Tuesday, February 24, 2009
INfamous INjustices-An Open Letter To Oprah To Free The Scott Sisters
jamie g and lady s Scott
I am heartbroken. As you are aware, I am sure, African American women are filling up prisons at an alarming rate. The last 20 years of the “drug war” have caused a tremendous rise in the numbers of incarcerated Black women. Figures supplied by the United States Department of Justice show that Black women are being imprisoned at nearly double the rate of men.
Thirty-three percent of women prisoners are Black and 16 percent are Hispanic, according to experts at The Sentencing Project.
Injustice for African American people is at an all time high and at every turn there are cases upon cases of people who are wrongfully incarcerated, unjustly sentenced and the most severe inhumanity imaginable: under double lockdown (solitary confinement) for long periods of time.
This being said, I am writing to you on behalf of Jamie and Gladys Scott. Their mother and advocate Nancy Lockhart were recently guests on BlogTalkRadio.com
(http://www.blogtalkradio.com/queen-ifama ) and it brought tears to my eyes. Their mother contacted you a while ago and now I also would like to add my voice to hers. Being an avid fan of yours for years and knowing what you have featured on your show in the way of addressing injustice, I feel it imperative that you please take a look at the case of the Scott Sisters. At the time, these young women were 22 and 19 years old with five children between them. They have been incarcerated for 14 years. Fourteen years away from their children, fourteen years away from their parents and family. It has been devastating to this family. The only hope they have is our voices.
In 1994, Jamie and Gladys Scott were wrongfully convicted in the state of Mississippi. A corrupt sheriff used coercion, threats, and harassment to convict the Scott Sisters of armed robbery. The case of the Scott sisters is an intriguing one, with transcripts stating that 11 dollars was stolen, at most. It’s important to note that no one was murdered or injured, in the alleged robbery. One of the state’s witnesses, a 14 year old, testified that he did not have an attorney present when signing a statement prepared by the sheriff! These facts seem to mean little, as Jamie and Gladys Scott have served 14 years of double-life sentences, thus far, for a robbery they did not commit. That’s Double Life Each!
The Scott sisters, with no prior convictions before their sentencing, now wallow in the belly of the Prison Industrial Complex. The emotional strain this burden has placed upon their family is immeasurable. Their children, grandchildren, and mother have been forced to wade in the waters of financial-hardship. Their father, though a strong man, passed away a few years back, following the illegal incarceration of his two beautiful daughters. Readers should be aware that Jamie and Gladys Scott’s brother is currently fighting the war in Iraq, for a country which imprisons innocent people (like his sisters). Welcome to reality.
Though imprisoned and physically-bound, both sisters have fought to keep their clarity and sanity in check. One of the ways this is achieved, is through personal diaries—accounts of the often-glamorized, but incomprehensibly horrific conditions of prison systems.
I appreciate the time you will take to look into this. Regardless to whether we feel that they were innocent or guilty. The injustice is that the alleged crime does not warrant the amount of time that was given to these two young Black women. Please visit www.freejamieandgladyscott.blogspot.com for any information at all that
you will need regarding this case. At some point we MUST stand up for justice. This happens far too often and we have the POWER to do something about it.
We are calling for everyone reading this e-mail to take a moment and send a letter to Oprah Winfrey on behalf of the Scott Sisters. Why? Because we are pulling out all of the stops in our attempts to bring this incredible case of extreme Mississippi injustice to the attention of the nation and world, it is just that compelling! Please read on and we are certain that you will agree that taking a moment to make contact is at least worth the effort!
Oprah Winfrey Show
PO Box 909715, Chicago, Illinois 60690-9715
110 N Carpenter St., Chicago, Illinois 60607-2146
300 W 57th Street, Floor 36,
New York, New York 10019-3741
Dear Ms. Winfrey,