Spottedcrow Update


This story makes me want to scream.

In an order issued Friday, Associate District Judge Robert Davis decided to suspend the final four years of the sentence for Patricia M. Spottedcrow, stating she has “done better in the structure of the Department of Corrections than she had during her adult years in the community.”

Spottedcrow, 26, received the sentence last October after selling the marijuana to a police informant in December 2009 and January 2010. Her mother, Delita Starr, 51, was also charged.

Their stories were publicized in a Tulsa World series earlier this year about Oklahoma’s high female incarceration rate.

In blind guilty pleas before a judge, Spottedcrow received prison time and her mother received a 30-year suspended sentence. Neither had prior criminal convictions.

Oklahoma City attorney Josh Welch, who represents Spottedcrow, said the punishment does not fit the crime.

“We are pleased Judge Davis recognized her sentence needed to be modified, but we are simply not pleased with the amount of time that was modified,” Welch said. “I don’t walk away from this feeling good even with four years knocked down, and I’m not going to give up until she is released.”


Spottedcrow’s original sentence was given by former Associate District Judge Susie Pritchett, who retired last year. Pritchett cited the sale of the drugs while children were in the home as a factor in the sentence.

The order states Spottedcrow “has accomplished much while in prison.”

“Perhaps there was some wisdom in the sentencing judge’s decision to incarcerate the defendant,” it states.

While in prison, Spottedcrow has taken parenting classes, finished her GED and participates in a grief/loss recovery program, a behavior course, Alcoholics Anonymous/Narcotics Anonymous and a faith-based program. She is on the waiting list for other education programs.

“Her new behavior should be noted, complimented and rewarded,” the order states. “However, she has only served a relatively short portion of her sentence. This court believes she needs more time to prepare and mature. Her past behavior had consequences. She is experiencing those consequences now.”

h/t Sally!

  • I see a glaring error in that story:

    “While in prison, Spottedcrow has taken parenting classes, finished her GED and participates in a grief/loss recovery program, a behavior course, Alcoholics Anonymous/Narcotics Anonymous and a faith-based program. ”

    That should be ” … Alcoholics Anonymous and ANOTHER faith-based program.”

    I had to find another story on this. Here’s one from the time she was imprisoned:
    “A presentencing investigative report prepared by the Department of Corrections rated Spottedcrow’s risk of re-offending as “high” and recommended substance abuse treatment while incarcerated.”

    Oh, so (in addition to doing hard time), one gets recommended for substance abuse treatment for “the disease of drug addiction” because of an arrest for SELLING drugs, I didn’t see in either of these stories any evidence that she had used the pot herself.


    A real injustice for sure. I also spotted the blather quote that Ben posted (even copied it to post here). So much nonsense goes on in the name of drug and alcohol sentencing.

  • Sally

    I’m with you, ilse.

    Judge Robert stated that she has “done better in the structure of the Department of orrections than she had during her adult years in the community.”…and……”Neither had prior criminal convictions”.

    What does “done better” in prison mean really? She’s been locked up and had those opportunities in front of her face. Kudo’s to her that she took andvantage of them (not the she’s going to need parenting classes because she will be in prison while her kids are growing up).

    She also had PLENTY of time to accomplish it. There wasn’t the pressure of raising her four children, while also working her butt off at a low paying job. That’s if she was lucky enough in this economy to get one.

    How can they have the gall to establish that she has done better in prison? Doesn’t being a single mother, raising your kids alone, and struggling like hell to survive get any credit??? I’m guessing, just a hunch, that there wasn’t time or resources for her to get much else done while she was outside of jail.

    Now she’s crying and begging the court to let her out. She’s apologizing because that’s her only choice. Not only for having to endure an absurd punishment, but because it surely had racial motives. Or they felt she needed to be made an example of.

    In reality she should be barking mad and yelling about the injustice she has endured. On the inside I’m sure she’s screaming, but telling the truth about what she is rightly feeling would probably get her sent to solitary or something.

    Amost anyone else, including me, would have gotten a slap on the wrist and been home before sunset. If arrested at all. I’m embarrassed to be an American right now.

    Where were those opportunites before prison??

  • disclosure

    News Flash!
    Native American woman caught with plant used in tribal ceremony sentenced to White mAAn religion.
    Indian spirit secured, red man back on reservation doing outreach work, mission accomplished.
    This reminds me of the time I found a cool AA meeting on a reservation, I figured them for a great higher power!

  • disclosure

    where the heck did my blue man go?

  • Betty

    Hasn’t she had the powerless idea hammered home enough already? 12 years for a lousy $31 dollars worth of pot? And she’s suppossed to thank her oppressors for cutting a teeny bit off that sentence? Thank them for the opportunities afforded her in jail, head off to NA/AA so that she may admit that she is utterly and absolutely powerless and it’s all her fault? The cycle of crap never seems to end.

  • causeandeffect

    Unbelievable, especially since the paedophile on the other thread only got 9 months and placed on 3 years probation on a second felony attempted incest. In what kind of backwards world is this justice? I hope that now she’s finished her GED, she will go on to pursue a degree. Unfortunately, she won’t be able to quit her AA/NA in order to do so, or she won’t be taken seriously as trying to change. And as Sally so correctly pointed out, her children will be pretty much grown by the time she gets out. She got a worse sentence because she has children instead of some leniency so she can be with her children. All that over a little weed? I hope that judge will someday get a big dose of karma. He’s the real criminal in this story.

  • The story of Patricia M. Spottedcrow seems like it is from a third world country. Stories like this really need to be exposed in the media and they really should make a movie about it like the 1999 film “Brokedown Palace” directed by Jonathan Kaplan about two young girls being imprisoned in Thailand for trying to smuggle drugs. Although the movie did not get rave reviews the plot was similar and it did bring some attention to the issues.

  • Sally

    c@e, this is the kind of situation that if I had money, I’d offer to help her out. If she wanted to get a degree without pressure and enjoy her kids without having to work like crazy. All that. Later, if she decided she wanted to fight the system and raise awareness, change laws, hers and others in similar situations – I would totally want to help support that as well. Like, I said before. Embarrassed for our legal system.
    Btw, the original judge was a woman and now is retired (was she starting to senile and have dementia or something?). The current judge is a man.