After 32 years in prison, a woman has been freed with help from new California law by nonprofit group Unite the People

It’s a moment that 50-year-old Ranza Marshall never thought would come.

“I’m just blessed to still have my parents and I’m just so lucky to be able to start over again,” Ranza said.

On Friday she went out California institution for women after serving 32 years behind bars for her role in an armed robbery at a jewelry store that resulted in the shooting of the proprietor.

“First, I just want to go home and really take my parents in because they’ve been here since day one,” Ranza said.

In 1990, Ranza was convicted of robbery and attempted murder, among other charges, although she never pulled the trigger.

Caesar McDowell, CEO of Unite the People, a non-profit organization who promotes social justice, said, “She got caught up in something she shouldn’t have, but it was something she didn’t do.”

Unite the People provided Ranza with affordable legal advice to help her get out of prison.

Rosemary Chávez, Chief Counsel for Unite the People, said: “There is so much potential in this building and in this person.

Under a new California law, McDowell said Ranza’s attempted murder conviction could be dismissed because she wasn’t the shooter and never wanted to kill anyone.

Last month, a judge re-sentenced Ranza and granted her parole.

McDowell said, “The opportunity that they give us when they come to us to help reunite them with their family, that’s great for all of us.”

Ranza’s mother, Arwilda Marshall, said, “She’s here now, so let’s move on from today.”

Ranza said, “Rebooting, new mindset and I want to give back to my community and I want to succeed.”

Unite the People plans to support Ranza throughout the community re-entry process, which will include her return to school and an internship with the organization.

Copyright © 2023 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved. After 32 years in prison, a woman has been freed with help from new California law by nonprofit group Unite the People

Laura Coffey

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