In News on January 30, 2013 at 1:12 PM
Only weeks into her new term as Governor, the spokesperson for Gov. Maggie Hassan has made public declarations in the media which have resulted in the following headlines from two of New Hampshire’s major newspapers: NO PAROLE FOR PAMELA SMART (Portsmouth Herald) and NH GOV. HASSAN SAYS THERE’S NO CHANCE OF A PARDON FOR PAMELA SMART (Union Leader). The fact is that Pamela Smart has not currently requested or made application for a hearing or any other action involving parole, sentence reduction, clemency or pardon. Nevertheless, 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. Worse, Gov. Hassan’s reported position on an application not yet made–or even written–preempts the statutory obligation and ability of the Executive Council to consider openly, and make impartial and independent recommendations to the Governor who retains the full power of veto over that body. 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 Counsel’s agenda.
As a result, 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. 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. Inevitably, these public pronouncements, like others repeated and perpetuated for more than two decades in the media, will rouse passions and have a chilling effect even when the only news really is that nothing has been filed and there was nothing presently to be considered.
Four boys were implicated in the murder of Gregg Smart. Two of them have been released. The other two, both of whom have admitted that they murdered Mr. Smart, are scheduled to be free in two years or possibly sooner. Pamela Smart was fifty miles away at the time, has expressed great loss and remorse of Gregg’s death and consistently denied any role as an accomplice to murder, directly or indirectly. She is currently serving a sentence of Life Without the Possibility of Parole. 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.
In News on September 22, 2012 at 11:26 AM
June 14, 2012
To Whom it May Concern:
My name if Felicia Field, and I have been at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for 11 years. I am writing concerning Pamela Smart and her request for a sentence reduction.
I first me Pamela when I was a student in the Pre-GED class where she’s a teacher’s aide. Pamela was a great motivator for all the students in the class. She was always eager to help us, she created and taught lessons every day, and she made herself available outside the classroom hours as well. Pamela has also been my one-on-one tudor through Mr. Wildman’s tutoring program here as well. With her help I passed all my tests to move out of the Pre-GED class and into the GED class. I am still working on my GED with Pamela as my tutor.
I was also to say that Pamela saved my life, literally. I went through a very dark period in my life in 2009. I was extremely depressed and tried to take my own life on January 28, 2009. I hung myself in my cell, and if it wasn’t for Pamela Is be dead right now. Pamela had come by my cell to check on me because I’d been so sad, and she found me hanging in my cell. She screamed for the officer to open my cell door, and without any hesitation, she ran in my cell and with all her strength, lifted my body up to take the pressure off my neck. I was blue in the face and began choking as air came into my lungs. She held me up until the officer came. She could barely hold my weight, but she did until he took over holding me, and she loosened the sheet around my neck so I could be taken down.
I don’t know what made me decide to check up on me that day at that exact moment in time, but I do know that I would not be alive if she hadn’t cared enough to check. That’s the kind of person Pamela is – always caring and checking on others – saving lives in so many different ways. I hope you will consider giving her a time cut and allowing her to be a positive influence in society as well. Thank you for your consideration of what I have written.
In News on December 2, 2010 at 8:43 AM
The Oprah show will be re-airing its interview with Pamela Smart, Pame’s mother Linda Wojas, and Dr. Eleanor Pam on Friday, December 3rd: Pamela Smart Speaks Out.
Check your local listings for air-times.
And, please, sign the petition to free wrongly convicted Pamela Smart at change.org.
In News on November 18, 2010 at 2:16 PM
On November 15, Rehabilitation Through the Arts (RTA) had its 2010 benefit at the Five Angels Theater in New York City.
Honored at the benefit was New York State Commissioner of the Department of Correctional Services, Brian Fischer. In his speech, Commissioner Fischer recounted telling an audience at an RTA performance, What you see happening here is entertainment. What I see is rehabilitation.
One of the most emotional moments of the evening came after the performances, when two RTA alumni, Dewey Bozella and Jabbar Collins, were brought to the stage for a special mention, each having been released from prison after being exonerated – Jabbar was wrongfully imprisoned for 15 years, and Dewey for 26.
