Still Fighting for My Life
Rosa Jimenez spent nearly 18 years in prison for a crime that never even happened. In January 2021, she finally walked free:
Since her release, Rosa has worked tirelessly to adapt to new a world and rebuild her relationship with her children— attending her daughter’s wedding, furnishing her first home, and adopting two small dogs, Tootsie and Tequila. Thanks to the generous contributions of community supporters, Rosa has also been able to further her passion for braille, a skill that initially served as an escape from the realities of prison but quickly developed into a source of purpose.
However, like many others freed from wrongful convictions, Rosa continues to shoulder the lasting effects of years of incarceration. Among those, is the advanced Stage 5 chronic kidney disease she developed in prison. Just a year after her release, Rosa was forced to start dialysis, which she undergoes three times a week, and is one of the tens of thousands of people awaiting a kidney transplant.
This Women’s History Month, we are asking the community to recognize and celebrate Rosa’s story and all the victories that are to come. If you have the means, please consider donating to this fundraiser.
Learn more about Rosa’s case:
In 2005, Rosa Jimenez was sentenced to 99 years in prison after a toddler she was babysitting tragically choked. Nearly 75 percent of women exonerated in the last three decades were wrongfully convicted of crimes that never took place at all, according to data from the National Registry of Exonerations— and more than a quarter of female exonerees were wrongly convicted, like Rosa, of harming a child in their care. Rosa’s conviction was based on false medical evidence. On January 26, 2021, several of the nation’s top pediatric aerodigestive medical experts testified before the Travis County Court. They stated that their review of Rosa’s case and medical findings supported that the child’s death was accidental and Rosa had been wrongfully convicted of a crime that never occurred, refuting the faulty testimony that originally led to Rosa’s wrongful conviction.
That same day, a Travis County District Criminal Court Judge declared her conviction should be vacated and ordered that she be released, stating that “all ... of the medical evidence that is available to us at this time, suggests that Ms. Jimenez could not and did not commit this crime.”
“I could not even believe it until I just walked out the door… It was the first moment I felt it was true,” Rosa said after she was released. “It all seemed like a dream and it’s not.”
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San Antonio, TX