Meet Jamie And Gladys Scott. Should These Two Sisters Be In Prison?
Their names are Jamie and Gladys Scott.
Why should you care?
The two of them are serving double life sentences for an amazingly, ridiculously petty crime. On the night of December 23, 1993, these two women allegedly set up an armed robbery. As the story goes, these sisters, gave a group of teenage boys a shotgun and then lured two men to a remote spot where the armed teenagers were waiting to rob them. The men gave up all they had—which amounted to $11—and were allowed to leave without sustaining any injuries whatsoever. Gladys—the youngest—was pregnant.
Neither of these women had a criminal record before this robbery occurred. Why were they accused of setting the robbery up? Their car had broken down and they had asked for a ride from the two men—one of whom they knew—who later ended up getting robbed.
The men actually involved in the robbery served meager sentences (10 months each) and later recanted their testimonies in which they had implicated the sisters, revealing the confessions had been made due to police pressure.
If their having served 16-year prison sentences for a petty crime they may not have even committed is not bad enough, now Jamie Scott is suffering from kidney failure. Her sister has offered her kidney, but the Mississippi Dept. of Corrections will not allow the procedure.
No more appeals are available for these ladies, so the only plan of action is to attempt to get the attention and empathy of Governor—and speculated presidential hopeful—Haley Barbour to pardon them or commute their sentences. As a resident, I wouldn’t exactly hold my breath.
Since when is $11 worth two double-life sentences? Better yet, as this story picks up steam, another question must be asked: Why does it take a certain level of national exposure to overturn injustices? Why do people need to be shamed into doing what should be done in the first place? And how afraid should we be of the implications of a justice system which operates under such wretched rules?
Guilty or not, these ladies should have been free a long time ago. The Governor will send a clear and direct message with his decision. He can either confirm the suspicions and stereotypes many in our communities have about the South (Mississippi in particular) and the justice system overall, or he can help to provide a ray of hope in what has been a largely bleak and one-sided struggle.
Governor Barbour needs to make a decision and do the right thing. It’s up to the public to hold Barbour and others in power accountable since the judicial system has failed these two women.
To find out more about this case and what you can do, visit the Free The Scott Sisters Blog.