Heather Murphy-Raines/Scout's HonorIt seems we've now stooped to trading body parts for prison sentences. In the case of sisters Gladys and Jamie Scott -- who are both currently serving double life sentences in prison -- a kidney is all that stands in the way of their freedom.
The sisters will be released on the condition that one sister donates a kidney to the other. The Governor of Mississippi has implied that it's merely a budgetary concern. (It's costing the state $190,000 for Jamie Scott's in-prison dialysis treatment.)
Is the economy so bad that health issues will get criminals a get out of jail free card? Hmmmm. I delved deeper into the Scott sisters' story. It only gets worse.
Yes, worse -- in the form of a possible miscarriage of justice.
The Scotts have already served 16 years in prison for an $11 armed robbery. Yes, eleven bucks and they each got double life sentences from a questionable judge -- and an all white jury.
According to CNN, in 1993, Gladys and Jamie Scott were arrested and charged with leading two men into an ambush. The men were then robbed by three teenagers who hit them with a shotgun and took their wallets. What happened to the actual robbers? They received lesser sentences as accomplices and have already been released.
Does anyone else see a problem with that? Scratching your head like I am?
For sure, these two women were no angels if you believe the facts that came out during the trial (and which their lawyer contends are not true due to discrepancies in testimonies), but they also both had clean records before this incident. The Scotts were young at the time -- Gladys was just 19 years old. To receive DOUBLE life sentences when no one was permanently harmed seems extreme.
About their release? They weren't technically pardoned nor were their sentences commuted. They were given "early release" since they're no longer "threats" to the community -- and to save money. In fact, a condition of their release states that if there is no kidney transfer, the sisters will head straight back to jail. Some suggest that Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour is playing a political game for a potential presidential bid.
I am definitely a law and order gal, but something about this whole deal seems fishy. Justice should not be tied to money, politics, or organs, don't you think? Whatever happened to blind justice?