Off Parole; On With Life

A Full Pardon March & Rally for the Scott Sisters
Received per email, written by Asinia Lukata Chikuyu – 6 April 2011

On the strength of about 500 enthusiastic college students, national justice advocates, and local organizers, Jamie and Gladys Scott stood strong on the steps of the Mississippi State Capitol and requested that governor Haley Barbour finish what he started. On January 7, 2011, The Scott Sisters were released from the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility by the governor to save the state the embarrassment of their continued incarceration with potential death looping over Jamie Scott due to kidney failure. At the same time, the governor wanted to save the state the cost of providing for the kidney transplant he order as a condition of the suspended sentence in granted the Scott Sisters.

On Friday, April 1, 2011 the Scott Sisters asked Haley Barbour to allow them to move on with their lives. They told governor barbour that 16 years and 32 days was more than enough time served for a crime that they didn’t commit. They told Haley Barbour that they wanted to vote, go on a get acquainted retreat with their children and grandchildren. They said they wanted to devote their lives to improving the quality of life for others wrongfully incarcerated. To do these things, they said they needed to have freedom of movement and freedom of opportunity to seek gainful employment. They needed the governor to show compassion and grant them a full pardon.

The Scott Sisters said they needed to get “Off Parole and On With Life”. And that was the main chant of the 500 supporters who marched the streets of downtown Jackson and stood at the Capitol Building as colonnade columns, like the ones in the pyramids, for Jamie and Gladys. The students from Fort Valley State University, Tougaloo College and Jackson State University stood tall with The Scott Sisters to urging governor barbour to grant a full pardon out of righteousness.

After freeing five men who actually committed murder, the crowd exhorted haley to earnestly consider the light his decision will shed on the image of Mississippi. Given the shameful history of this state, it was pointed out the healing and redemptive quality of a compassionate decision in favor of Jamie and Gladys would have on this state and this nation. Getting Jamie and Gladys “Off Parole and On With Life” could be a shining star for a brighter future for them, the state and the nation, if only the governor could be convinced.

Call the governor’s office requesting a full pardon at 601.359.3150 or 1-877-405.0733 or email the governor to request a full pardon at governor@governor.state.ms.us

As Afrikans in America continue to fight for freedom, justice and equity, we are fighting because – “We declare our right on this earth to be a human being, to be respected as a human being, to be given the rights of a human being in this society, on this earth, in this day, which we intend to bring into existence by any means necessary”. And we are sick and tired of being the only ones showing respect. That is why we’re here without fear and we want our sisters totally free. That is why we will be back here on September 15, 2011 again, bigger and stronger, if it is necessary to convince the state that denying justice to Jamie and Gladys is a threat to justice for all of us. On September 15th we’ll be facing the rising sun of our new day begun, let us march on ’til victory is won. Our prayer is “may we forever stand, true to our God, true to our native land”.

DON’T FORGET TO SIGN THE ONLINE PETITION!
http://www.change.org/petitions/a-full-pardon-for-jamie-gladys-scott#?opt_new=t&opt_fb=f

Asinia Lukata Chikuyu
FREE YOUR MIND…
& see what follows

———–
See also this story on Reuters.

Free the Scott Sisters: Grace calling Mississippi.

Hey Friends of Justice out there:
Don’t let Governor Barbour leave Jamie and Gladys to die in prison.

This week is a pretty critical time for folks to be contacting the Governor of Mississippi to implore him to pardon Jamie and Gladys Scott. I’m posting one of the more recent news editorials detailing their struggle below. You can also hit their mom’s blogspot for more info (Evelyn Rasco – such a beautiful soul – is their mom; Nancy Lockhart and Sis Marpessa are their champions). Be prepared for some awesome gospel, blues, and soul to stream through when you open it (that means crank up your speakers, not turn them down)!


The conditions of the prison they’re in – particularly the trailer where Jamie receives dialysis treatments (when the machine is working, that is) are horrendous – but you needn’t make reference to that in your communication with Governor Barbour’s office about the pardon – there’s an appropriate contact for that below.

