Monday, January 3, 2011

Mississippi, Goddam!


Well it's a new year and what a way to start it. I must admit...I had heard the outrageous story of the Scott sisters about two months ago on the Michael Baisden Show. I couldn't believe that in this day and time...such a miscarriage of justice could take place....Then I found out that this miscarriage of justice took place in the great State of Mississippi and all of a sudden ,it didn't seem so very unlikely...

If you don't know about the Scott Sisters...Let me enlighten you...The Scott Sisters,Jamie and Gladys are two African-American women who have been in prison for the past 16 years. Jamie, now 38, is seriously ill. Both of her kidneys have failed. Keeping the two of them locked up any longer is unconscionable, grotesquely inhumane.

The Scott sisters were accused of luring two men to a spot outside the rural town of Forest, Miss., in 1993, where the men were robbed by three teenagers, one of whom had a shotgun. The Scott sisters knew the boys. The evidence of the sisters’ involvement has always been ambiguous, at best. The teenagers pleaded guilty to the crime, served two years in prison and were released. All were obliged by the authorities, as part of their plea deals, to implicate the sisters.

No explanation has ever emerged as to why Jamie and Gladys Scott were treated so severely. I can think of a few...but you should be able to figure that out without me further elaborating.

Recently Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour,pardoned the Scott Sisters. As I write this..They have probably been released from Prison. Old Haley Barbour, Mississippi's governor, wants everyone to believe he is the good guy in the case of these two black women who have spent nearly 20 years in prison because of an $11 robbery that they may or may not have even committed.

He's one sly old dog...That Haley fella, see old Haley Barbour is not only a governor; he is the former national chair of the Republican Party and heads the GOP Governors Association. He clearly has his eyes on the 2012 race against President Barack Obama or whoever is the Democratic candidate by then. So he's counting on black folks giving him some love -- and votes of course -- for releasing Gladys and Jamie Scott.

Haley Barbour generously decided that they should be released on the condition that one donates a kidney to the other. New York Times columnist Bob Herbert wrote in October about the cascading pleas for mercy: "This should be an easy call for a law-and-order governor who has, nevertheless, displayed a willingness to set free individuals convicted of far more serious crimes. Mr. Barbour has already pardoned four killers and suspended the life sentence of a fifth."

All five of the killers that were set free by Barbour pardons were signed to some program in which they did work around the governors mansion...There was no doubt about these men's guilt and all had committed a far more serious crime than the $11.00 stick up these two girls may or may not have been involved in. Under those conditions, He just ought to have pardoned the Scott Sisters.

If Nina Simone was still alive, what would she say? You know, She left this country,
never to live here again, because she was sick and tired of the lynchings and the segregation in the "old" south. She wrote a song called "Mississippi Goddamn" about such conditions.

The judge who essentially sentenced the Scott sisters, Jamie and Gladys, to life in prison was downright lenient in 2005 when it came to sentencing one of the ringleaders of the lynching of three civil rights workers in Mississippi in 1964 -- Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney. That despicable peice of human excretement was given 60 years -- (20 years for each murder?) -- but left free while appealing his conviction.

The NAACP, which has pushed hard for the release of the Scott Sisters, is grateful that Jamie and Gladys are about to be freed (the process may take 45 days), but the NAACP and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, as well as other civil rights organizations -- and especially individual lawyers like Chokwe Lumumba -- want this kind of miscarriage of justice to never happen again.

Come on...This is Post Racial America....This isn't supposed to be happening still...Mississippi has put a black eye on racial progress....Mississippi, Goddamn!

1 comment:

Rich Fitzgerald said...

I wonder if this is a dated photo or a current one.

I only recently began hearing the details behind the case and never knew that the boys only got a few years. How any adult in the justice system could even think that was fair is beyond me.

We need to introduce a system that punishes the DA's and Judges who unfairly promote these types of sentencing, then they would think twice about doing such a thing.




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