I'm simply overjoyed and in tears right now.
I've been championing HIV+ prisoner Betsie Gallardo, who was jailed for five years for spitting at a police officer. I asked for a Christmas miracle for Betsie - that she be released to die in peace. Mainstream media and other bloggers picked up Betsie's story and soon Florida legislators, HIV activists, Bilerico contributors and readers, and Haitian activists were clambering for Betsie's release. Last night Florida Representative Daphne Campbell (D-Miami) and contributor Michael Rajner took Betsie's mother to Governor Rick Scott's inaugural ball to plead for her release.
The Florida Parole Board met in an emergency meeting this morning to hear Betsie's case. The board approved a conditional medical release in a 2 to 1 vote; Betsie is being released to a Miami hospice to live out her final weeks of life surrounded by her family. She is currently on house arrest and will only be allowed out of the facility for medical appointments and church services.
I'll update this post with footage from the hearing and a statement from Betsie's mother soon.
While I asked for a Christmas miracle for Betsie - and meant December 25 - Orthodox Christmas isn't for another two days. Betsie should be officially released tomorrow morning. We did it, Projectors. We got our Christmas miracle.