EAST LYME, Conn. (AP) _ A Connecticut woman who has been in prison for 27 years on a murder conviction is getting a chance for early release with a rare state clemency hearing Wednesday.
The hearing for Bonnie Jean Foreshaw in front of the Board of Pardons and Paroles is set to begin Wednesday morning at Gates Correctional Institution in East Lyme.
The board could make a decision Wednesday, and it’s possible Foreshaw could be freed later in the day if she is granted clemency, state officials said. The board also could deny clemency or approve her release at a later date, officials said.
The 66-year-old Foreshaw, a former Bloomfield resident born in Jamaica, is serving a 45-year prison sentence for premeditated murder for the 1986 killing of a pregnant woman, Joyce Amos, in Hartford. She is scheduled to be freed in August 2017 including time off for good behavior, but her lawyer is seeking her immediate release.
Foreshaw’s supporters say she didn’t get a fair trial, should have been charged with the lesser crime of manslaughter and freed years ago because she shot Amos by accident. They say a man, Hector Freeman, was threatening Foreshaw and pulled Amos in front of himself when Foreshaw pulled a gun and fired.
Court rulings in Foreshaw’s appeals, however, say she had a chance to walk away from the argument with Freeman and did leave the scene, but went to her car and returned with the gun.
Wednesday’s hearing is the second clemency hearing granted by the Board of Pardons and Paroles in the last decade.
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