OKLAHOMA CITY — After a two year incarceration, the Oklahoma mother who has become the face of unfair sentencing laws in Oklahoma has been released from prison. Patricia Spottedcrow, 26, walked out of Hillside Correctional Center about 8 a.m. Thursday.
Spottedcrow was first convicted in 2010 on a felony charge for selling $30 of marijuana to a police informant in Kingfisher.
Spottedcrow was initially sentenced to 12 years in prison for that one felony, her first felony conviction.
Since her incarceration, thousands of supporters around the world have spoken out about unfair sentencing laws in Oklahoma.
In 2011, another judge in Kingfisher County reduced Spottedcrow’s sentence from 12 years to eight years.
About six months ago, the Oklahoma State Pardon and Parole board granted parole for Spottedcrow.
Governor Mary Fallin agreed to sign off of the parole, on the condition that Spottedcrow spend 120 days at a community corrections facility.
Spottedcrow’s mom, Dee Starr, was charged in connection with that same $30 drug deal, and she is currently serving probation on her 30 year sentence.
“We’ve got a new road to travel, and we’re gonna travel it together.” said Starr.
Spottedcrow left Hillside Correctional Center in Oklahoma City and drove straight home to Kingfisher to be re-united with her four young children.
Starr said the kids had perfect attendance in school, and so Spottedcrow would see them when they got off the bus Thursday afternoon.
“My first day on the yard they told me I wouldn’t do more than six months, and then they told me I wouldn’t do more than a year. Then they told me I wouldn’t do more than a year and six months. Just the up and down, and how that made me feel, I couldn’t even fathom putting my kids through that.” said Spottedcrow. “I can’t wait to see my kids. They have no idea. This is going to be a total surprise.”
Meanwhile, Laura Deskin, Spottedcrow’s attorney who is working pro-bono said Spottedcrow still has to pay some court fees back to the state and will be on probation for the next eight years.
“I’m glad that she was given early release. I am grateful to the Pardon and Parole Board and to the Governor. But she never should have been in this position in the first place.” Deskin said.
“Instead of sending women to prison we need to try and help them before you just send them to prison because prison could turn a good person bad. It really can.” Spottedcrow said.
According to Oklahoma Department of Corrections, Oklahoma taxpayers spent about $30,000 on Spottedcrow’s two year incarceration.