Hunter, a survivor of domestic violence, was awarded clemency by Gov. John Kasich.

On July 15, 2019, Thomia “Mia” Hunter was walked out of the Ohio Reformatory for Women. She was incarcerated for 15 years.

“Thank you,” Mia said, moments after walking out of the prison. “This is a miracle from God.”

Mia was greeted by dozens of family members and friends, as well as several OJPC staff members and interns. Attorney Tiffanny Smith, who leads OJPC’s Incarcerated Survivors of Domestic Violence project, has represented Mia since 2017.

Members of Mia’s welcoming party, including family, friends, OJPC staff and other advocates.

Mia was convicted of murder in the death of her abusive ex-boyfriend, whom she killed in self-defense. You can read more about her case here.

In January 2019, Mia was awarded clemency by then-Gov. John Kasich. Mia’s clemency was one of Kasich’s last acts as governor of Ohio.

“Thank you, Mr. Kasich, for this second chance,” Mia said. “Even thought he doesn’t know me, he gave me my life back. And I’m not going to let him down.”

While horrific and unjust, Mia’s case is not as uncommon as one may believe: At OJPC, Tiffanny Smith represents several other clients — all women who are incarcerated for killing their abusers — who are seeking release from prison, through clemency and/or other means.

“For Tiffanny, for OJPC, I am so so thankful,” Mia said.

If you’d like to help Mia or other clients like her, consider donating or volunteering at OJPC. Donate here or email to inquire about volunteering.