Eraina Pretty has been incarcerated for 42 years. She is the longest serving woman in the Maryland prison system. She should have been released years ago. She is now in the hospital. We want you to know why we’re #PrayingforMsPretty. #SurvivedandPunished
Ms. Pretty was 18 and being abused by a boyfriend who wanted her there while he robbed a convenience store. It was too dangerous to tell him no, so Ms. Pretty went. During the robbery, she fled. After she left, her boyfriend killed the store owner.
Charged with murder, Ms. Pretty pled guilty to avoid the death penalty and was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole. The judge told Ms. Pretty she would likely serve 20 years. Ms. Pretty’s lawyers expected her to serve 20 years. Ms. Pretty expected to serve 20 years.
Instead, she has been in prison for 42 years. She has been approved for parole by the Maryland Parole Commission twice but has been denied by the governor both times. She has spent 2/3 of her life in prison.
During the last 42 years, Ms. Pretty earned a B.A. in Sociology from Morgan State University. She has counseled and mentored other incarcerated people. She has not had an infraction in 18 years. She is an accomplished, nurturing woman who will work with juveniles if released.
Ms. Pretty has taken every program the prison has to offer. She has spent her time in prison helping others and finding ways to show her growth and remorse. She is not a violent person, though she was convicted of a violent crime. She is not a danger to society.
Ms. Pretty has lived most of her life in prison. She should not die there. We are #PrayingforMsPretty to recover and to be released, and we hope that you will help us share her story.