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Maryland’s longest-serving woman prisoner has been released

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Posted at 2:31 PM, Dec 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-14 14:31:19-05

BALTIMORE — Maryland’s longest-serving woman prisoner has been granted her release from jail.

A judge ruled in favor of a joint motion brought by Lawyers from the University of Maryland and the Baltimore City SAO’s Sentencing Review Unit (SRU), resulting in the release of Eraina Pretty.

Pretty pled guilty to 1st Degree Murder, Use of a Handgun in a Crime of Violence and Accessory After the Fact (in a different case) on September 19, 1978.

Pretty was 18 at the age of the crime and has served 42 years. The SRU was approached by Lila Meadows and Leigh Goodmark of University of Maryland Law School, who represent Pretty.

After a thorough review led by Deputy State’s Attorney Jan Bledsoe, State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby agreed to support Pretty’s release.

“The role of the prosecutor is not simply to seek future justice. The pursuit of justice is timeless, and that means we must also correct the injustices of the past,” said State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby. “Ms. Pretty has served 42 years in prison. She has not only redeemed herself but exemplifies the need for second chances in our criminal justice system and while we recognize the hurt and trauma that lives everyday with the survivors of this unfortunate incident, we remain committed to ensuring restorative support as they heal.”

While in prison, Pretty obtained her associate and bachelor’s degrees. She has a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Morgan State University. She also completed courses in pre-employment job readiness, personal computing, and introduction to databases.

She also worked as a data entry clerk for over 20 years and spent time with Baltimore Braille Association assembling books for the blind.

She served as a facilitator in the Stopping Criminal Activity, Recovery, Extremely and Maintaining (SCREAM) Program and worked with the Canine Partners Program for multiple years.

She has received numerous certificates of appreciation for her leadership roles in events and projects, like self-help luncheons and Operation Smile, an organization that provides surgeries to repair facial deformities for children around the world.

As part of the process, the office consulted with the family of the victims, and informed them of the hearing.

The office also reviewed her record while incarcerated, her reentry plan, qualifications gained while in prison, and more. As part of the agreement, Pretty will be sent to a reentry facility and placed on probation for five years.

Last week, Baltimore City SAO announced the creation of a Sentencing Review Unit (SRU).

RELATED: Marilyn Mosby launches sentencing review unit to get older inmates out of prison early amid COVID-19 pandemic

The SRU reviews cases of certain incarcerated people like Pretty to determine whether the office supports their release.

Pretty is the second incarcerated person that the SRU supported for release.