Donna Hylton was featured in a video at the DNC 2020, which concluded this week. The criminal justice activist was introduced as an “impactful community leader.” The Democratic National Convention took place at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee from August 17 to August 20.
The DNC event has come to an end. It had some pre-recorded videos which were live-streamed as a part of the said event. In the same category, there was a video from ‘America’s most impactful community leaders,’ which featured Donna Hylton.
Who is Donna Hylton?
Born in Jamaica, Donna moved to the US as a child when she was sold to an American couple. Allegedly, her mother told that they were sending her to Disneyland but ended up a pedophile-adoptive father.
Snopes says that Hylton allegedly was a part of the 1985 case involving kidnapping, torture, and murder of 62-year-old real estate broker Thomas Vigliarolo. The fact-checking site says that she was one of the six people who tortured Thomas for ‘two to three weeks.’
Donna’s website states that she was awarded 25-years in prison for kidnapping and second-degree murder. After serving for 27 years, she was released in 2012. She has openly talked about her past on her site. During those 27 years, she was known as inmate #86G0206.
While Donna was in prison, her life took a new turn as she received her college degree in 1992 and a master’s degree in women’s studies and English literature from Marymount Manhattan College. According to her, she is innocent of the charges against her. She is also the founder of the From Life to Life organization whose motto is to support women victims of abuse and the criminal justice system.
Donna also claims to have a lengthy list of famous friends, including Scarlett Johansson and others. She also appeared at the “Panel of Powerful Women” even for Senator Bernie Sanders.
Donna Hylton: Previous Appearances
After getting released from prison, Donna started serving as a women’s rights activist and criminal justice reform advocate. The author of chronicle ‘A Little Piece of Light’ has talked about her childhood and events leading up to her imprisonment. She has also appeared in other public events.
In 2017, Donna made her appearance at the Women’s March in Washington as an advocate for incarcerated and at-risk women. In September 2018, she was also seen at the Global Citizen Week in New York. (check: Does Kathy Hoffman, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Want Kindergartners To Learn ‘Sexual Positions’?.)
Twitter Reactions to Donna’s DNC 2020 Appearance
Donna’s past arose several types of opinions when she appeared at the DNC 2020. On Thursday, she was on the receiving end of social media threats, which arose just after she appeared at the event.
Some were unhappy to see an ex-convict speak at the event.
What a low bar the Democrats have set for Joe Biden. Basically he is expected to do little more than utter bromides (“Light is more powerful than darkness”) and complete his sentences. This might be good enough for some mundane jobs, but president of the United States?
— Dinesh D’Souza (@DineshDSouza) August 21, 2020
One of the DNC speakers was @DonnaHylton, who, at 21, committed an unspeakably gruesome crime: over 15 days she was part of a group that kidnapped, raped, starved and tortured, then killed, a man for ransom.
Her speech & life are noble testaments to the ability to rehabilitate. pic.twitter.com/cPAcn4tkuV
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) August 21, 2020
Some offered their opinions as to why former prisoners should be given a chance to speak at such conversations.
The vitriol I’m seeing directed at my friend and colleague from dense, white racists is infuriating. Please go find something better to do with your time than harass a Black woman doing liberation work. Also, go read her book (strong recommend): https://t.co/EaFgH7nyJF
— Rodney H. (@rodnationn) August 21, 2020
A major takeaway that reinforces what my auntie @DonnaHylton has taught me:
If formerly incarcerated people aren’t at the decision making tables around policing and jails, guess what? You are doing it WRONG! Directly impacted folks must be at the center. #JustUs
— Blair Amadeus Imani (@BlairImani) August 18, 2020