Victim – Sentenced to Natural Life


In time like these: Since the aftermath of two major category storms and people struggle to put their lives back together – I, Betty Broaden, struggle to sustain yet another day of another year of incarceration in a lost society where nobody seemingly wants to hear from inmates, let alone to help.


I was born Betty Jean Lewis on March 23, 1946 with three strikes already seemingly against me (1.) Black (2.) Poor (3.)  Female.   Yet raised by “The Golden Rule” with dignity, integrity, morals, self-respect and respect for others, self-esteem, and not with a bias concern of Race or National Origin.  Because of my misfortune of being a single parent, I became a learned, skilled worker with knowledge that if I don’t work none of the essentials of life will be achieved or paid for.


I am a multi-skilled and talented being a skilled carpenter, construction worker, certified landscape contractor, certified horticulturist, bonified cook, seamstress (factory/home) and a hobby crafter.


Having a proper upbringing allowed me to be a compassionate person not knowing of the cardinal minded people that had little and took from others making others their prey, did invite a male human being (a homie) down on his luck the opportunity to come in from the elements


To my regrets I’m experiencing first hand the exposure to too much of  “man’s inhumanity to his fellow man.”  For “my want of life” after having this Houston “home-boy” down in New Orleans where I had settled and with the proper credentials became gainfully employed building condominiums and refurbishing landmarks.  Before I could close the door Lawrence Jefferson (5’10”, 265lb male) came up against me (5’2”, 134lb female) wit a loaded 22 magnum derringer placed at my temporal and ordered me to take off my clothes and said we were going to f__k..


I never made it to Rape Crisis but was taken directly to homicide, having a Texas Driver’s License and down in New Orleans.  To my dismay and out-right told, “There was no such thing as rape and that I had no rights.”


I was taken to court, had the jurors selected the trial and jury deliberation all in the same day because I had no money, I knew no one and there I was down in New Orleans with a Texas license.  I ended up in court sitting face to face with people that seemed to be the worst that human cruelty could devise when those people brought in a decision to give me a “Natural Life Sentence.”  Perhaps it was because I did not cry or show an emotional display?  Believe it or not there is always something personally damaging about having to end/take another’s life being “Just or Necessary.”


There has been a gaping hole in my life ever since that night.  I don’t know if it was false courage or his sheer stupidity but I had no time to figure out which – “I wanted to live.” 


I thank any and all persons in advance that might be of assistance coming to my aide.


Ms. Broaden has been incarcerated since August 1983.  She earns 20 cents an hour and can not afford a lawyer for the appeals process.  According to the a New Orleans cop, “There is no such thing as rape.”  He had been on the force for 11 years and knew how to sink her


What or shall I say who can determine rape in comparison to consensual?  What is murder in comparison to self defense having a loaded pistol at one’s temporal?  Was I not allowed to fight back defending myself the best way that I could even though I had to use Jefferson’s very own pistol?  When a male or even a female uses a weapon against anyone in comparison to brute force or fighting fairly, what is a person to do?


Betty Jean Broaden 108767

Louisiana Correctional Institution for Women

Box 26

St. Gabriel, LA 70776





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