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Scott Sisters Released from Jail

Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour suspended Jamie and Gladys Scott’s life sentences on the condition that Gladys donates a kidney to her sister. Barbour cited the high cost of Jamie’s dialysis treatment, which totaled approximately $200,000 per year, in his announcement of the women’s release. The women left the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility on Friday after serving 16 years.

In 1994, Judge Marcus Gordon convicted sentenced each Scott sister to two life sentences after they were convicted of planning and participating in an armed robbery in which only $11 was stolen and no one was injured. Neither woman had a prior criminal record. The men arrested for the robbery were sentenced to eight years in jail and served only three years.

Benjamin Todd Jealous, President of the NAAP, stated, “It is a travesty that in the state of Mississippi, the lives of two Black women are valued at little more than 11 dollars. From the outset, the measures in which the Scott Sisters were convicted were questionable and pattern themselves after dubious criminal justice trends in Mississippi and nationwide.”

Sources:

Huffington Post 1/10/11; NAACP Press Statement 1/11/11, 9/15/10, ; USA Today 1/7/11: NPR 12/30/10, 1/7/11