Nov. 27, 2019

Betsy Kelly is paroled from the Correctional Institution for Women in Raleigh.

In January she accepted a plea of “no contest” and a sentence of seven years in prison. Since she had already served two years and two weeks in jail, she became eligible for parole almost immediately. But Assistant Attorney General Bill Hart, fuming over her unwavering insistence that she was innocent, reneged on an agreement not to challenge her release, and the Parole Commission kept her imprisoned another 10 months.

Betsy Kelly’s no contest plea disqualifies her from the National Registry of Exonerations, but she is surely as innocent as the rest of the Edenton Seven – that is, completely innocent, Bill Hart be damned.