How in the world can she go to the Super Bowl?
February 7, 2016 9:01 AM   Subscribe

 
"It was what I felt I had to do as a daughter, but I'll never forgive myself as a mother," Katina said. Absolutely heartbreaking.

I'd heard bits about this story, but this was an excellent look at not just the terrible and unnecessary effect of mandatory minimums, but also the staggering difficulty of re-entering the world after prison. I can't imagine what it's like for those whose families aren't supportive (and, needless to say, who can't provide all the financial support in the world). We have to do so much better.
posted by TwoStride at 9:40 AM on February 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


What a fucking crime. And I'm not talking about the drugs.
posted by gottabefunky at 9:42 AM on February 7, 2016 [7 favorites]


I kept thinking how much more difficult this would be for her without her son's wealth. If she needs therapy or anything special, he can afford it.

And she'll probably need a lot of it.

Sounds like he's trying to do what he can but I imagine it's just as strange for him.

I wish her all the best. She sounds like she was a hard working mother caught up in a bunch of shit. I hope she is able to enjoy her freedom.

I hope the Broncos win and her son does something awesome at the game so that in some way it will be extra special for her though nothing can give her back all those years.
posted by sio42 at 9:44 AM on February 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


here's a gif of peyton giving demaryius the ball for his mom and then a picture of her holding it. i'm rooting for the panthers tonight, but it's one of those super bowls where i'm honestly happy with whoever wins.
posted by nadawi at 9:51 AM on February 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


The thought of how many lives have been lost to mandatory/ minimum drug laws and the wealthy white men who enacted them fills me with rage. The fact that legislation to fix these laws is being held up in congress because republicans are trying shove language into the bill to benefit wealthy white men who commit white collar crime makes me want to leave this country and never look back.
posted by photoslob at 9:56 AM on February 7, 2016 [30 favorites]


[A] taxicab waited for her outside the prison's walls to take her to the station. She got into the cab and heard the doors lock shut behind her. She had never heard that sound before; all of her early '90s cars had been equipped with manual locks. "What are you doing?" she yelled at the cab driver, in what would be her first of many panic attacks. "Why are you trapping me in?" She pushed and rattled the door while the driver tried to explain the concept of automatic locks.

Good lord what a nightmare. First moments of freedom suddenly make you wonder if it was all a sick joke.
posted by adept256 at 10:02 AM on February 7, 2016 [6 favorites]


It's also disturbing that people who opt for their constitutional right to a trial face massive, massive penalties for doing so. I recently spent a bit of time on a grand jury and it was made very clear that the system does not appreciate a defendant's decision to forego plea bargaining, and the results, if they are convicted, are catastrophic. I always thought of plea bargains as a way to drive down the possible penalty and make it easier for the system to operate, not as a way of penalizing people for claiming their rights. Not so.
posted by etaoin at 10:19 AM on February 7, 2016 [33 favorites]


Yeah, there was a great article somewhere on the blue some time ago that talked about how plea bargains are the new justice in this country, which was horrifying.

What's also horrifying is that prisons apparently spend no time updating you on how the world works.
posted by corb at 10:22 AM on February 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


[If you are not interested in the Super Bowl, or touching human interest stories related thereto, you can feel free to skip the thread instead of telling everyone else they're wrong for being interested.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 10:33 AM on February 7, 2016 [48 favorites]


It makes me sick that there are federal prosecutors out there still pushing hard, extreme sentences for nonviolent drug crime. Bless Katina Smith and her family.
posted by sallybrown at 10:41 AM on February 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


Sentencing is the ruler with which prosecutors compare...sizes.
posted by rhizome at 11:34 AM on February 7, 2016


What's also horrifying is that prisons apparently spend no time updating you on how the world works.

Part of her specific anxiety challenges may be due, in part, to a huge shift in economic status. At least at the Federal level, there are mp3 players and email systems. I'm pretty sure there were electronic locks in 1999, but they were expensive and only available on new cars. In fact, my 1991 Honda Civic had automatic seat belts, which are no longer available (but no airbags).

Cell phones are of course forbidden in prison, and I imagine he bought her way through the exorbitant payphone system so she had little need to break that rule. So smartphones will be a huge hurdle. Imagine your parents compressing 15 years of calling their child to ask how to use their new laptop, and your son isn't a computer professional, but an athlete.

