WTF? of the Day: The Scotts Sisters (Updated)

(Thanks, Indigenist Opinion)

From Monica Moorehead:

Anyone who still believes that the U.S. is the most democratic and just country in the world has only to examine the shocking case of the Scott sisters to be disabused of that erroneous notion. While this case is becoming more and more well-known by word of mouth, mainly on the Internet, the 16-year-old case has never received the national and international media attention that it so richly deserves. The facts of the case will explain the reason why.

Who are the Scott sisters?

Gladys Scott
Jamie and Gladys Scott are African-American sisters who lived in the small town of Forest, Miss., when they were arrested on Dec. 24, 1993, on a charge of armed robbery of two Black men. The amount involved in the robbery was $11 and nobody was injured. In October 1994, both sisters were found guilty and received double-life sentences. They are not eligible for parole until they spend at least 20 years in prison.

Their sentence is very reminiscent of the life sentence, without the possibility of parole, given to the martyred Black Panther and Soledad Brothers prisoner, George Jackson, in the early 1960s. Jackson was convicted of stealing $70.

Three teenagers, who eventually admitted that they had committed the robbery, recanted the false testimony they gave during the Scott sisters’ trial. These teenagers stated before the judge and jury that they were forced by local authorities to implicate the sisters, with the promise of a lenient sentence. Even the robbery victims said that the sisters had nothing to do with the robbery. Neither Jamie nor Gladys had a prior record before this outrageous conviction and life sentence.

Jamie Scott
At the time of their arrest, conviction and sentencing, Gladys was 19 years old and pregnant with her second child; Jamie was a 22-year-old with three young children. Their children are being raised by Jamie and Gladys’ mother, Elaine Rasco. Despite having to move to Florida due to years of emotional stress, Ms. Rasco remains active in fighting for her daughters’ freedom.

The state and federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, have refused to hear the Scotts’ appeals. Since being in prison, Jamie has developed almost complete kidney failure due to poor diet and inhumane prison medical care. She is receiving irregular dialysis treatments and has gone into shock numerous times. If it were not for the pressure and local attention that community, legal and political activists have put on the prison authorities, Jamie Scott could have easily died.

How to get involved

There is a growing grassroots movement to broaden awareness around the Scott sisters’ case, including a letter-writing campaign demanding that Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder release them. The campaign also includes getting petitions signed and getting press releases sent to local, state and national press on the case.

The Scott sisters’ case has put another human face on the constant racist repression that is woven within the very fabric of U.S. capitalist society. In an Aug. 19 article, Jamie Scott wrote: “The injustices that have occurred are patterns within this county and their police departments. This type of injustice and exploitation has been done to many African Americans who have lived in this county for many years. They have been very successful in destroying many lives.”

Jamie continued: “This is a time we show Americans what really occurs in most small towns in the state of Mississippi. We are convinced that once this chain of events is exposed and unraveled, the events that occurred, the lives that have been destroyed, the pain and suffering the citizens of Scott County have endured; everyone will be utterly amazed, astonished and compelled to assist us in our plight for freedom.”

Go to to read Jamie’s entire article, find out more information about the case and get involved.

**Update**  From Field Negro:
I am glad to see that the Scott Sisters will be free from their Mississippi jail after 16 long years.

I won't get into this story again, it has been well documented here and other places. (Well, some other places. Some of you so call pro black women bloggers have been woefully silent on this issue.) But let me say this: folks here in A-merry-ca should not get upset when people in other parts of the world laugh at the notion of "American exceptionalism". It's cases like this that makes such a notion a joke. A life sentence for an $11 robbery? !!!

So Haley finally did the right thing and decided to act on behalf of these poor women. (For the record, he did not pardon them, he marely suspended their sentence for medical reasons. Yes, there are conditions to their release: One sister (Gladys) will have to give her kidney to the other (Jamie) whose kidneys are failing her.) Is there anyone reading this who doesn't believe that Haley did what he did for political reasons and to ease the sting of his ignorant comments about civil rights, recently?

And I have to take a moment to rip Ben Jealoous and the NAACP. I heard Jealous on CNN praising Barbour for his actions and refusing to say that he finally acted, after six years in office, for political reasons. Come on Ben, stop it! You know Haley only acted the way he did because he is thinking about 2012. Most A-merry-cans still don't know about the Scott Sisters, but I guarantee you that if one of them had died in jail, just in time for Haley's run, they would have.

So Governor Barbour, unlike those other Negroes like Ben Jealous, I won't be thanking you for s^&t. You should have acted six years ago. The state you lead -and which you are a product of- did this to these poor women, and countless others before them. You get no praise here, and I hope that everyone with half of a brain realizes why you did what you did.

Thank you NAACP! Even though,as usual, you were behind the 8 ball, and it was race chasing bloggers like moi screaming injustice for anyone who will listen, who were in front of this story. Still, we understand that you are the official face of the Negro in A-merry-ca, and if you hadn't gotten involved or Haley hadn't decided he wanted to be president someday, Gladys and Jamie would still be rotting in jail.
Amen. Barbour is manipulative piece of shit, and I'm sick of the likes of him and Missy Anne trying to play the "I'm not racist; I just can't change anything about society" routine.

(*squeal* Field said "moi"!!!)


  1. Nubianamazon11/28/10, 8:05 AM

    Ankh this is more common than folks think.Utterly shameful.

  2. @ NubianAmazon

    I shudder to think of it. This is beyond ludicrous. I think the Scotts family needs to launch a massive lawsuit against the system. They need to every kind of international human rights organization involved.

  3. How come whenever these stories happen I almost always never see them on the news? I'm not shocked, but I'm disgusted at the injustice given to these two women. Post-racial America my ass.

  4. of course the main stream media doesn't care cause they are black AND they are women

  5. Why is any of this a surprise? Like Modest Goddess said, they are black and they are women. And most likely not from a privileged socio-economic class either. Too many "strikes" against them for mainstream society to give a damn.

  6. Where are the mobs, protesters, and class action suits? POC, we need to raise more hell when shit like this goes down.

  7. I read about this case a few months ago. Insane doesn't even begin to describe this situation. It's tragic on so many levels.

  8. "Tragic" probably is the best term for these sisters.

  9. related:

    Wtf is up with them giving lifetime sentences for robberty? And then it turns out the guy was innocent.


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