By Patrick Cronin
The Hampton Union, Friday, January 7, 2005
HAMPTON - Pamela Smart, the former media coordinator at Winnacunnet High School who was convicted of persuading her teen lover from Seabrook and his friends to kill her husband in Derry 13 years ago, is asking for a pardon.
Smart, 37, who is serving a life sentence for her role in the murder of Gregory Smart, filed a pardon application with the attorney general's office last week.
She is seeking a pardon because she says she didn't get a fair trial because of the intense media attention the case generated.
The Pamela Smart case spawned numerous books and movies.
In her pardon application, Smart also claims her sentence was too harsh.
While Smart received a life sentence without the chance of parole for being the mastermind of the scheme, the students involved in the murder received lesser sentences for testifying against Smart.
William Flynn, who shot Greg Smart, along with his friend Patrick Randall, received a sentence of 28 years and is serving it at a correctional facility in Maine. Vance Lattime, who supplied Flynn with the gun, will be up for parole in 2008. Raymond Fowler was released almost two years ago, but was returned to prison in June after he charged with disturbing the peace, a violation of his parole.
Smart's arguments are the same she has used during numerous unsuccessful bids to get a new trial. Smart has exhausted all her appeals.
She was convicted in 1991 of being a conspirator to first-degree murder.
To this day, Smart proclaims her innocence at the Bedford Hills correctional facility for women in New York state, and said she was framed by Flynn.
Smart's lead attorney, Greg Adamski, compared the case to the recent trial of Scott Peterson, the California man convicted in November of killing his pregnant wife.
He blames the media for Smart's harsh sentence.
"What happens in these kinds of cases is that the public and the jury come to hate this person," he said.
Adamski said he hopes that a pardon will be granted and said that Smart has been a model prisoner, earning masters degrees in social work and education and teaching many inmates in her New York prison how to read.
In the next month, the attorney general's office will collect opinions from the judge who oversaw the trial, the prosecutors, the victim's family and prison officials. The petition then will be sent to the governor and Executive Council, which will decide whether to hold a hearing on it.
Since 1996, the state has granted two pardons.
[Information from The Associated Press was used in this article.]