Members of Congress hold press conferences and sign letters demanding action.
The FBI agent in charge of the case and six members of the jury who voted for conviction ask now for mercy.
An Atlanta attorney approaches his old friend, Attorney General Griffin B. Bell, for advice on how to help the daughter of another friend.
After years of silence, officials of the family newspaper chain publish front-page columns pleading for leniency.
All are participants in a diverse and rapidly growing lobbying campaign to free Patricia Hearst.
Supporters of the San Francisco heiress, who is serving a prison term for armed robbery she committed after being kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army in 1974, are asking that President Carter commute her seven-year sentence.
The procedure is a rare one, usually reserved for prisoners suffering from terminal illness, according to Raymond P. Theim, one of the Justice Department pardon attorneys working on the Hearst case.
The pardon attorney's office has received more than 2,000 letters and petitions most calling for Hearst's release, Thim said. "It's on of our larger campaigns," he said.
The Sept. 25 clemency petition was delivered to Justice by Rep. Leo Ryan (D-Calif.) and Sen. S. I. Hayakawa (R-Calif.) - not by the family attorney, as is usually the case.
George C. Martinez, Hearst's attorney, insisted in a recent phone interview from San Francisco that no one is orchestrating the effort.
"It would be a disservice to the family to imply they are behind it." Martinez said. "If anything, they have remained silent so they wouldn't be accused of trying to use their influence."
Interviews with some of those involved in the effort to have Hearst's sentence reduced bear this out.
An aide for Ryan said the congressman got interested in the case on his own several months ago after visiting the prison where his constituent has been held since being returned to custoday in May.
A letter circulated by Ryan supporting Hearst's release was signed by 48 House members, the aide said.
Earlier this month Reg Murphy, editor of the San Francisco Examiner - owned by Randolph H. Hearst, father of the 24-year-old prisoner - wrote a column asking she be freed.
"He [Randolph Hearst] didn't know I was writing it," Murphy said in a phone interview last week. "He doesn't have anything to do with the editorial policy of this paper."
Murphy said he broke a three-year silence on the Hearst case because William and Emily Harris, the last remnants of the SLA, recently had pleaded guilty to kidnapping Hearst.
"I don't think she'd be in prison at all if her name wasn't Hearst," he said.
Charle Bates, the special agent in charge of the FBI office in San Francisco during the hunt for Patricia Hearst, said he believes she "should be treated like anyone else . . . I've seen hundreds of bank robbery cases in my experience. At times I've spoken out if I felt the sentence was too light. Why not if it's too heavy?" who introduced Hearst's parents to each other, was so concerned about the lingering prison sentence, he said, that back in July he asked Bell, another old friend, for advice. He was referred to Cecil McCall, head of the U.S. Parole Commission, Loke said in a recent phone interview.
Loke emphasized that he approached Bell only as a friend of the Hearst family, not their attorney. "I didn't go to him for anything except some advice," he said. "I was looking farther down the road. (Hearst will be eligible for parole next July.) But if there was ever a case that deserved executive clemency, this is it."
The Rev. Edward (Ted Dumke, an Episcolap priest who has headed more-organized national campaign to Hearst's release, noted the case has attracted support from individual with views as diverse as William Buckley and Cesar Chavez.
"We've heard from Russian orthodox monks in lower Manhattan, lots of police officers, parents of followers of South Korean evangelist Sun Myung Moon, all kinds of minority groups," he said.
All the expressions of support end up in the office of the pardon attorney, where comments are being gathered from the sentencing judge, prosecutor and prison officials, Theim said.
The Rev. Edward (Ted) Dumke, [WORD ILLEGIBLE]
It will be about another month, he said, before the pardon attorney's recommendation on the Hearst petition to reduce the sentence to time already served can be forwarded up the Justice chain of command and on to the president.
It will be about another month, he said, before the pardon attorney's recommendation on the Hearst petition to reduce the sentence to time already served can be forwarded up the Justice Department chain of command and on to the president.