No Pardon For Smart

An Editorial

The Hampton Union, Tuesday, January 11,2005

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]

Two things that can be said about Pamela Smart are that she is consistent and has gall. After exhausting all appeals of her conviction in 1991 of being a conspirator to first-degree murder — that of her husband — the former media coordinator at Winnacunnet High School is seeking a pardon from the new governor.

She is consistent in that her argument continues to be that she didn't get a fair trial because of all the media hype at the time and that her sentence — life in prison — was too harsh.

After all, she didn't actually pull the trigger. Instead, she seduced and persuaded a teenage boy to do it.

Which leads to the gall, because in reality she might as well have pulled the trigger.

After all, William Flynn of Seabrook, who is serving a 28-year sentence for shooting Gregory Smart didn't come up with the idea. She did.

Through the affair she was having with the boy, she was able to persuade him to do just about anything — up to and including murder.

Anyone who can remember Flynn on the witness stand knows that there was a pitiable aura about him at the time.

His sentence was fair.

Her lawyer says that Smart has been a model prisoner, earning master's degrees in social work and education.

So she seems to be, well, smart.

Yet, part of her argument over the years has been that young Flynn framed her, which tests our intelligence.

But she has sought the pardon, and the next steps are for the attorney general's office to 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 Executive Council and governor, who will decide whether to hold a hearing.

Our guess, and hope, is that they will decline to do so.

Her trial was fair. She was convicted. And her sentence was just.

Hampton Union