And the internet is obviously a problem, just because it shifts quickly. A few more years and Yahoo! might not be a thing when Marissa sells it to Google. Amazon was a thing, but is a powerhouse now. If you've followed jessamyn's discussions on adult internet education, it's a constant struggle of changing UIs, dying services and linguistic invention.
posted by pwnguin at 11:35 AM on February 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


I hope she's there and hey, I finally have a reason to root for one of these two teams.
posted by Bringer Tom at 11:41 AM on February 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


It makes me sick that there are federal prosecutors out there still pushing hard, extreme sentences for nonviolent drug crime. Bless Katina Smith and her family.

I'm sure still there are, but this case was over 15 years ago.

And I too, finally care who wins the Super Bowl; a first for me.
posted by el io at 11:43 AM on February 7, 2016


The winner gets to meet the President? He'll get to shake the hand of the guy that set his mother free?

I absolutely know who I'm backing!
posted by adept256 at 11:51 AM on February 7, 2016 [6 favorites]


In case anyone is wondering about the chances, Drew Brees told WWL that if these two teams play 10 times Carolina wins 8 of them -- but only 8. So the Broncos are underdogs but the very serious football people think they have a chance.
posted by Bringer Tom at 11:52 AM on February 7, 2016


Oh my, the possibility of Demaryius thanking President Obama personally for pardoning his mother so she could see him win the Super Bowl -- I think it might get a bit dusty in here.
posted by Bringer Tom at 11:55 AM on February 7, 2016 [6 favorites]


I don't really want the Broncos to win, but I really, really want Thomas to win.
posted by Ruki at 2:01 PM on February 7, 2016


I was rooting for the Panthers, but this changes my mind. I want her to see her son win the Super Bowl, and I really want Demaryius to get to go and meet Obama. Go Broncos!
posted by Weeping_angel at 2:11 PM on February 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


Wonderful story!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:52 PM on February 7, 2016


I'm still rooting for the puppies, but I hope Demaryius is able to thank President Obama at some point regardless of whether his team wins-- surely there's a way to make it happen.
posted by jetlagaddict at 4:01 PM on February 7, 2016


I think this is the most Metafilteriest-yet reason to root for a particular Super Bowl team.
posted by rhizome at 4:32 PM on February 7, 2016 [7 favorites]


Cam Newton declaws his cats.
posted by Etrigan at 4:44 PM on February 7, 2016


I was cheering for Carolina but this story makes me happy the Broncos are going to win it. I assume the Panthers will be back next year or the year after.

(Also it is pretty cute how anxious Eli Manning is every time they show him in reaction shots. Awwwwww brotherly love.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:11 PM on February 7, 2016



Cam Newton declaws his cats.


Gotta protect those hands.
posted by rhizome at 7:11 PM on February 7, 2016


Eli is visibly annoyed that he's not going to have that extra ring to lord over his brother.
posted by dirigibleman at 7:15 PM on February 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


Are they going to dump the gatorade bucket on Wade Phillips and carry him off the field on their shoulders?
posted by bukvich at 7:24 PM on February 7, 2016


It's on!!!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:26 PM on February 7, 2016


So was she there in the stands? Nobody ever deserved it more.
posted by Bringer Tom at 7:29 PM on February 7, 2016


I did not expect this, but I'm so happy for them! Omaha!
posted by Ruki at 7:36 PM on February 7, 2016


Was she there? Did she go?
posted by Weeping_angel at 7:50 PM on February 7, 2016


Twitter says yes, she was there, although no news story yet ... And apparently Peyton Manning made a point of talking to her at the warm up yesterday.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:56 PM on February 7, 2016 [8 favorites]


Her mom's name is Minnie Pearl?
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:07 AM on February 8, 2016


She had flown only once before, in handcuffs from the inmate processing center in Oklahoma to her prison in Tallahassee, and now she boarded the Southwest flight shaking from a combination of nerves and excitement. She took pictures to capture each mundane detail. "Like a kid in a candy store, going on about every little nothing," Bobby said. How good were those peanuts?! And the automatic sink in that tiny little bathroom! Those mountains! That snow!

my heart is breaking
posted by suddenly, and without warning, at 8:41 AM on February 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


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