Drug Law

Oklahoma Woman Dee Starr Sells $31 of Marijuana, Gets 12 Years in Prison

| by Reason Foundation

In January 2010, Dee Starr and her grown children William Lamebull and Patricia Spottedcrow* were arrested in an early morning raid after selling $31 worth of marijuana to undercover police.

According to Oklahoma City's KFOR-TV, it was their first felony arrests. Each was held on $100,000 bond. Each pled guilty. Here's what that got them:

William Lamebull faced the least serious charge, possession of marijuana around children. 

He pleaded guilty and got two years probation, no jail time. 

Dee Starr, who was facing more serious charges, two felony counts for dealing drugs and for having drugs in front of children, got 30 years probation, again no jail time.

Patricia Spottedcrow pleaded guilty to her crimes as well. 

She faced the very same two felony charges as her mother, Dee Starr. 

However, Spottedcrow got a 12 year prison sentence, no probation. 

She was sentenced to 12 years behind bars for selling two baggies of marajuana worth about $30.

According to KFOR-TV, Judge Susie Pritchett, who retired a few months after ruining Spottedcrow's life, said the "sentence fit the crime" because "Ms. Spottedcrow showed no signs of remorse, nor did she seem to even care about what she was doing to her children."

Incidentally, Judge Pritchett does not ruin every drug offender's life. She once heard the case of a police officer's wife who was caught hiding marijuana in her panties. The woman "was asked to apologize to the judge and never served a day in jail," a decision Pritchett defended, arguing, "I treat drug users differently than I treated those who pushed drugs, especially when they sold in front of children."

Mark Clayborne, Spottedcrow's attorney, did not "challenge" his client's pre-sentence investigation report, which Spottedcrow says is rife with inaccuracies. Six months later, Clayborne was convicted of perjury in a different case. Spottedcrow now has a new attorney who will ask for a sentence modification next year. Until then

Patricia Spottedcrow's mother is now raising Patricia's four children. 

They don't have the money to visit her in prison.

One-year-old Ja'zalynn doesn't recognize her mom anymore. 

According to KFOR-TV, which deserves much praise for reporting this out, Oklahoma incarcerates more women than any other state in the union. 

*Thanks to Elise for pointing out that I had Starr's and Spottedcrow's relationship mixed up.