May 26, 2015 6:18 PM

Author Joyce Maynard: Pamela Smart should be paroled

CONCORD- The author who wrote "To Die For," a novel loosely based upon convicted felon Pamela Smart, has asked the Governor to have mercy on the incarcerated woman, and offer her parole.

But an official from Maggie Hassan's office says that will not happen.

Smart is serving a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole, after a jury found her guilty of conspiring to kill her husband with Billy Flynn, a 15-year-old boy she made her lover after meeting him during a drug awareness program at a Winnacunnet High School, where she served as a media coordinator.

Smart has always maintained that she returned to her Derry condo on May 1, 1990, to find it ransacked and her husband shot to death. Prosecutors claimed Smart convinced Flynn to kill her husband, Gregory, using sexual manipulation.

Smart was 22-years-old at the time.

Flynn and his three accomplices were all sent to prison. He was granted parole in March, and will soon be released.

Joyce Maynard, who was originally from Durham, wrote the fictional tale, "To Die For," prior to Smart's trial, but after reading a few newspaper articles on the allegations against her. Maynard said in a letter dated March 3 that Smart has earned two advanced degrees and works well with her fellow inmates.

Maynard suggested to Hassan that Smart could have a more meaningful and productive life if released from prison.

Maynard also added four personal paragraphs, in which she declares again for the record that the character Nicole Kidman played in the 1994 film is completely imaginary.

"If the existence of the film adaptation of the book has contributed in any way to a public perception of Pamela Smart as a ruthlessly ambitious killer, I will say: this was not my intent," Maynard wrote.

The letter was written to Hassan approximately a week before the re-release of a French version of the movie. A French version of her book will also be re-released, Maynard said in a Facebook post from the time.

Today, William Hinkle, communications director for Hassan, said that she does not believe in overturning jury verdicts unless there is clear evidence of a miscarriage of justice.

"There is not an outstanding pardon or commutation petition for Pamela Smart," Hinkle said. "At this time, the Governor has not been presented any new information that would warrant consideration of a pardon, even if such a petition existed."

  • Story Photo
    A letter from Joyce Maynard to Governor Hassan
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