If you’re a registered Republican – even from outside of Mississippi – please share that with Governor Barbour in your letter, as the man will likely be running for national office in 2012. It would help for him to know that real Republicans are interested in seeing that Americans are capable of delivering both justice and mercy when we’ve been wrong…

Here’s the info to reach Governor Haley Barbour (visit that link, first, to get to know a little about him):

Honorable Haley Barbour
P.O. Box 139
Jackson, Mississippi 39205

1-877-405-0733

You may also want to put something on letterhead and e-mail it as an attachment to the governor’s personal assistant – Dorothy Kuykendal:


Jamie Scott (center) with Mom and brother.

Also, check out this recent post and please contact the Mississippi health department regarding the black mold, toilets in Quick Bed and inadequate infrastructure in this dialysis trailer which are all located at Central Mississippi Correctional Facility in Pearl, Mississippi. There are a lot of lives at stake – the survival rates for sick Mississippi prisoners have plummeted in recent years under the current health care provider, Wexford – Mother Jones did an excellent piece on this in March.

Jeffrey K. Brown, Ph.D., R.P.E., B.C.E.
Bureau Director
State Public Health Entomologist
Mississippi State Department of Health
570 East Woodrow Wilson Avenue
Jackson, Mississippi 39216

601.576.7972 Office
601.576.7632 Fax
769.257.2242 Cell


Here’s the latest article giving some background on Jamie and Gladys. Please take action on their behalf THIS WEEK.

———-From the Seattle Times via Free The Scott Sisters———-

Sisters may or may not be guilty, but Mississippi assuredly is

Leonard Pitts Jr.
Sunday, November 21, 2010

Let’s assume they did it.

Let’s assume that two days before Christmas in 1993, a 22-year-old black woman named Jamie Scott and her pregnant 19-year-old sister Gladys set up an armed robbery. Let’s assume these single mothers lured two men to a spot outside the tiny town of Forest, Miss., where three teenage boys, using a shotgun the sisters supplied, relieved the men of $11 and sent them on their way, unharmed.

Assume all of the above is true, and still you must be shocked at the crude brutality of the Scott sisters’ fate. You see, the sisters, neither of whom had a criminal record before this, are still locked away in state prison, having served 16 years of their double-life sentences.

It bears repeating. Each sister is doing double life for a robbery in which $11 was taken and nobody was hurt. Somewhere, the late Nina Simone is moaning her signature song:

“Mississippi Goddam.”

For the record, two of the young men who committed the robbery testified against the sisters as a condition of their plea bargain. All three reportedly received two-year sentences and were long ago released. No shotgun or forensic evidence was produced at trial. The sisters have always maintained their innocence.

Observers are at a loss to explain their grotesquely disproportionate sentence. Early this year, the Jackson Advocate, a weekly newspaper serving the black community in the state capital, interviewed the sisters’ mother, Evelyn Rasco. She described the sentences as payback for her family’s testimony against a corrupt sheriff. According to her, that sheriff’s successor vowed revenge.

You don’t have to believe that to believe this: Mississippi stands guilty of a grievous offense against simple decency.

But there is hope. Recently, the sisters’ cause has been championed by high-powered allies. New York Times columnist Bob Herbert and the NAACP have called on Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour to pardon the two women. I add my voice to theirs.

I have no way of knowing if the Scott sisters’ fate is tied in to some sheriff’s revenge and at some level, the question is moot. Whatever the proximate cause of this ridiculous sentence, the larger cause is neon clear: the Scott sisters are black women in the poorest state in the union. And as report after report has testified, if you are poor or black (and God help you if you are both), the American justice system has long had this terrible tendency to throw you away like garbage. Historically, this has been especially true in the South.

If you doubt it, play with the scenario in your head. Try to imagine some rich white girl doing double life for an $11 robbery. You can’t.

But then, that girl has access to a brand of justice unavailable to women like Jamie and Gladys Scott. She will receive every break the law allows her and maybe a few it does not. No one will throw her away.

And while it would be nice to think this problem of discarding people’s lives would be solved by the release of the Scott sisters, the truth is, that wouldn’t even address it.

How many other Scott sisters and brothers are languishing behind bars for no good reason, doing undeserved hard time on nonexistent evidence, perjured testimony, prosecutorial misconduct or sheer racial or class bias?

So fixing the problem the Scott sisters represent involves nothing less than the reformation of the justice system, a commitment to make it, as the name implies, a system that reliably produces “justice” as opposed to these too frequent miscarriages thereof.

