Longest-Serving Female Lifer Freed: After 49 years in jail, 69-year-old Betty Smithey hobbled out of prison with the help of a cane. She had managed to escape four times between 1974 and 1981, but this time she left with clemency. Arizona governor Jan Brewer granted Smithey a commutation of her sentence, following the latest recommendation from the parole board. “It’s wonderful driving down the road and not seeing any barbed wire,” Smithey said. She had been sentenced to life without the possibility of parole in 1963 for the murder of a 15-month-old child she had been babysitting. Smithey was the longest-serving female inmate in US history.