Petition filed at NH Supreme Court

An attorney for Pamela Smart has filed a petition at the New Hampshire Supreme Court over her right for a hearing on a petition for commutation.In a filing Friday, Pamela Smart, who is serving a life-without-parole sentence for her role in the killing of her husband, Gregg Smart, in 1990, questions whether Gov. Chris Sununu and the New Hampshire Executive Council can “refuse to consider granting a hearing” on her petition for commutation of her sentence.In a statement issued by the New Hampshire Judicial Branch’s communications office that cites Supreme Court Rule 11(6), the court can deny the petition if it “is of the opinion that the petition should not be granted,” the court can accept and schedule a briefing regarding “any question presented in the petition” or the court could order that governor and Executive Council’s answer to the petition be “filed within the time fixed by the order.”Pamela Smart’s third request for a commutation hearing was denied in March. In a written statement, spokesperson Eleanor Pam said Pamela Smart hopes that the state Supreme Court will allow her to resubmit her petition to the Executive Council.”She was never given the opportunity to show rehabilitation after 32 years of incarceration and that her return to the community would pose no threat upon release,” Pam said. “Both were comprehensively and robustly demonstrated in her petition, which included, among others, support from the long-serving prison superintendent, correctional officials and religious leaders. None of these proofs were discussed by members of the Executive Council or referenced in the opposition writings of the attorney general.”In a letter Pamela Smart sent to the governor and Executive Council in September to request the hearing, she wrote that she has accepted her role in Gregg Smart’s death.>> Timeline: Pamela Smart case”I have now spent over 31 years in prison, more than half my life. I apologize to the entire Smart family, my own family, and all who were directly or indirectly impacted by my actions and misjudgment,” she wrote. “For many years, I blamed others for my incarceration because I was immature, selfish and proud. I refused to see my own role in Gregg’s death. … It took years, even decades, for me to accept responsibility, and I must carry that burden.”In a 55-page response to Pamela Smart’s letter filed March 2 by the attorney general’s office, Associate Attorney General Jeff Strelzin recommended the petition be denied.Strelzin urged the Executive Council to view Pamela Smart’s request for mercy in light of “overwhelming evidence of her guilt.””Decades of lies cannot be undone in an instant by newfound claims of remorse and vague acceptance of responsibility,” Strelzin wrote.If a commutation hearing is ever held, Gov. Chris Sununu would then decide whether Pamela Smart should be eligible for parole.Pamela Smart is the only person convicted in connection with Gregg Smart’s death still in prison.

An attorney for Pamela Smart has filed a petition at the New Hampshire Supreme Court over her right for a hearing on a petition for commutation.

In a filing Friday, Pamela Smart, who is serving a life-without-parole sentence for her role in the killing of her husband, Gregg Smart, in 1990, questions whether Gov. Chris Sununu and the New Hampshire Executive Council can “refuse to consider granting a hearing” on her petition for commutation of her sentence.

In a statement issued by the New Hampshire Judicial Branch’s communications office that cites Supreme Court Rule 11(6), the court can deny the petition if it “is of the opinion that the petition should not be granted,” the court can accept and schedule a briefing regarding “any question presented in the petition” or the court could order that governor and Executive Council’s answer to the petition be “filed within the time fixed by the order.”

Pamela Smart’s third request for a commutation hearing was denied in March.

In a written statement, spokesperson Eleanor Pam said Pamela Smart hopes that the state Supreme Court will allow her to resubmit her petition to the Executive Council.

“She was never given the opportunity to show rehabilitation after 32 years of incarceration and that her return to the community would pose no threat upon release,” Pam said. “Both were comprehensively and robustly demonstrated in her petition, which included, among others, support from the long-serving prison superintendent, correctional officials and religious leaders. None of these proofs were discussed by members of the Executive Council or referenced in the opposition writings of the attorney general.”

In a letter Pamela Smart sent to the governor and Executive Council in September to request the hearing, she wrote that she has accepted her role in Gregg Smart’s death.

>> Timeline: Pamela Smart case

“I have now spent over 31 years in prison, more than half my life. I apologize to the entire Smart family, my own family, and all who were directly or indirectly impacted by my actions and misjudgment,” she wrote. “For many years, I blamed others for my incarceration because I was immature, selfish and proud. I refused to see my own role in Gregg’s death. … It took years, even decades, for me to accept responsibility, and I must carry that burden.”

In a 55-page response to Pamela Smart’s letter filed March 2 by the attorney general’s office, Associate Attorney General Jeff Strelzin recommended the petition be denied.

Strelzin urged the Executive Council to view Pamela Smart’s request for mercy in light of “overwhelming evidence of her guilt.”

“Decades of lies cannot be undone in an instant by newfound claims of remorse and vague acceptance of responsibility,” Strelzin wrote.

If a commutation hearing is ever held, Gov. Chris Sununu would then decide whether Pamela Smart should be eligible for parole.

Pamela Smart is the only person convicted in connection with Gregg Smart’s death still in prison.

https://www.wmur.com/article/pamela-smart-new-hampshire-supreme-court-petition/39738268

Christin Hakim

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