(NECN: Brian Burnell, East Lyme, Conn.) - Bonnie Jean Foreshaw has spent more than two and a half decades behind bars for shooting Joyce Amos to death in Hartford, Conn. in 1986.
Amos was sixth months pregnant and her unborn son also did not survive. Amos' family sat just a few feet from her killer as Foreshaw asked the State Board of Pardons and Paroles to set her free. There is compelling evidence that Foreshaw's public defender did a horrible job. Not that she denies committing the crime, but she and her supporters say her 45 year sentence was unjust.
Foreshaw was at a bar when a man offered to buy her a drink. She turned him down and left but the man followed her, cursing and threatening her. Once outside they came across Amos, who tried to get the man to calm down. Foreshaw pulled a gun and fired as the man pulled Amos in front of him.
Tamara Miller is Joyce Amos' daughter. She told the board, "But Bonnie then walked away, got in her car and drove off as if nothing had happened."
Bonnie Foreshaw told the panel that she didn't think she'd hit anyone when she fired that shot. She said when she saw Joyce Amos slump she thought she was ducking because of the sound of the gun shot.
Foreshaw also said, "Miss Amos was a mother, she was a sister, she was a daughter just like I am. That night when she died a part of me died with her. My life changed forever. I'm going to live with remorse for the rest of my life."
The panel voted unanimously to grant clemency, saying Foreshaw has been rehabilitated and is unlikely to commit another crime. Amos' family accepts the decision... Grudgingly.
Ahmed Gibson is Joyce Amos’ Brother.
"It wasn't the correct decision. We're going to respect the decision as a family. That's the way the law works. We're law abiding people. And ... justice wasn't served. This is a big loss for my family," he says.
The happiness on the other side of the room is tempered.
Silva Robinson is Foreshaw's Daughter.
"It's going to be a big family reunion but still I would like to send my condolences out to the Joyce Amos family," she says.
Bonnie Foreshaw will be released from prison on Nov. 15.