University of Southern California

Lydia Smith

In 1978, Lydia’s husband was fatally shot by three men who were seen fleeing the scene of the crime. The shooters were never identified, and Lydia was charged with the murder. Although she has always maintained her innocence, Lydia was convicted and sentenced to seven years to life in prison. Lydia served more than thirty years in prison before her release in 2011.

The Board of Parole Hearings found Lydia suitable for parole on March 9, 2011. The Board concluded that Lydia had not wasted her time in prison, even though she maintained her innocence and claimed to have been unfairly convicted. For thirty years, Lydia actively participated in groups, programs and classes with the the intent of improving herself. For example, the Board praised Lydia for her participation in classes and groups dedicated to faiths other than her own in order to learn about the beliefs of others. In granting Lydia parole, the Board also recognized her spotless disciplinary record throughout her incarceration. Indeed, in over thirty years, Lydia remained a model inmate, and was never involved in any serious disciplinary violation.

In August 2011, Governor Jerry Brown allowed Lydia’s grant of parole to stand, and she was finally released.

Designed by PCJP in Los Angeles, California
©2017 The Post-Conviction Justice Project