Two Mississippi sisters who have been imprisoned for 16 years were released on Friday morning on the condition that the younger sibling donate a kidney to her older sister, whose organs are failing.
Jamie and Gladys Scott walked out of the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility in Pearl, Miss. at just after 8 a.m. Central time Friday morning, and were greeted by their mother, their children and throngs of reporters.
The case of the Scott sisters attracted widespread attention after Gov. Haley Barbour suspended their double life sentences last month with the stipulation that Gladys Scott, 36, give one of her kidneys to Jamie Scott, 38.
The kidney donation was the sisters’ idea, and is supported by the N.A.A.C.P. and other civil rights organizations. But the unusual nature of the arrangement has been criticized by some medical ethicists.
Legal experts said that suspending a prison sentence contingent on an organ donation is highly unusual and may be unprecedented.
SG2’s thoughts: So glad the sisters are free. But It’s unethically & morally wrong the sisters are free on the condition of giving up an organ. It’s beyond the pale!
Haley Barbour, do the right thing. Give the sisters a full pardon. The CRIME was in the sentencing of these sisters. 2 life sentences for $11? It’s appalling! Their crime was being black in Mississippi!
What are your thoughts, 3 Chics?
Here’s some of what the Scott Sisters had to share about their imprisonment.
they never should have been in jail in the first place. between the transplant and the lifetime parole, I still think this is bullshyt, but I’m glad the are out.
NAACP on Scott Sisters release
Haley Barbour Breaks the U.S. Organ Transplant Act
Gladys and Jaime Scott went to a Mississippi prison for life in 1994 after committing an armed burglary which netted the then teens $11.00. On December 30, 2010 Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour suspended the life sentences, but one sister’s release is contingent on her giving a kidney to the other.
There’s no doubt that a life sentence for an $11 robbery even one where they hit the victims over the head with a shot gun before making off with 11 bucks was extreme and parole after 16 years in jail is long overdue.
What is not sensible, as well as illegal and unethical, is demanding that one sister donate her kidney to the other, even if the sister says she would have done so anyway. Barbour and the parole board it seems were swayed as much by the cost to the prison system of the daily dialysis Jamie needed as by any sense that the verdict and sentence were unjust.
The sisters’ cause was championed by the NAACP which lauded the decision to release them. Their civil rights lawyer is actually the one that offered the kidney deal as a way to convince the reluctant governor and prison authorities to release both women. A classic case of passionate conviction for a good outcome ignoring the dangerous implications for some other issue.
The NAACP is shameful. Jealous does NOT need to be in that position. What was he thinking? It is not ok to organ bargain!
I heard T.J. Holmes say on CNN this morning that Soledad O’brien was going to interview the Scott Sisters this afternoon around 3 p.m.
I’m glad they are being set free although they should receive a full pardon.
I concur. Nothing less than a full pardon for that criminally insane, racially-biased life sentence.
Kidney-swap sisters released from jail
PEARL, Miss. — Two sisters whose life sentences were suspended on the condition that one donate a kidney to the other were released from a Mississippi prison on Friday after serving 16 years for an armed robbery.
Jamie and Gladys Scott waved to reporters and yelled “we’re free” and “God bless y’all” as they left the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility in an SUV. They had been incarcerated for 16 years.
The sisters are moving to the Florida Panhandle, where their mother and grown children live.
Jamie Scott, 36, is on dialysis, which officials say costs the state about $200,000 a year.
Thank God this travesty is ending. Now they need to be pardoned for the crime of this insane and inhumane sentencing.
Their mom looks beaten in that video.
Yes she does. All that stress upon that poor woman!
Apparently the media does not find the Scott sisters release as newsworthy as say Lindsey Lohan, Naomi Campbell or some other celeb getting out of rehab or jail for drug crimes.
Can’t find one video of the sisters actual release from prison. Maybe they don’t want video of their release?
Any hooo…..this video clip is a must see
GRITtv: Freeing the Scott Sisters: Clemency and Race
Just watched the video interview above. 16 years and the sisters said they are not bitter. You can’t break SOUL’s spirit.
Wow! Amazing isn’t it?