Without looking it up: Did Patty Hearst go free?

The Dope set me straight about this case today, and I was shocked by how wrong I’ve been about it, and for how long. I’d like to know if I’m the only one, so please, without looking it up, answer the poll as to whether or not she was found innocent due to Stockholm Syndrome.

I pretty much had to guess this one, but it turned out I’d guessed right.

All I know she heard the burst of Roland’s Thompson gun, and bought it.

I just read a book that mentioned her case a few times, so I got it right.

You forgot the option : I know who she is, but have no memory of how it ended up for her.

She was pardoned.

First her sentence was commuted, then later she was pardoned. A certain amount of time must pass before a person can be pardoned of a felon, and so she was pardoned by Clinton, but Carter had already commuted her sentence to time served.

Fun fact: Emily Harris taught at one of the middle schools that fed into the Indiana high school I went to, and several of my high school teachers taught with her, as well as a number of my friends older sibs having had her as an English teacher before she tuned in, turned on, dropped out, and joined the Symbionese Liberation Army. One teacher said the only odd thing anyone noticed about her was that she biked to work back when there was a literal “dress” (or skirt) code for teachers, so she biked in wearing jeans and sneakers, and changed in the bathroom.

I have several “six degrees of separation” that go through her, like Kathleen Turner, since Hearst started doing movie cameos.

I read her book, and as she pointed out she was told she hadn’t been brainwashed and went along willingly with the SLA about the same time Jim Jones’s cult wasn’t brainwashed into mass suicide.

Hearst got a very raw deal at the beginning, and I am so glad she was released, pardoned, and went on to lead a happy life.

That’s the exact post I was going to post as well.

This was a case where family money and social status made a difference. The pardon still grates a little for me. There were special circumstances and commuting the sentence to time served made sense. She did serve 22 months.

I don’t know. In her case (I’m not saying that money and social status don’t matter in general), I’ve been told by people who would know (mainly a now-retired judge and a distinguished criminal lawyer, who were both active and following the case at the time) that she had an expensive, but grandstanding and incompetent, legal team for her defense.

Both were of the opinion that a decent lawyer would have gotten an acquittal.

I was a teenager when the trial took place. I have no special knowledge of what went on, but I remember being VERY surprised that Patty Hearst was convicted, since it looked to me as if any decent, competent lawyer could have gotten her off.

Almost everyone at the time ASSUMED that a rich family like hers would have the best possible lawyers and would get her acquitted. Her conviction MAY have resulted from bad lawyering… but her refusal to testify against the SLA also worked against her.

What do you know? I guessed right. I was pretty young at the time, and always doubted she was brainwashed. Figured she got off because she was rich.

And when is Obama going to do something about the problems in Symbonia? I think he should invade.

I know that this isn’t a debate, but, I think that the pic of her with a machine gun, and testimony (??) that she fired a machine gun at the one hold up is what got her convicted. Right or wrong, who knows? Cares?
ETA: Just read **astorian’s **post about her refusing to testify against the SLA. Slam dunk for the prosecution, in my book.


For people who don’t buy the brainwashing, what do they think is the alternative? That she was kidnapped/raped/tortured and then just decided of her own free will to go along with it? I’ve never understood that.

Misspelling “innocent” in the poll area indicates that you did not copy and paste, which in turn indicates it didn’t happen.

I once lived around the corner from the house where she’d been kidnapped, but by that time, I think she was best known for being in John Waters’ movies.

So obviously she went free. Why do you ask? Are there people who think she’s still in prison?

No. At the time I believed she hadn’t been really kidnapped. The whole thing was faked so she could run off and play with her wannabe radical friends. At the same time, sticking it to rich, distant daddy. Just like a typical young girl.:slight_smile:

Under that assumption, if you listened to the first tape of her after the kidnapping, you’d have to give her the Academy Award. It was absolutely chilling.