On Christmas Eve 1993, Mississippi sisters Jamie and Gladys Scott purportedly took part in a robbery that yielded $11. No one was harmed in the robbery and neither Scott had criminal records at that time. Given this, one would think that the young women would’ve avoided hard time. In fact, the opposite happened. For the robbery, a jury ordered the women to serve two consecutive life sentences. Meanwhile, three men also convicted of the robbery are free after serving a couple of years in prison. Why the disparity?
The men involved reportedly received lighter sentences after giving authorities incriminating information about the Scott sisters. Today, these men say they only implicated the Scotts after police pressured them to do so. Supporters of the Scotts, which include the N.A.A.C.P., question the exact role the women played in the crime. Arguably the only thing worse than serving two consecutive life sentences for petty theft would be serving two consecutive life sentences after being wrongly convicted of the crime.
Whether the Scott sisters are innocent or guilty, any reasonable person can see that the punishment they’ve received doesn’t fit the crime. In addition, Jamie Scott is very ill after suffering kidney failure. Because the women have run out of appeals, it’s up to Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour to pardon the women or grant them a commutation of sentence. Stop these women from rotting in prison by letting the governor know you want justice for the Scott sisters now!
It’s unfair not only to the Scotts but to the people of Mississippi to funnel tens of thousands of dollars into keeping women such as Jamie and Gladys Scott locked up. Jamie Scott, in particular, is severely ill and in need of medical attention after suffering kidney failure. Please do the humane thing and pardon the Scott sisters at once. Be the sort of political leader that Mississippians can respect.