Letter from a concerned world citizen to Ms Kuykendall for Governor Barbour

A similar letter was emailed to Ms Kuykendall on March 5th.

Dear Ms Kuykendall,

I am a Dutch and British citizen living in The Netherlands. I request your help to pass this message on to Governor Barbour. I have heard about a woman in prison in Mississippi who is gravely ill with kidney disease and diabetes (I can relate to this since I have diabetes myself). Her name is Jamie Scott, and her DOC nr is 19197. I also read that she and her sister Gladys Scott are in prison on a life sentence for stealing a small amount of money, (which they deny having anything to do with), I think this is very very harsh and it does not make the streets safer to lock these mothers up for life, and possibly letting others off on a deal, as can be read in the article on solitarywatch.wordpress.com.

As a Dutch, British and European citizen, I request that you ask Governor Barbour to feel mercy for these two sisters, and especially Jamie Scott, who is very ill and would be better off when she would be cared for in freedom. I am sure that most people who are merciful and forgiving and not afraid of people who made one minor mistake 15 years ago, where no one got hurt, would find it an act of humanity and normalcy to grant these sisters forgiveness and thereby what is left of their lives back, and their children their mother back.

I pray and I hope that you will find the spot in your heart where the Lord lives, and let Him speak bravely for those who are suffering, the sick and the prisoners who have done their time and who have been redeemed since so very long.

In positive hopes of your acts of mercy, I remain,

Yours faithfully,
(my name)

Oprah Phone Home: Mississippi’s Burning

I don’t know how else to get through Oprah’s people to her but to keep blogging messages like this and try to snail mail copies through on top of it. I really believe if she knew about Jamie and her family, she’d be looking into it herself. I think she’d be real disappointed in whomever on her staff didn’t at least let her know this was happening out here before it was too late for her to try to help. Then, if she ignores us, it will at least have been an informed decision. She sure wouldn’t want to be Googling herself in the aftermath of all these calls for help from Jamie’s friends and family, only to see that she responded with silence as Jamie died.

I don’t think Oprah would ignore us though. This is too loaded for her to just walk away. We’re trying to appeal to the most difficult place in the country to find mercy, grace, compassionate release – from the heart of a Southern Governor. I still want justice for them, and I don’t see either coming from Barbour. Maybe I’m wrong abut him, but he’s going for the presidential bid in 2012. Why would he be any different from all the other southern Governors in the last 150 years? I just don’t know that he has what it would take to look honestly at the fractures in the system and try to make sure that innocent people aren’t getting hurt. The power of clemency is precisely for situations like this – where an exceptional intervention is needed to assure that the mechanisms of justice don’t corrupt their own ends. 

We can’t do this without more help, though. Oprah can bring the kind of mainstream American help we need. All we’re asking is for her to look into this, and to tell people what she sees. Maybe that’s a big trip to put on someone, but I think each of us – no matter how big or small our splash in the world may be – have a duty to each other when we learn about an injustice that we can play a role in correcting or preventing from happening again… 

Anyone with Oprah’s ear, ask her to please send help. Very soon.


Subject: Contact Request For Scott Sisters By Sister Marpessa

Greetings, all,

Mrs. Rasco is still trying to get updated info on Jamie, so i unfortunately can’t confirm whether or not she was taken to thehospital yesterday.  We will definitely give an update on Jamie as soon as we get word and do an official Scott Sisters posting.

This is my personal request that i hope that you’ll participate in. Today, 2/23, i watched a portion of the Oprah Winfrey Show asshe tearfully embraced the family of American student Amanda Knox, sentenced to 26 years for killing her roommate in Italy. She lavished such great empathy and seemingly heartfelt support that all I could do was think about all the ways that the case of the Scott Sisters completely trumped this one and should engender even more concern.

Unlike Amanda Knox, this is a case where no one was killed or injured; the best years of two women’s lives have been stolen by an extremely draconian double-life sentence each; they’ve already served 15 yrs for a first-time offense; they were wrongfully convicted in a trial where witnesses and two alleged victims stated that they had nothing to do with the robbery; they’re from her home state of Mississippi, and one of them is suffering kidney failure and miserable medical care in deplorable conditions!

i’m not naive by any stretch, i’m hip to the world of ratings, celebrity-worship, salaciousness, etc., and that neither i nor Mrs. Rasco or the Scott Sisters particularly fit into Oprah’s “putting a pot roast in the oven” suburban demographic.  Still, i can’t find fault in at least flooding her website with Scott Sisters information,
particularly since it’s so quick and easy and we are trying everything we can think of to do.

If we all did this activity together, perhaps we could catch the attention of one of her staffers who may at the very least put a bug into her ear.  Surely this case could be a ratings grabber, it has all the mystique and intrigue of anything else she’s got happening!

Below is what I’ve plugged in there & i hope you’ll take just a few moments to try to see if we can get this case on her radar, using part of this and putting your own flavor in there, or completely using something totally different, please just be sure to include the link to Mrs. Rasco’s website, thanks so much!  The link to Oprah’s contact form is at http://www.facebook.com/l/a00ac;www.oprah.com/ownshow/plug_form.html?plug_id=220

“i watched your interview with the family of Amanda Knox today and am writing to ask that you give the same consideration to the Mississippi Scott Sisters, Jamie and Gladys, who have been incarcerated for 15 years of an astonishing double-life sentence (each) for an alleged robbery which was said to have netted approximately 11 dollars!  No one was killed or injured during this alleged robbery and this was the first offense for both of these young women, who have maintained their innocence. Witnesses and the two alleged victims testified that Jamie and Gladys had absolutely nothing to do with this robbery and that the sheriff coerced and threatened them to lie on them at the original trial.  

After 15 hard years of prison life both women suffer from chronic depression and at just 38 years of age, Jamie Scott has a myriad of health issues and most recently suffered complete renal failure!  Her thrice weekly dialysis is complicated by machine breakdowns, infections and lack of adequate nutrition resulting from miserable medical care and deplorable living conditions. NATIONAL ATTENTION TO THIS CASE COULD LITERALLY SAVE HER LIFE. 

These young women’s children and grandchildren are all being cared for by their long-struggling mother, Evelyn Rasco, who single-handedly has cared for as many as 10 children at once, all while worrying about her son serving in Iraq and her daughters subsisting in the prison.   All of the necessary  information is online at http://www.facebook.com/l/a00ac;www.freethescottsisters.blogspot.com. Please take the time to review it and you will agree that this shocking and horrific injustice absolutely must be exposed! We need to hear from you.”

Thanks to everyone and please pass this on!

Sis. Marpessa Kupendua


URGENT!!!!!! SAVE JAMIE’S LIFE: a special edition of WOMEN BEHIND THE WALL, devoted to the desperate medical situation of Jamie Scott and efforts to obtain a compassionate release for Jamie before she dies of medical neglect in a woman’s prison.
Tuesday 2/9/10 at 6:00 PM EST
on blogtalkradio.com/4justicenow, call in number 646-378-1432.