"A Carlisle woman, who spent 42 years behind bars after being sentenced to two life sentences in a 1972 double-murder arson case, was released from state prison Monday, two weeks after her conviction was overturned, pending a new trial. Letitia Smallwood, 62, was released from SCI Muncy on Monday, according to Marissa Bluestine, legal director of the Pennsylvania Innocence Project, which is conducting Smallwood’s defense. “This is what we agreed upon with the Commonwealth, so it is not any big surprise, but we are just happy that we were able to get this accomplished relatively quickly after the judge authorized her to able to be released on bail,” she said. Smallwood — who was a 20-year-old student studying to become a hearing disability specialist — was convicted in a jury trial on Jan. 11, 1973, after the Aug. 29, 1972, fire that destroyed the apartment building at 11 N. Pitt St., and killed Steven Johnson, 26, and Paula Wagner, 23. Prosecutors said a lovers’ quarrel prompted her to set fire to the building, but her attorneys have argued that modern fire science has since discounted the theories once used in arson cases.........No date is set for the retrial."
Three good bills in CrimJur committee Monday
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