Saturday, September 18, 2010

Mississippi G*d Damn!

“The double life sentences imposed on the Scott sisters for an alleged robbery in Mississippi netting little more than $11 is a glaring example of a criminal justice system that is no longer much concerned with justice. No one was hurt or injured, and these women have no prior offenses. No other Western democracy subjects its own people to such draconian punishment for minor crimes. And no other country in the world incarcerates such a large percentage of its racial and ethnic minorities. This is Jim Crow justice, alive and well today. I urge all those of conscience to support the Scott sisters and the thousands of other prisoners who find themselves in similar shoes.” - Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow

Fifteen years ago Jamie and Gladys Scott were each sentenced to a double life sentence for theft of $11. They vehemently deny their guilt, and witnesses who testified against them have now recanted their testimony.

Their case is getting more and more attention and NAACP president Ben Jealous is among those seeking a pardon or commutation of their sentence. I have issues with Jealous, but the NAACP still carries weight, and his involvement can be helpful. In the meantime, please do what you can to help these women whose children were babies when they were first incarcerated in the early 1990s.