Waco: Human trafficking activists applaud clemency plan for victims

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WACO, Texas (KWTX) Local human trafficking activists are applauding a new plan announced by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott that allows victims of human trafficking and domestic abuse who ended up in prison for crimes committed while under duress to seek clemency.

Local human trafficking activists are applauding a new plan that allows victims of human trafficking and domestic abuse who ended up in prison for crimes committed while under duress to seek clemency. (File)

"I think we will see many, many victims get out," Susan Peters, the director of UnBound, said Wednesday.

"Then they don’t have it on their record, so they really do have new life when they get out and that’s good news," Peters said.

McLennan County sheriff’s investigator Joseph Scaramucci is one of the top trainers in the nation on human trafficking cases.

"If the trafficker can have their victims dealing drugs when the police come along it's pretty obvious who has the drugs. The victim will typically go to jail in those cases and the trafficker is scot-free."

Under Abbott’s plan, imprisoned trafficking victims may submit clemency applications to the state Board of Pardons and Paroles.

If the victims are pardoned, their records would be wiped clean.

"I think when someone can prove and show that they were manipulated and being coerced and the community wants to get around those people and see them get their life back together, their records should be cleared and they have a new life,” Peters said.