Meantime, Jamie Scott, who is in her late 30s now, is in poor health. She is said to be losing her vision and both her kidneys have failed. And we wait for common sense to take hold in Mississippi.

It is a situation that shocks the senses, even if we assume they did it.

Now, assume they did not.

Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts Jr.’s column appears regularly on editorial pages of The Times. His e-mail address is: lpitts@miamiherald.com

From: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/editorialsopinion/2013477385_pitts21.html

Free the Scott Sisters: Grace calling Mississippi.


Hey Friends of Justice out there:
Don’t let Governor Barbour leave Jamie and Gladys to die in prison.




This week is a pretty critical time for folks to be contacting the Governor of Mississippi to implore him to pardon Jamie and Gladys Scott. One of the more recent news editorials detailing their struggle is already posted below. You can also hit their mom’s blogspot for more info (Evelyn Rasco – such a beautiful soul – is their mom; Nancy Lockhart and Sis Marpessa are their champions). Be prepared for some awesome gospel, blues, and soul to stream through when you open it (that means crank up your speakers, not turn them down)!


The conditions of the prison they’re in – particularly the trailer where Jamie receives dialysis treatments (when the machine is working, that is) are horrendous – but you needn’t make reference to that in your communication with Governor Barbour’s office about the pardon – there’s an appropriate contact for that below.


If you’re a registered Republican – even from outside of Mississippi – please share that with Governor Barbour in your letter, as the man will likely be running for national office in 2012. It would help for him to know that real Republicans are interested in seeing that Americans are capable of delivering both justice and mercy when we’ve been wrong…


Here’s the info to reach Governor Haley Barbour (visit that link, first, to get to know a little about him):

Honorable Haley Barbour
P.O. Box 139
Jackson, Mississippi 39205


1-877-405-0733
governor@governor.state.ms.us


You may also want to put something on letterhead and e-mail it as an attachment to the governor’s personal assistant – Dorothy Kuykendal:

DKuykendall@governor.state.ms.us

Jamie Scott (center) with Mom and brother.



Also, check out this recent post and please contact the Mississippi health department regarding the black mold, toilets in Quick Bed and inadequate infrastructure in this dialysis trailer which are all located at Central Mississippi Correctional Facility in Pearl, Mississippi. There are a lot of lives at stake – the survival rates for sick Mississippi prisoners have plummeted in recent years under the current health care provider, Wexford – Mother Jones did an excellent piece on this in March.

Jeffrey K. Brown, Ph.D., R.P.E., B.C.E.
Bureau Director
State Public Health Entomologist
Mississippi State Department of Health
570 East Woodrow Wilson Avenue
Jackson, Mississippi 39216


601.576.7972 Office
601.576.7632 Fax
769.257.2242 Cell


jeffrey.brown@msdh.state.ms.us
www.healthyms.com

Scott Watch: Praying for a Mississippi Miracle

For those of you unfamiliar with Jamie and Gladys Scott’s story, here’s last March’s Mother Jones article about them, and here’s the Free the Scott Sisters‘ blog; leave some love there for their mom, Mrs. Rasco.

This has been one of the most outrageous miscarriages of justice I’ve ever heard of. But today is a day of great hope…

—————–

UPDATE FROM MRS. EVELYN RASCO SEPTEMBER 16, 2010

Dear Supporters:

Mrs. Rasco has requested that I inform all supporters of the following:

The September 16, 2010 rally was a great success. In addition, she has asked me to report that buckets, and buckets of money were collected at the rally and she hopes that the collections will be used to benefit Jamie and Gladys.

Currently, we are waiting to determine what the decision of the Pardons and Parole board will be. We have learned from indirect sources that the meeting with Governor Barbour’s representative has resulted in a pardon packet being passed to the Pardons and Parole board for a decision.

I’ve included a few links of the most recent media attention. This is the most publicity that the sisters have received in 16 years.

MSNBC News- Mrs. Rasco and NAACP President Ben Jealous – http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/39217086#39217086

USA TODAY – http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2010-09-14-scott-sisters_N.htm

September 15, 2010 rally
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrooQ8ZwvpY

I would like to thank all supporters of this case. Without each individual person — this case would not be where it is today. We cannot stop now — please remain until the sisters are free.

THANK YOU!

Peace and Blessings!

In Solidarity,

Nancy Lockhart