Precious Bedell

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Precious Bedell Murray (born 1954) is an American woman who was imprisoned for twenty years for murdering her two-year-old daughter, Lashonda Bedell. She has since worked as an activist to improve the lives of those affected by incarceration.[1]



Lashonda Bedell was horrifically beaten in the restroom of a restaurant Nov. 7, 1979.[2] She died four days later at a hospital. A doctor pronounced that her skull had been fractured in eight places.[3][4]


Murray was convicted of second degree murder on October 31. The charge was later reduced to manslaughter after her defense attorney argued her conviction should be set aside due to legal errors. A judge allowed her to plead guilty to manslaughter and then be released based on her time already served. She was released in November 1999.[citation needed]


Murray was held at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in New York.[5] During her imprisonment, Murray earned her GED, Bachelors and master's degrees.[citation needed]



  • 2016 Staff Community Service Award from the University of Rochester[citation needed]
  • 2018 Warren J. Ferguson Scholarship from UMass Medical School[6]


Murray works as the Human subjects research coordinator in the Department of Psychiatry for the University of Rochester's Women's Initiative Supporting Health Transitions Clinic. Murray founded the Turning Points Resource Center,[7] a nonprofit that supports the families of those incarcerated. She has been a guest speaker at the University of Rochester in their political science department. Murray is pursuing her doctorate degree at the University of Rochester.[citation needed]

Volunteer work[edit]

Murray volunteered on the "Ban the Box" campaign[8] to prevent employer discrimination against those who have been formerly incarcerated. She also volunteers with the Monroe County Reentry Task Force, the Safer Monroe Re-Entry Team, Pillars of Hope, the Rochester Area Interfaith Hospitality Network, the African American Health Coalition of the Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency, and Facing Race Embracing Equality, and is on the planning committee of Big Brothers Big Sisters.[9]


Murray publishes under the name Precious Bedell with academic groups about the importance of first-person language when discussing incarcerated individuals in academic publications[10]


  1. ^ "Inmate turned activist to be honored with inaugural Warren J. Ferguson Scholarship Award". Commonwealth Medicine. 2018-03-19. Retrieved 2018-08-07.
  2. ^ "A judge sentenced a young woman to 25 years..." UPI. Retrieved 2018-08-07.
  3. ^ "Less-than-precious Ending For Baby-killer's Story". tribunedigital-chicagotribune. Retrieved 2018-08-07.
  4. ^ "Only In New York: Justice, Hollywood-style". The Independent. Retrieved 2018-08-07.
  5. ^ Scheffler, Judith A. (2002). Wall Tappings: An International Anthology of Women's Prison Writings, 200 to the Present. Feminist Press at CUNY. p. 211. ISBN 9781558612730. precious bedell.
  6. ^ "2018 Warren J. Ferguson Scholarship Recipient | Precious Bedell | Academic Consortium on Criminal Justice Health". Retrieved 2018-08-07.
  7. ^ "Turning Points Resource Center - Prison Ministry—Episcopal Diocese of Rochester". Retrieved 2018-08-07.
  8. ^ Faust, Michelle. "New 'Ban the Box' Ordinance Aims to Help More Locals Find Work". Retrieved 2018-08-07.
  9. ^ "Staff Community Service Award recipient committed to supporting families of incarcerated". NewsCenter. 2016-04-13. Retrieved 2018-08-07.
  10. ^