JACKSON, MS – Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour has indefinitely suspended the prison sentences of Jaime and Gladys Scott, following a long campaign by the NAACP to secure the sisters’ freedom. The NAACP Mississippi State Conference and the National NAACP have been working together with the family and the sisters’ lawyer, Chokwe Lumumba, to advocate for the sisters, who were incarcerated in 1994 despite troubling questions regarding the accuracy of witness testimony, possible coercion and potential racial bias. President Jealous was recently in touch with the Governor’s office following his delivery of a petition urging that the sisters be released. President Jealous and Governor Barbour will meet in person tomorrow at the capitol in Jackson, Mississippi.
Jaime and Gladys Scott were convicted in an armed robbery that yielded $11, a crime in which they have consistently denied any involvement. Both sisters were sentenced to double-life sentences and have remained imprisoned since their convictions, despite the fact that Jaime is suffering from kidney failure and requires regular dialysis. According to Barbour, Gladys’ freedom is contingent on her donating her kidney to Jaime.
In September, NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous traveled to Mississippi to hand-deliver a letter to Governor Barbour requesting a pardon. The NAACP’s campaign has also included a Facebook page, a letter-writing campaign, participation in a march on the State Capitol, and numerous public calls for support.
The Governor’s decision comes one day before President Jealous and Mississippi NAACP State Conference President Derrick Johnson are scheduled to meet with the governor.
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.