Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Mississippi: Call for Pardon

Jamie and Gladys Scott were each convicted of two counts of armed robbery and sentenced to two life sentences after they were were found guilty of luring two men down a road, on Christmas Eve 1993, where three young assailants used a shotgun to beat them in the head and rob them of what amounted to only $11. The three young men admitted their guilt and were sentenced to several months in prison. But the Scott sisters, who were 19- and 20-year single mothers at the time (one pregnant), refused to admit their guilt, forced a trial and a jury found them guilty. Today, they continue to claim they are innocent!

But NAACP President Ben Jealous says he cannot find another case anywhere in the country where a sentence so harsh was given "such a small crime" and calls it a "hideous event in the history of Mississippi." Unable to contain himself, Jealous also says, "the lives of two Black women are valued at little more than 11 dollars" in the state of Mississippi. Apparently the heads of the innocent victims are worth even less!

Jealous and others are calling on Governor Haley Barbour (R) to grant a pardon. One of the sisters is said to be suffering from kidney failure. The prosecutor in the case (now retired) also supports clemency. On the other hand, the Mississippi State Supreme Court has refused hear an appeal filed by the sisters. A clemency request has already been rejected, by the previous Governor, Ronnie Musgrove (D). The sisters will be eligible for parole in 2014. See story here and here and here and here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

OTOH, while 'only' $11 was taken, the robbery itself was violent. The victims were hit over the head witha\ shotgun. Furthermore, the woman themselves had there chance by plea bargaining early on. IOW, the women have only themselves to blame for there situation. Is a pardon called for is this situation.

blogger templates | Make Money Online