There was no question that the 29-year-old Guatemalan woman who arrived at Logan Airport in 2003 with three pounds of heroin sewn into her purse and another half-pound hidden inside her body had broken the law. The question was what to do about it.
To her court-appointed lawyer, Flor Jurado-Lopez was a victim who should be sent home, not a criminal to be locked away. She was forced to borrow money from a gang to pay hospital bills for her husband — a shooting victim of the violence roiling Guatemala — and coerced into becoming a drug mule, ordered to stuff 23 balloons of heroin into her body. Pregnant with her first child, she gave birth in handcuffs while awaiting sentencing.