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AP Exclusive: New Cause for Ex-Radical Sara Jane Olson

Sara Jane Olson in 2001
File Photo of Sara Jane Olson in 2000 by David McNew/Newsmakers via Getty Images

 

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Sara Jane Olson, the Minnesota woman who served seven years in prison for her involvement in high-profile 1970s radicalism, is edging back into public life.

Olson and a friend are petitioning the White House to look at the sentences of some prisoners serving time for crack cocaine.

Guidelines were changed in 2010 so that sentences for crack cocaine weren’t treated more harshly compared to powder. The Olson petition says more than 5,000 prisoners are still serving time longer than the new rules would require because they were sentenced before the changes.

Olson spent 25 years as a fugitive before being arrested in St. Paul in 1999. She was a member of the short-lived Symbionese Liberation Army, the group best known for the 1974 kidnapping of California heiress Patty Hearst.

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