Share & Connect
Governor Haley Barbour plans on denying the request for a pardon from the Scott sisters. Gladys and Jamie Scott were released from a Mississippi prison earlier this year after Barbour suspended their life sentences. During a rally on April 1, about 350 people gathered outside the Mississippi Capitol to support pardons for Gladys and Jamie.
The Scott sisters were convicted of leading two men into an ambush in central Mississippi in 1993. After allegedly hitting each man in the head with a shotgun, Jamie and Gladys Scott were each convicted of two counts of armed robbery and sentenced to two life sentences–for stealing $11. Although the sisters have received significant public support from advocacy groups, including the NAACP, Barbour eventually suspended their sentences because of the cost. Jamie, who has a serious medical condition requiring dialysis daily, is costing the state a lot of money — approximately $200,000 a year, according to Mississippi Department of Corrections Spokesman Kent Croker. Gladys’s release is contingent on her donating a kidney to Jaime.
Barbour, who will likely run for the GOP nomination in 2012, told The Associated Press prior to the rally that he doesn’t plan to clear the sisters. When asked if he had any plans to pardon the sisters, Barbour responded, “Tell `em don’t save any space in the newspaper for that to be announced.” Barbour has a second-floor office that overlooks the rally site, but he was not at the Capitol when protesters were there.
Jamie Scott said at the rally that she thanks Barbour for the release, but “Mississippi took 16 years and 32 days of my life.” She said that without pardons, she and her sister won’t be free.
The women’s attorney, Chokwe Lumumba, vowed to make the pardon an issue if Barbour runs for higher office. “Everywhere that Haley Barbour looks in this country, if he’s looking for an independent or a moderate or whatever else they call those people that they’re supposed to be getting the votes for, he’s going to see us there waving the banner of the Scott sisters,” Lumumba said during the rally.