After 16 years in prison
Jamie Scott faces health crisis
Published May 23, 2010 10:56 PM
Jim Crow injustice has not ended in the state of Mississippi, certainly not for
Gladys and Jamie Scott. The sisters have been unjustly incarcerated in a
Mississippi prison for 16 years for a crime they did not commit.
The travesty of justice began in 1993 when they were both arrested in Scott
County for allegedly participating in a robbery that netted $11. The following
year, each was convicted and sentenced to two life-terms in prison. This was
despite the fact that neither of them had a prior record of arrests nor was
there any physical evidence implicating them.
In spite of this, a court of appeals refused to overturn their convictions.
Further, the U.S. Supreme Court denied their appeals.
The case of the Scott Sisters demonstrates that pervasive and systemic racism
not only exists in the Mississippi criminal justice system but extends all the
way up to the highest court in this country.
It also shows how nearly impossible it is for many poor people, especially
people of color, to get any semblance of justice or fair treatment in the
courts and prisons. This also extends to the lack of decent medical care for
those who are incarcerated.
Jamie Scott has life-threatening kidney disease. She is being denied regular
medications and dialysis and the type of diet required for her condition. In
addition to this, she has developed a systemic infection. Although she was very
recently rushed by ambulance to a hospital after fainting, she was returned
back to prison, to a cell riddled with insects and mold.
Her family and other supporters say that Scott’s health problems have
progressed to such a degree that she must be hospitalized. They assert that she
faces a death sentence if she does not immediately receive the medical care
that she needs, and that the care being provided by the Mississippi Department
of Corrections and Wexford Health Sources, Inc., is wholly inadequate and
They ask that public pressure be put on the following officials to demand that
Jamie Scott be hospitalized immediately, until she is free of infections, and
to ensure that her health problems are dealt with fully: Attorney General Eric
Holder, Dr. Gloria Perry, Christopher Epps, commissioner of the Mississippi
Department of Corrections and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour. See
freethescottsisters.blogspot.com for telephone, fax and email contact
At this time, legal assistance is also needed so that the Scott Sisters’
appeals can be reviewed and further avenues can be found for pursuing relief
and exoneration. Letters should be sent to the American Bar Association asking
for their assistance in providing pro bono attorneys. Email addresses and a
sample letter are available online at the above-cited website.
A national campaign is growing to demand justice for the Scott Sisters. It is
essential that all across the country, progressive organizations and
individuals increase the pressure on public officials to demand their freedom.
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