Pamela Smart, convicted in 1991 of helping orchestrate the murder of her husband with the help of her 15-year-old lover, has taken responsibility for her actions in a new clemency plea. Smart, who was 22 when she was convicted as an accomplice to the murder of her husband Gregg Smart, has told a parole board in New Hampshire that she is sorry. “It took years, even decades, for me to accept responsibility and I must carry that burden, alone and deservedly, for the rest of my life recognizing that the pain and suffering I caused are irreparable,” Smart wrote to Gov. Chris Sununu. “I apologize to the entire Smart family, my own family, and all who were directly or indirectly impacted by my actions and misjudgment. I blamed others for my incarceration because I was immature, selfish and proud. I refused to see my own role in Gregg’s death and instead referred blame elsewhere.”
Smart, whose story inspired the Joyce Maynard novel To Die For and the subsequent Gus Van Sant movie, is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole and was refused clemency as recently as 2019. Her then-boyfriend William Flynn and three friends had tried to stage the murder of Smart to look like a failed robbery. Flynn was released in 2015 after serving nearly 25 years for his role in the murder.