When I was looking for some information on Ruby Bridges awhile back I went to the official NAACP website. The first thing that came up on the home page was a link to a petition to pardon the Scott sisters. The short story was that the Gladys and Jamie Scott, though staunchly proclaiming their innocence, received life sentences for a robbery that amount to $11.
Sometimes I just randomly sign up for stuff online, but I didn’t for this. My initial thought was there had to have been a death involved, or why the life sentences. After reading several articles and looking into the history it seems to be a colossal failure of the American system of “justice”.
The basic facts are:
- The Scott sisters accepted a ride with a couple of young friends then went about their business
- The friends were later robbed at gunpoint by some underage boys with shotguns, getting about $11
- The robbers, in a plea deal, implicated the Scott sisters
- Neither sister had a prior criminal record
- Prosecutors tried to paint them as the masterminds of the robbery – influencing the minors to commit the crime
- Both sisters were sentenced to life imprisonment
- NO ONE WAS KILLED OR EVEN INJURED
- The judge in the case has a long history of racist rulings (he pardoned the accused killer of Chaney, Schwerner & Goodman)
If that weren’t enough, the sisters have suffered a variety of indignities in prison. Jamie has gone into severe kidney failure due to years of corporate-controlled prison healthcare (infections, delays in hospital transportation, cancelled dialysis treatments, capricious solitary confinement).
The NAACP and a variety of people have been working years to have the sisters pardoned. Today it was announced that the sisters would be granted early parole on the condition that Gladys donate a kidney to Jamie.