An Aboriginal woman serving a life sentence for murdering her abusive partner has been released from prison after the WA government used “mercy” laws to grant her freedom.
In 2015, Jody Carolyn Gore fatally stabbed 39-year-old Damion Jones at a home in the Nulleywah Aboriginal community in Kununurra.
Gore, who claimed she acted in self defence, was sentenced to serve life in prison with a minimum of 12 years.
WA Attorney-General John Quigley told parliament the government had recommended that the state’s governor, Kim Beazley, exercise the “royal prerogative of mercy” to remit the remainder of Gore’s sentence without pardoning her.
“Ms Gore has taken a life. She has served more than four years in prison,” Mr Quigley said.
“I extend my condolences to the family of her victim, who was also her perpetrator.
“The government has decided that now is the time for mercy.”
Mr Quigley said the decision was made after taking into account her medical conditions, the fact that as an Indigenous woman she was away from her country, the extent that the history of domestic violence contributed to her actions and her previous good character.
NITV News understands that Gore was released from prison this morning.
The case has also prompted the state government to seek changes to the law to “reflect the complexities of family and domestic violence” after conceding an amendment in 2008 may not have had its intended effect on self defence.
“[We] will introduce legislative reforms to provide for jury directions and expert evidence to address stereotypes, myths and misconceptions about family and domestic violence,” he said.
“The exercise of the royal prerogative in this matter is not, and cannot, be considered as a precedent in any other case.”