Investigations into the pardon petition for sisters Jamie and Gladys Scott have concluded, and the request for their release now awaits Gov. Haley Barbour's decision.
The Scott sisters appeared individually before the Mississippi Parole Board yesterday, according to activist Nancy Lockhart, who has been advocating for their release since 2005. She spoke to the sisters by phone yesterday.
"They went before the board, and the board said that this was just wrapping up—some more information that they needed—(and) that they would not hear from the board anymore," Lockhart told the Jackson Free Press yesterday. "The next person they should hear from is Gov. Haley Barbour."
Investigators from the Parole Board began meeting with the sisters after a Sept. 15 march and rally at the state Capitol in support of their release. Attorney and Ward 2 Councilman Chokwe Lumumba, who filed the pardon petition on the sisters' behalf, was not immediately available for comment.
The Scott sisters are both serving double life sentences for armed robbery at Central Mississippi Correctional Facility in Rankin County. A Scott County jury convicted them in 1994 for a robbery that allegedly netted anywhere from $11 to more than $200.
Two of the sisters' three alleged co-conspirators testified against them in exchange for reduced sentences. In 2000, their third alleged accomplice signed an affidavit stating that Jamie and Gladys Scott had not participated in the robbery. All three co-conspirators served less than three years in prison for the robbery.
The sisters and their supporters maintain that they are innocent. The pardon petition does not ask for Barbour to declare the sisters innocent, however, and instead focuses on the length of their sentence.
Prison doctors have diagnosed Jamie Scott with diabetes and kidney failure.
Read more about the Scott Sisters: "The Tragic Case of the Scott Sisters"
Even if Gov. Barvour says, "YES" for their release, there is still something WRONG with Mississippi's justice system.
And if the governor says no, then he needs to answer to why he pardoned men who killed their wives and girlfriends. And if he even thinks about running for president, that issue alone will derail his chances.
- golden eagle