Linda Lee Smith

News Article About Ms. Smith:
CHILD ENDANGERMENT - More Women Charged With Failure to Protect Their Kids From Violence - 5/27/05

Letter to Governor Schwarzenegger

Fact Sheet: Linda Lee Smith (W-15143)

Inmate at California Institution for Women, Corona, CA

  • Convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 15 years to life in the death of her two-year-old daughter, Amy
    • Has served an actual 24 years, but with standard good behavior credit this amounts to 32 years served; this is the same time frame as for first degree murder- not her sentence
  • Board of Prison Terms found suitable for parole 6 times: 1989, 1992, 1999, 2002, 2003 and 2004
    • Decision overturned by Governor each time
  • Governor Schwarzenegger's stated reasons for overturning Ms. Smith's parole: the victim was her own 2-year-old daughter, the District Attorney strongly opposed her release and Battered Women Syndrome was not a mitigating circumstance in this case
    • Eyewitness account of the victim's sister, Bethany, is that her actual crime was in not stopping her live-in boyfriend at the time from beating her daughter to death
      • This man received the same conviction and has not been found suitable for parole
    • The District Attorney has historically opposed release, but not enough to come to hearings or to even write a letter for the 2003 hearing
      • However, all of the victim's next-of-kin, including the victim's natural father and her sister (eyewitness to the crime) are in support of Ms. Smith's parole
    • While Ms. Smith's victim was not her batterer, the fact that she was a battered woman was significant in her inaction to stop the crime
  • Ms. Smith has been a model prisoner and has successfully rehabilitated
    • Has remained disciplinary free during her 24 years of incarceration
    • Earned her BS degree in Psychology/Human Development from Univ. of La Verne
    • Currently working towards Master of Divinity degree from Fuller Theological Seminary
    • Part of Ministry Team for 22 years, providing music and services to the psychiatric unit
    • Last 11 years worked in CIW Mental Health Department as peer helper, teaching classes
    • Award-winning artist, supplementing income by selling artwork in Hobbycrafts progrm
    • Currently participating in Graphic Arts vocational program
  • California prisons are extremely overcrowded with an average cost of $31,000/year per inmate
    • It has cost upward of $310,000 to keep Ms. Smith in prison since the first time her parole was rescinded by then Governor Pete Wilson
    • Board of Prison Terms determined multiple times that keeping Ms. Smith in prison is a waste of taxpayers' money
    • Ms. Smith will only contribute to society upon release
  • Linda Lee Smith was granted parole on December 23, 2004 by the Board of Prison Terms

We need your help to convince the governor that releasing her is the right thing to do

Ms. Smith can be reached at:
Linda Lee Smith, W-15143
C.I.W. Miller-A 50-U
16756 Chino-Corona Road
Corona, CA 92880-9508

Fact Sheet Author and Daughter:
Bethany McDermott
525 First Street
Orland, CA 95963
(530) 865-9277