Hastings Journal on Gender and the Law

Article Title

The Principal Theory


Prison inmates Jennifer Twist and Merienne Star Blake are just two of hundreds of women who are currently serving life sentences on a “Principal Theory.” This theory contains and entails that being at the scene or near the scene of the crime indicates a guilty demeanor as much as the person who actually committed the crime. The theory does not account for mitigating factors of trauma that many women face. Twist and Blake stand up as warriors for this cause and give a voice to the many woman serving life without parole on the basis of the Principal Theory.