CRIME Pardon hearing request denied for Pamela Smart
Smart maintains that her trial was biased by excessive media coverage.
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- Authorities turned down Pamela Smart's request Wednesday for a pardon hearing, saying the former school aide should stay in prison for orchestrating the murder of her husband by her teenage lover and his friends.
The state's five-member Executive Council voted unanimously to deny Smart's request. Now serving life in prison, she sought "any conditions the governor may seek to impose," including a suspended sentence and probation, fines, restitution, community service or home electronic monitoring.
As in her failed appeals, Smart's request argued that her trial was tainted by intense media coverage in the state's most notorious murder case.
"I do believe that Pamela Smart's crimes were brutal," said Gov. John Lynch, who presided over the meeting. "She was fairly convicted by a jury of New Hampshire citizens and she was fairly sentenced."
Smart, now 37, is serving life without parole in Bedford Hills, N.Y., for recruiting her young lover, William Flynn, and his friends to murder her husband in 1990. Smart, who was then 22, denies helping to plan the shooting of Gregory Smart, maintaining the plot was hatched by Flynn, who was 16 at the time, and his friends.
Flynn had been having an affair with Smart, a media coordinator at the teens' high school. She knew Flynn from a self-esteem course she taught at the school.
Smart's lawyers argued that Flynn wanted Gregory Smart out of the way so he could continue the affair, which began when he was 15. Prosecutors said Smart wanted her husband killed so she would not lose her condo, furniture and dog in a divorce.
The case was tabloid fodder and led to books and movies, including "To Die For," starring Nicole Kidman as a television personality who enlists three teens to kill her husband.
Flynn and Patrick Randall remain in prison and are eligible for parole in 2018. Raymond Fowler, who waited in the getaway car, is out on parole. Vance Lattime Jr., who supplied the gun and the getaway car, is scheduled for a parole hearing today.
Flynn and others connected to the killing received reduced sentences in exchange for testifying against Smart.
In a letter accompanying her petition, Smart said, "I live every day with the ominous realization that I will only leave here in a casket. The fact that the men who callously murdered my husband will someday be freed is grossly unfair."
Lynch and the council, an elected body that considers pardons, appointments and state contracts, were unmoved by that and other letters proclaiming Smart's innocence and good deeds in prison. Smart has earned two master's degrees and works as a teacher's aide and counselor to other inmates.
Smart's mother, Linda Wojas, gave a statement to reporters after the meeting, saying her daughter "cannot ... accept responsibility for having any role in Gregg's murder.