JACKSON, Miss. – For 16 years, sisters Jamie and Gladys Scott have shared a life behind bars for their part in an $11 armed robbery. To share freedom, they must also share a kidney.
Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour suspended the sisters’ life sentences on Wednesday, but 36-year-old Gladys Scott’s release is contingent on her giving a kidney to Jamie, her 38-year-old sister, who requires daily dialysis.
The sisters were convicted in 1994 of leading two men into an ambush in central Mississippi the year before. Three teenagers hit each man in the head with a shotgun and took their wallets â€” making off with only $11, court records said.
Jamie and Gladys Scott were each convicted of two counts of armed robbery and sentenced to two life sentences.
“I think it’s a victory,” said the sisters’ attorney, Chokwe Lumumba. “I talked to Gladys and she’s elated about the news. I’m sure Jamie is, too.”
Civil rights advocates have for years called for their release, saying the sentences were excessive. Those demands gained traction when Barbour asked the Mississippi Parole Board to take another look at the case.
The Scott sisters are eligible for parole in 2014, but Barbour said prison officials no longer think they are a threat to society and Jamie’s medical condition is costing the state a lot of money.
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A life sentence for $11? Haley Barbour, if you’re going to suspend the sentences of the Scott sisters, do it for the right reasons. It was unfair. The sentences were harsh & excessive. Own it. I’m not down with bargaining for an organ. It’s unethically and morally wrong.
I’d like to know why is Haley Barbour suspending the sentences now? The timing is suspect to me.
What are your thoughts, 3 Chics?