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Book Reviews: Poster Child: The Kemba Smith Story
By Jin Niu
Book Reviews columns.
Poster Child: The Kemba Smith Story
By Kemba Smith with Monique W. Morris
On September 1, 1994, Kemba Smith, the girlfriend of a $4 million crack cocaine ring leader, turned herself in to the U.S. District Court in Norfolk, Va. She was convicted of a drug conspiracy and was sentenced to 24½ years in prison, despite the prosecutor admitting that she had “never handled, used or sold any of the drugs involved.” Smith’s subsequent struggle for release gained national attention, culminating in a commutation six years into her sentence from President Bill Clinton in December 2000.
In Poster Child, published nearly 10 years after her release, Smith finally reveals her entire story. She chronicles the abuse she suffered at the hands of her drug-dealing boyfriend Peter Hall, also known as “Khalif,” her incarceration, and finally her subsequent release. In this intensely personal memoir, Smith details her frame of mind at the time, including why she lied to federal agents about Hall’s whereabout
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