|Kemba Smith: photo courtesy of http://www.kembasmith.com/|
Facts in the case of Kemba Smith
Kemba Smith came from a very middle class background. Her parents were very strict, and they saw to it that Kemba led a very sheltered life. She did not date a lot, so she was quite smitten when she met a suave Jamican guy named Peter Hall. Hall dressed nice and seemed to live a somewhat lavish lifestyle. Kemba had no idea how he really made his money...at first. Eventually she did become aware of his activities, but she never took part in most of them. Before long, he started abusing her physically and emotionally. When Peter Hall went on the run to avoid the charges brought upon him by the police, Kemba went with him. She was afraid for him, and she wanted to be there with him through the ordeal. She never stopped to think about what the consequences would be for her support. When she became pregnant, she returned home. Once she returned, she was informed that she was now a fugitive. She would not cooperate with the police at first as to Hall's whereabouts. Hall was found murdered by the time she agreed to help the police.Kemba Smith pled guilty, and she was prosecuted and sentenced under the mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines to 24 years in prison. She did admit to handling some deliveries for hall, but she did so out of fear for her life. The courts did not take this into consideration, nor did they take into consideration that she had never been in trouble with the law in her entire life. She stayed in prison for 6 years before President Clinton gave her clemency.
Kemba Smith was reunited with her son, and she pulled her life back together. She has a Bachelors Degree in Social Work. She is also a public speaker and activist. She has also published a book about her ordeal. There is also another movie rumored to be in the works that will be directly based on her life. You can find out more about Kemba at her website.
You can find photos of Kemba all over the net. She has some recent photos on her webpage. You can find some older ones of Kemba and her son in images.
Amy Pofahl Case
The next case that made major headlines and that was used as a basis for the movie Guilt by Association was the Ecstacy Conspiracy story of Amy Pofahl. She was also another woman who was sentenced under the mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines.
Her story began when her husband was arrested over seas for importing ecstacy. When he asked her if she could assist him in hiding some profits from his importing business, she agreed to do it. At trial he implicated her. He was only sentenced to 4 years, and she was sentenced to 24 years in prison. She was eventually released after spending 9 years in prison. She is now known as Amy Ralston Povah.
There were several other women who were sentenced under this mandatory minimum sentencing law as well. There were many books and articles published about the cases. President Clinton gave many of these women clemency.