Woman Paroled After Serving Forty-Nine Years in Prison

Forty-nine years after Betty Smithey was sent to prison for the murder of a toddler, she’s able to leave a free woman.


A woman whom is credited as being the longest- incarcerated female in the United States has been paroled after serving 49 years behind bars. When asked about beginning her road to recovery, 68-year-old Betty Smithey said it started from forgiveness. The mother of the toddler she was accused of killing when she was a teen, wrote her a letter 19 years after the fact stating she forgave Smithy for what she had done.

Smithy said she was so stricken by the act of generosity that she began to realize she was responsible for making changes to her life.

Though she faces many obstacles on the outside world, including not having many family members she still speaks with, the parole board and other interested parties are hoping Smithy will be able to cope with life as a free woman.