Set for Washington, D.C.
Dick Gregory supports protest for Scott sisters
Published Jun 10, 2010 12:43 PM
An important demonstration is scheduled for June 21 in Washington, D.C., to
help bring national attention to the Scott sisters’ case. Gladys and
Jamie Scott have been unjustly imprisoned since October 1994 for the
“crime” of stealing $11 from a store in Scott County,
The African-American sisters received life sentences following their
convictions, which once again reflect the ongoing, heinous legacy of slavery in
the U.S., especially in the South. Neither sister had a prior criminal
record nor did any violence occur in the December 1993 robbery. In fact,
witnesses and even the alleged robbery victims stated during the trial that the
sisters were not involved in the robbery. All their appeals proving their
innocence have been denied, including by the U.S. Supreme Court.
When the Scott sisters were sent to the Central Mississippi Correctional
Facility, they were both healthy women. However, over the many years of being
exposed to inhumane living conditions in the prison as well as the total lack
of healthy food, Jamie Scott has developed stage 5 kidney failure, which
requires dialysis. The next stage is death. She has been rushed to the hospital
numerous times as a result of the terrible prison medical care.
Nancy Lockhart, a paralegal who is a supporter of the Scott sisters, received a
letter this May from Jamie Scott on life in prison where she stated: “I
have witnessed many inmates die at the hands of this second-rate medical care.
I do not want to be one of them.”
The June 21 daylong protest is being organized by the Gray-Haired Witnesses for
Justice to put pressure on the federal government to force Mississippi Governor
Haley Barbour to release the Scott sisters from prison immediately. A 10 a.m.
fast will take place at the office of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder,
followed by a press conference in front of the White House at noon, with a
formal appeal to President Obama. Then at Lafayette Square Park from 1 p.m.
until 9 p.m., there will be a program of speakers and cultural
Dick Gregory, long-time civil rights activist and comedian, has given public
support to the June 21 action. In a June 3 press release, Gregory stated,
“This is one of the worst cases I have ever heard of in my life. My jaw
dropped when I read that these women have been in prison for almost 16 years
and aren’t even charged with laying a hand on anyone! This country should
be embarrassed to have such a blatant travesty of justice exist while wagging
our finger at people abroad for human rights abuses. What we have going on here
is the epitome of cruel and unusual punishment and is outrageous, even for
The Gray-Haired Witnesses are calling on all people of good will to join them
on that day and demand justice for the Scott sisters and an end to the
“oversentencing, degradation and dehumanization of Black women in this
system and nation as a whole.” A bus will be traveling from Mississippi
to Washington, D.C., for the protest. For more information about the
Scott sisters’ case and support that is needed for the June 21
demonstration, visit www.freethescottsisters.blogspot.com.
Articles copyright 1995-2012 Workers World.
Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.
Workers World, 55 W. 17 St., NY, NY 10011
Email: [email protected]
Subscribe [email protected]
Support independent news DONATE