Board Recommends Clemency for Woman Convicted in 1977 Murder

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The Arkansas parole board today recommended clemency for a woman convicted of capital murder in the 1977 kidnapping and slaying of a Little Rock man.

By a 3-1 vote, the board recommended that Governor Beebe commute Twyanna Faye Martin's life sentence and make her eligible for parole.

The Pulaski County prosecutor and the sheriff both objected to the clemency request.  The governor is to consider the recommendation after a 30-day comment period.

Martin, now 49, and three others were convicted in the kidnapping and death of 17-year-old Calvin Earl Smith.  Martin was 19 at the time.

Authorities say Smith was abducted from a restaurant in Little Rock in 1977 and driven across the Arkansas River to North Little Rock, where he was pushed into the river from an 18-foot high dock or he jumped to escape his captors.  His body was found five days later.

On her clemency application, Martin said she was making the request because she's serving time for a crime she didn't commit.  But she also says she has sought forgiveness from Smith's family.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)