Donna Hylton is a convicted murderer. In 1985, Hylton, along with several others, kidnapped, tortured, and murdered Thomas Vigliarolo. Hylton was 20 years old at the time.
It was a heinous crime.
Hylton was sentenced to 25 years to life, and ended up doing a 27 year jolt in the New York State DOC. She was released in 2012.
Since then, she has become a prison reform 'activist.
The so-called 'conservatives', and especially the 'Christian' Right, have been in a state of high moral Outrage!™ since they discovered that Hylton was a speaker at the Womens' March. They have been cherry-picking out of this article to demonstrate what a depraved creature we have in Hylton. They use the cherry-pickings to make it sound like Hylton was the mastermind of the entire scheme. She was not. They missed this tidbit:
"What would I have done if a man said, 'Do this or I'll kill your daughter'?"
The entire article deserves a good read. It's a matter of perspective.
Hylton does not hide her sordid past. From her website:
My name is Donna Hylton but for twenty-seven years I was known as Inmate #86G0206.
In 1986 I was sentenced to 25 years-to-life for kidnapping and second-degree murder. I served the time at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, the only maximum-security prison for women in New York State, and was released in 2012.
My lifelong journey is one of many emotional and physical prisons; I went from abused child to repeated rape victim to desperate teen mother to solitary confinement where the boundary of my world was a 6’x10” cinder block room. It’s a story of tremendous pain and suffering, but it’s also a love story about freedom, hope, survival, sisterhood, redemption, and forgiveness. It’s about learning to love myself and fight for myself and for others.
Hylton doesn't say anything about 'finding Jesus' while in prison. She does, however, talk about 'hope,' 'redemption,' and 'forgiveness,' and 'suffering.'
I'm not sure why Hylton doesn't mention 'finding Jesus' while in prison. Perhaps she didn't. Or perhaps she understands that most of us find inmate claims of 'finding Jesus' to be mostly, well, bullshit. It's a nice one to tell the parole board, especially if some tears accompany.
Hylton does speak about prison reform. Why? Does she feel put out that she didn't get a color TV and an X-box? Well ... no.
Men who kill their partners serve less than one-third the prison time of women who kill their partners: two to six years, compared with an average of 15 years for women. Eighty percent of women convicted for murdering a man state that they have been physically and/or sexually abused by that man.
Here is another article about this.
And she does speak about 'redemption,' and 'forgiveness,' which are two buzzwords that attach to the concept of Christian life.
Yet the 'Christian' Right is hardly in a forgiving frame of mind. Most of the comments on articles about Hylton go on about how she deserved the death penalty and should have gotten it, oblivious to a) New York State didn't have the death penalty at that time and b) Hylton was a secondary character in the scheme.
It's a good thing for Christianity that that the early Christians did not possess today's sense of 'Christian' moral outrage, and apply it to Saul of Tarsus.