Rehabilitation Through the Arts is an organization Pamela Smart has been a member of for the last two years, as mentioned on our Achievements page and in our post about the December 2009 performance at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility.
In News on November 16, 2010 at 9:19 PM
Women Behind The Wall broadcast a program on November 9, 2010 that includes a lengthy interview with Linda Wojas, Pamela Smart’s mother, and Amy Newman (who was mentioned here on October 31).
The first 5 minutes or so of the program is about the Scott sisters.
The core question of the program is: “Why do women get harsher sentences than the men who commit the crimes?”
Listen to 4justicenow
In News on November 8, 2010 at 3:46 PM
Change.org has posted a petition, created by the Action Committee for Women in Prison, addressed to Governor John Lynch of New Hampshire.
Please visit and sign this petition using this link.
Here’s a copy of the text of the petition:
As you know, Pamela Smart has now been imprisoned for twenty (20) years. She is innocent. Her sentence of life without the possibility of parole is cruel and unusual in light of the fact that the admitted murderers of her husband, Gregg Smart, will soon be released. The state of New Hampshire has chosen to forgive those who were present, admitted their guilt, and then blamed her in order to later reclaim their lives.
Hers was the most sensationalized televised trial in New Hampshire history with gavel to gavel coverage. 1200 newspaper articles screamed her guilt during the proceedings. Yet, her jury was not sequestered. Nor was the trial delayed until the publicity and passion died down. Nor was the trial moved to another, more neutral venue, away from the small inflamed community where the murder was committed. The signatories below believe that Pamela Smart’s right to a fair trial was violated in that courtroom.
Governor Lynch, you have the power to right this terrible wrong. Please consider a sentence reduction, commutation or parole for this individual who has truly given of herself to others while unjustly imprisoned for these twenty (20) years.
In News on November 1, 2010 at 1:00 PM
The segment on Oprah featuring Juror Alec Beckett did not disclose the fact that this man took money by selling his story about the Pamela Smart trial to the Boston Globe. During the interview Beckett also stated that he “did not know of any example of jurors being tainted or talking out of school.”
We beg to differ.
While still in the jury pool, Juror Charlotte Jefts was overheard speaking to others in the room about the “wickedness of Pamela Smart.” However, when she was questioned as a potential jury member for the Smart trial, she falsely swore, under oath, that she was impartial and had no opinion of the defendant’s innocence or guilt. Jefts was then selected to serve on the jury which convicted Pamela Smart.
During the period when Juror Brian Adams was unsequestered, he denied being in a bar discussing the case with other patrons while the events of the day at Pamela Smart’s trial was being replayed on the television set there. However, the Wojas family received a police recorded telephone call reporting Adams was there, and talking about the case.
Juror Karen Sicard made tapes each night while unsequestered at home, then offered to sell the tapes to one of Pamela Smart’s attorneys for $25,000. We are in possession of signed affidavits from her neighbors, Keith and Dianne Ham, saying Sicard told them, “we’ve had a bad winter financially and I plan to sell the tapes to a movie or book company at the end of the trial.”
In News on October 31, 2010 at 9:55 PM
Amy Newman, who was a friend of Pamela and Greg Smart in college, runs the Free Pamela Smart page on Facebook. Amy is also a rock DJ on the Internet radio station Rock 100 DIZ, and recorded this announcement last week prior to the Lisa Ling interview with Pamela Smart on the Oprah Show.
In News on October 24, 2010 at 7:43 AM
The Oprah Winfrey Show site has posted an on-line version of Lisa Ling’s interview with Pamela Smart.
Pamela and Greg Smart
In 1989, Pamela Wojas was young and in love. She married her boyfriend, Gregg Smart, and the seemingly picture-perfect couple settled into a quiet, suburban condo in the small town of Derry, New Hampshire.
One year later, Gregg was brutally killed—and Pamela was put on trial in connection with his murder.
At the end of Pamela’s televised, sensationalized trial, a jury found her guilty of conspiracy to commit murder, and she was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole. Now, 20 years into her sentence, Pamela speaks with Lisa Ling from Bedford Hills Correctional Facility.