Pam Smart asks Supreme Court to weigh in on her right to a hearing for possible release from prison

Pam Smart, whose petition to have her life sentence reviewed and possibly commuted was rejected by the New Hampshire Executive Council three weeks ago, hasn’t given up on her bid to be released from prison.

This time, Smart – convicted of masterminding the execution-style murder of her husband, Gregg Smart, 32 years ago – filed a petition with the Supreme Court arguing she was wrongly denied a hearing.

The filing by attorney Mark Sisti of Chichester, called a Writ of Mandamus, asks the Supreme Court to rule that Gov. Chris Sununu and the Council erred in their decision not to re-examine Smart’s sentence, which gave her no chance at parole.

“She now requests that this court issue a writ of mandamus ordering the governor and the Council to accept resubmission of her petition and schedule a hearing on that petition,” Sisti wrote.

Smart’s request for a hearing to argue for a reduction in her life sentence was rejected in a 5-0 vote by the Executive Council in March. It was the third time the council rejected her request. Smart is now 54 years old and has exhausted all of her judicial appeal options.

Her supporters, including friends, family, fellow inmates, academics and corrections officials, have documented the reasons that Smart should be freed, citing the multiple Master’s degrees she’s earned while incarcerated.

She’s also an ordained minister, and has served as a positive role model for many hardended criminals.

“This evidence,” Sisit said in his filing, “when viewed objectively, clearly demonstrates the positive changes necessary for one to be deemed fit to return to society without posing a threat to the community.”

Sisti added that the council wasn’t properly interpreting the prison system’s role, saying, “This refusal to even consider her request is contrary to the true design of all punishment (which is) to reform and results in Ms. Smart’s extermination under Article 18 in the State Constitution.”

Smart, who was convicted as an accomplice to first degree murder, was a 22-year-old media services consultant at Winnacuunet High School when she began an affair with a 15-year-old student, Bill Flynn, who she convinced to kill her husband, allowing Flynn and Smart to begin their own life together.

Flynn and fellow Winnnacunnet classmate Patrick Randall entered the Smarts’ Derry condominium and ambushed Gregg Smart. They forced Gregg to his knees, and while Randall held a knife to his throat, Flynn shot Gregg in the head, killing him.

Since then, Flynn, Randall and another high school accomplice have been released from prison, adding to what Smart’s allies claim is an unfair justice system that has set the shooter free, while leaving a person who was not even at the scene of the crime in prison.

Sisti could not be reached for comment. Smart’s mother, Linda Wojas, declined to comment when reached by phone Friday.

Initially, Wojas had her doubts about her daughter’s innocence, telling the Monitor three years ago that “I entertained the possibility. I bought what Billy Flynn said,” during the trial.

Smart, however, convinced her mother that Flynn was a chameleon, a good actor, a person who could change color at any moment to fool people.

Since then, Wojas, who lives with her husband on Lake Winnisquam, has voiced a strong opinion in support of her daughter. She acknowledges that Smart’s affair with Flynn was wrong, but believes Smart had no idea what the students were planning.

“The truth is, my daughter is innocent,” Wojas said in the previous interview with the Monitor. “I feel hopeless many, many times, but that doesn’t mean I’m not hopeful. I am.”

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