Who wouldn’t support a woman who still wears the Scarlet Letter and is hated by an unforgiving public that has been fed poison and lies by the media for 30 years?

~ Dr. Eleanor Pam




Thank you and Welcome from Dr. Pamela Smart

Join us as we work to #FreePamSmart



My name is Dr. Eleanor Pam and I am pleased to be invited to write this introductory section

for the official Pamela Smart Web site. It is my hope that the public will grow to believe, as I do,

in her innocence and eventually know her as a uniquely gifted and special person–not the

stereotypical monster created by the media.


Pamela Smart has been in prison for 31 years, more than half her lifetime.  She was only 22 years old when she was incarcerated and is now in her fifties.  She has consistently denied any role in her husband’s murder and, unlike the admitted killers, refused to plea bargain in exchange for her freedom. She would not, will not, and cannot admit to acts she did not commit, the dilemma of all innocent people. Guilty people usually try to make the best deal for themselves, as happened in this case.  All are now free, including those who did the actual killing, confessed to it and made deals conditioned on blaming Pamela Smart for their own criminal behavior.  Each is able to reclaim his life.  But Pamela Smart, who not even there and denies all involvement, is sentenced to spend the rest of her natural life in prison. What’s wrong with this picture? 




Certainly, the trial, conviction, sentence and unspeakable hardships she suffered while in prison--including a sexual assault by a guard and a brutal beating by inmates, resulting in physical disfigurements and permanent injuries and pain!   But prefacing and reinforcing everything is the inaccurate, persistent and pernicious narratives about the essential character of Pamela Smart.  Who is she, really?  And who, indeed, are these boy murderers?   Flynn ascribes his criminal acts to her, asserts that she has taken from him his innocence, taken advantage of his sexual inexperience.  But is he truly her victim--or is she his?   Although there are many--too many--here are two examples of false claims that have been significantly prejudicial in shaping public and media perception against her.. 


The narrative of Pamela Smart as Billy Flynn's teacher is false.  She was never a teacher; she was certainly not his teacher.


The narrative of poor, besotted, Billy Flynn, the virgin,, is also false.  He was active and sexually experienced and even had a girlfriend with whom he was intimate at the same time he was with Pamela Smart.  We have her name; we know who she is.


I met Pamela Smart in 1993 during the first year of her incarceration at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility. Since then, I have visited her regularly and frequently. This relationship includes close, personal contact with her family as well.  In addition, I twice served as her Academic Mentor while she earned two Masters Degrees, each time with perfect grades, graduating Summa Cum Laude and as a Valedictorian.  Since then, she has added a doctoral degree in Bible Studies to her outstanding record and resume, again with a perfect scholastic score as a straight A student.


Pamela Smart is-now also an ordained Minister.  She currently resides in the Honor

Floor Housing of the prison--a privilege she earned and is reserved for only the most

well behaved inmates.  Moreover, she was elected as an Inmate Grievance

Representative and has served as a representative and president of the highly

regarded Inmate Liaison Committee, a group that meets regularly with the prison

administration.  These are only a few of her considerable achievements and

contributions during her lengthy incarceration.   It seems extraordinary to me that a

person serving the draconian sentence of a lifetime imprisonment without the

possibility of parole has the will and character to academically achieve at this level in

order to help other inmates further their education and improve the quality of their



At this point the reader might be wondering why my perceptions about Pamela Smart

should merit consideration–especially since my views seem to fly in the face of popular belief. It’s a fair question.


Some background then: I have been a professor at the City University of New York for 34 years with a special and ongoing interest in areas involving women and violence–and especially incarcerated women. In addition, I served, for eight years, as a Member of Rudolph Giuliani’s Mayoral Commission to Combat Family Violence, participated in FBI think tanks about intimate violence and the police, founded and directed the Domestic Violence Research Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and worked in its Inmate Education Program. Over the years, I have met many incarcerated females who I believe are guilty of their crimes and deserve the sentences they receive. Pamela Smart is not one of them.


Why do I believe that? There are multiple factual and compelling reasons, but in the end it also comes down to character. Through long and direct observation, I know Pam as a real person–someone who saves lives, not someone who could take life; as an impoverished inmate who gives away or shares her meager worldly goods, not as a materialist who covets possessions and money.  I know her as a compassionate and humane woman who finds it unbearable to hurt anyone’s feelings, much less cause bodily harm.


There were many perceived irregularities in Pamela Smart’s trial which resulted in her conviction and included among other things: juror misconduct, improper ex part communications, defendants who watched each other testify on television prior to giving their own testimony, and a transcript of a wire worn by a key prosecution witness which was never authenticated and which was transcribed, not by a neutral, licensed, professional transcriber which is standard, required procedure, but by a personal secretary in the office of Chief Prosecutor, Paul Maggiotto--a fact which he kept secret for obvious reasons. 


Moreover, an independent lab report later noted a number of “anomalies” in the tape “which cast serious doubt on the authenticity of the original recordings.” This, together with the self-serving testimony of the boys who did the actual killing and who plea bargained their way to lighter sentences by fingering Ms. Smart as the instigator in the murder, comprised the entirety of the case against Ms. Smart.


Separately and subsequently, Prosecutor Maggiotto was disciplined by the Bar Association for serious ethical and professional misconduct in having a sexual relationship with his client and most

recently, he was exposed and disciplined for having concealed important evidence in a

case that he prosecuted prior to Ms. Smart's. 


Currently, we are preparing a petition for Sentence Reduction which we will, once

again, be bringing before the New Hampshire Governor and Executive Council in the

hopes thatthey will grant  Pamela Smart a hearing and eventual vote.  She has never

received either although hundreds of people have written letters on her behalf, attesting

to her good character, multiple accomplishments and strong values.  These

testimonials and letters of support come from all walks of life--prison administrators,

guards andinmates--as well as religious leaders, academics, authors, politicians,

friends and many people who have never met her but are sympathetic to her situation,

moved by her story and angered by its many inequities..


It is my hope that the national conversation about Pamela Smart will one day not be

so one-sided and that the real facts of Gregg Smart’s terrible murder and Pamela

Smart’s unfair conviction be revisited and finally redressed. It is my hope that she will

someday be reunited with her family in freedom. 


This web site is an essential conduit in establishing communication with a

compassionate and enlightened public, which could make those things happen. 

Please feel free to contact me if you have information to share or questions to ask.  




Thank you for being here with us.


Eleanor Pam, PhD            

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Pamela Smart 93GO356

Bedford Hills Correctional Facility

247 Harris Rd, Unit 114C-23

Bedford Hills, NY 10507-2499

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