The Scott Sisters’ Sentences Supended
Jamie and Gladys Scott, the wrongfully convicted and imprisoned sisters mentioned in an earlier post, have had their sentences suspended by Mississippi governor (and suspected presidential hopeful) Haley Barbour.
The sisters were convicted of armed robbery for supposedly orchestrating an incident in which two men, who remained unharmed, gave over a whopping total of $11 to group of armed teenagers.
Although these ladies had no criminal histories, both were sentenced to double-life sentences although the teenagers who testified against them admitted they were coerced into their testimonies by extensive and aggressive police interrogation.
Yesterday, the governor announced the Mississippi Parole Board concurred with his recommendation for the early release of Jamie and Gladys Scott. He also notes they are no longer a “threat” to society.
Gladys Scott, the youngest sister who was actually pregnant at the time the incident occurred, must give her older sister, Jamie, a kidney as a condition of her release. Translation: One sister has children whom she has only been able to see from behind bars and the other is suffering from kidney failure. Therefore, the fact of the matter is neither of these women has been a threat to society for a very long time.
Furthermore, as mentioned earlier, those who testified against them later recanted their confessions and said they had been made due to intense police pressure (and unless you’re truly mentally tough, you’ll crack under that kind of pressure). They had no criminal record and their connection to the incident is they’d merely gotten a ride from the guys who ended up getting robbed.
With such a flimsy case, it seems the sisters should have been fully pardoned instead of merely having their sentences suspended, which usually means the crime stays on your record. It seems likely this could’ve been a wrongful conviction. Should the $11 take really loom over the heads of these women for the rest of their lives? Haven’t they suffered long enough?
Furthermore, we cannot leave the discussion without weighing the political aspects of the case of the Scott sisters from Scott County, MS. Barbour seems to be gearing up for a presidential bid. Is that why he has finally heard the cries of the many protestors who marched up and down the streets of the capital city? Seriously, doesn’t this help his cause, making him appear to be a hero who acted when these things were brought to his attention (especially when by all indications, and there are too many to count, he will just about need an act of God to secure a significant portion of the Black vote)?
Is this just a cry for credibility? The answer is quite possibly.
However, we’re sure the sisters will be happy to share a kidney between the two of them and see their loved ones and friends again. They plan to rejoin their family in Florida upon release, for which a date has not yet been set.