Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Scott Sisters are Released and required to share a kidney


by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 



Jamie and Gladys Scott have sat behind bars for nearly two decades over a robbery that netted just $11 dollars. The two women also dispute the fact that they even participated in the robbery, and many wondered if there were political motivations behind the magnitude of their original sentence. But the Scott sisters, who are 36 and 38 years old, were released this week when Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour suspended their sentences indefinitely.
The sisters were given two life sentences in 1994 when they allegedly ambushed a man, hitting him in the head with a shot gun and making off with $11 dollars. Nancy Lockhart, an activist, fought tirelessly for the women to be released, and there were rallies held in Mississippi on their behalf. She was finally successful when the governor made the decision to release them.
One interesting aspect of the release conditions for the Scott sisters is that they are actually required to share a kidney or will be asked to come back to prison. While bizarre as a request, this doesn't seem to be a problem, given that Gladys offered to share her kidney with her sister. Governor Barbour cited the high cost to the state of Jamie's kidney condition (she has complete kidney failure), and also noted that he doesn't feel that the sisters are a threat to public safety.


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