Author Jeffrey Toobin describes the 1974 kidnapping and its aftermath in a new book, “American Heiress.” Terry Gross interviews Toobin on the Fresh Air podcast:
Hearst was eventually captured by the FBI, convicted of bank robbery and sentenced to seven years in federal prison. She served 22 months before President Jimmy Carter commuted her sentence. Later, President Bill Clinton pardoned her.
Toobin calls the presidential actions on Hearst’s behalf an example of “wealth and privilege in action.”
“The fact that she got these two presidential gestures of forgiveness is the purest example of privilege on display that frankly I have ever seen in the criminal justice system,” Toobin says.