Cuomo signs law designed to aid domestic violence victims

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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation allowing judges to reduce prison sentences for victims of domestic abuse who committed crimes while defending themselves against their abusers.

The Democrat says the Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act he signed into law Tuesday allows judges to change a sentence from incarceration to community-based programs considered more effective in rehabilitating survivors.

Advocates for domestic violence survivors say the law will aid women who have been incarcerated after being convicted of crimes related to their protecting themselves or family members from their abusers.

The legislation was sponsored by Sen. Roxanne Persaud, D-Brooklyn, and Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry, D-Queens.

Persaud says too many women have been unfairly sentenced to prison for crimes committed as a result of domestic violence they suffered.