Susan Smith Marks Half a Life in Prison After Drowning Sons

Her time there has been rife with disciplinary infractions
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 27, 2017 2:25 PM CDT
Updated Sep 30, 2017 1:13 PM CDT
Woman Who Drowned Kids Marks Half a Life in Prison
Susan Smith   (South Carolina Department of Corrections)

Susan Smith turned 46 on Tuesday. Exactly half a lifetime ago, she drowned her two young children—ages 3 and 1—in a lake, allegedly because she was dating a man who didn't want kids. Smith was sentenced to life in prison. Now People—citing prison records—reports her time at South Carolina's Leath Correctional Institution has been rife with infractions and punishments. Over the past seven years, Smith has been punished at least five times for the use and possession of narcotics and marijuana, self-mutilation, and more. She's variously lost canteen, telephone, and visitation privileges.

Smith was punished for drug infractions twice in 2010 and once in 2015. She was disciplined in 2000 for having sex four times with a prison guard, who was sentenced to three months in jail. A prison captain got five years of probation in 2001 after admitting to having sex with Smith. For reasons that are unclear, Smith was demoted from senior groundskeeper to landscape laborer this summer. The prison says Smith isn't allowed to give interviews, but in a 2015 letter she said she is "not the monster society thinks I am," adding: “I was a good mother and I loved my boys. There was no motive as it was not even a planned event. I was not in my right mind.” (Read more life in prison stories.)

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