Pardon Request Was Turned Down Before it was Officially Submitted
By Elizabeth Dinan
Hampton Union, Tuesday, January 29, 2013
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
Pamela Smart, now 45, is incarcerated in New York for enlisting her teenage lover and three of his friends to kill her husband Gregory on May 1, 1990.[Herald file photo]
CONCORD -- A spokeswoman for Pamela Smart, one of the world's most infamous inmates, is blasting Gov. Maggie Hassan for stating Smart should not be granted parole or a pardon.
Smart's advocate and spokeswoman, Eleanor Pam, issued a statement Sunday night criticizing the governor for taking a position on Smart's parole without having received a formal request for a pardon or parole.
"Gov. Hassan's reported mindset and suggested course of official action regarding Ms. Smart reflects a pre-judgment for public consumption made before receiving and reading a single piece of paper stating the facts and basis for any such possible future requests," Pam wrote. "Sadly, this continues the path and pattern of the previous governor, John Lynch, who did exactly the same thing by announcing to the press his decision to deny Pamela Smart's petition although he had not yet received it or read a single word, and by refusing to let a 2005 application be scheduled for the Executive Council's agenda."
After Pam's statement was provided to the governor's office by Seacoast Media Group on Monday, Hassan's spokesman, Marc Goldberg, released the following statement: "Governor Hassan feels that a pardon should only be considered in instances where there has been a clear miscarriage of justice. In this case, the Governor believes Pamela Smart was justly and fairly convicted for her crimes by a jury of her peers and that there has never been credible information presented to warrant consideration of a pardon."
Smart, 45, is incarcerated at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in New York for enlisting her teenage lover William "Billy" Flynn, and three of his friends, to kill her husband Gregory on May 1, 1990. During a jailhouse interview with SMG eight years ago, Smart said she regretted her affair with Flynn, the confessed trigger man, but turned to him because she was flattered by the schoolboy's attention.
A media coordinator at Winnacunnet High School at the time of her husband's murder, Smart said during the SMG interview that if she had planned to kill her husband, which she denied, the plot wouldn't have involved teenagers.
Pam said Sunday that Gov. Hassan's remarks about Smart's case means, "a new generation of citizens in New Hampshire, who might have looked at this case with fresh eyes, is infected."
"Moreover, it re-poisons the older generations, sending a message that Pamela Smart is undeserving of the normal due process and protocols that every other citizen of the state is constitutionally accorded — a fair process after a review of the facts by open-minded, unbiased officials," said Pam. "In this instance, there isn't even an effort to pretend or give an appearance of fairness in dealing with any application that may be made. Such prejudice against her seeking any relief on any basis is paraded publicly and without apparent awareness that in so doing there are violations, not only of her rights, but of the solemn obligations of office."
Pam said Smart "was 50 miles away at the time" her husband was murdered and has "consistently denied any role as an accomplice to murder, directly or indirectly. Unmasked bias, pre-judgment, premature public conclusions about a petition not even written or filed — all are toxic to a responsible and civilized pursuit of justice."
A majority of the Executive Council could grant Smart access to a parole board, but state law gives the governor veto power over the council.
In 2005, Smart petitioned for commutation of her life-without-parole sentence. At the time, Gov. John Lynch was quoted saying, "I do believe that Pamela Smart's crimes were brutal. She was fairly convicted by a jury of New Hampshire citizens and she was fairly sentenced." The Executive Council followed Lynch's lead by voting unanimously to deny Smart a pardon hearing, which would have released her from prison with time served. That denial followed several failed appeals, during which Smart argued she didn't receive a fair trial because of the massive media attention her trial attracted.
Flynn, who was 16 when he shot Gregory Smart in the head with a .38-caliber handgun, is now 38 years old. He was convicted for second-degree murder, a reduction from first-degree murder, in exchange for his cooperation with the prosecution of Smart.
While behind bars, Flynn earned a GED and an electrician's apprentice license, and married a former executive assistant to the Wiscasset, Maine, superintendent of schools. Incarcerated in Maine, he's eligible for parole on June 4, 2015, according to Jeffrey Lyons of the N.H. Department of Corrections.
Codefendant Patrick "Pete" Randall, 39, who restrained Gregory Smart in his Derry condo while Flynn pulled the trigger, is also incarcerated in Maine. In 2009, he appeared before Rockingham Superior Court Judge Kenneth McHugh, where he was described as remorseful, matured and having accepted responsibility for the crime. Through attorney Mark Stevens, Randall successfully petitioned the court for a 3-year reduction of his minimum 25-year sentence, making him eligible for parole in 2015.
Stevens also represented codefendant Vance "J.R." Lattime Jr., now 39, who provided the getaway car and handgun used during the murder. He was convicted for burglary and being an accomplice to murder and released from prison on Aug. 8, 2005. Lattime is now under supervised parole out of Exeter, said Lyons, and his parole expires May 23, 2060.
Raymond Fowler, now 41, who drove the getaway car from the murder scene, was released from prison April 21, 2003. Lyons said Fowler's parole ends on July 23, 2013.