Scott Sisters Freed From Jail After 16 Years Over $11 & ESRD (Updated)
2 Mississippi sisters imprisoned for armed robbery were set free today by theunder the condition that Gladys would donate a kidney to Jamie. Jamie Scott is in level five renal failure and requires dialysis three times a week.
It’s a “humanitarian” move that will also save the state money, but what I find curious is that Gladys Scott hasn’t yet been tested to confirm that her kidney will be a match for her sister
The sisters’ lawyer pleaded for their release due to the serious nature of Jamie Scott’s illness and her desperate need for a donor organ. I expect the state approved the release not so much out of concern for Scott’s welfare as the Corrections Department’s budget, but I would have thought that they’d cover their bases by ensuring Gladys’s kidney was a match before releasing the women.
The sisters were released and driven out of the prison at 8:00am. Last week after 16 years in prison, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour agreed to indefinitely suspend the life sentences of Jamie and Gladys Scott, which they received for their part in a 1993 armed robbery that court records say netted between $11 and $200. The only reason they are getting out of prison is because the two sisters have pledged to share a kidney. Had they stayed in prison, it would have cost the prison $200k a year for providing dialysis treatment to Jamie Scott.
Jamie Scott and Gladys Scott lured two men down a road in 1993 where they were robbed by three teenagers who struck both men in the head with a shotgun and took their wallets, according to court documents.
The Scotts were convicted of robbery with the use of a deadly weapon and have been in prison ever since.
The nature of their specific crime seems to be relatively minor in the scheme of what constitutes armed robbery: They purposely brought the victims into contact with the perpetrators, who “hit them with a shotgun and took their wallets.” Sixteen years is a long time, especially since the Scott sisters were unarmed accomplices, but given that the GOP prides itself on being tough on crime, it’s surprising that a Republican governor would release any prisoner on such terms.
“To date, the sisters have served 16 years of their sentences and are eligible for parole in 2014. Jamie Scott requires regular dialysis, and her sister has offered to donate one of her kidneys to her,” Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said in a prepared release.
What’s also interesting to me is that the sisters are headed to their mother’s house in Florida, ostensibly for the purpose of finding medical care for Jamie and a surgeon to perform the transplant. Being in prison for 16 years, it’s unlikely that the sisters have health care coverage, so I expect the expenses will be borne by Medicaid. Did Mississippi snooker Florida into accepting its convicted felons and their medical costs? Nicely played, Governor Barbour!
If not, the Scott sisters will need to pay for the kidney donation. They will likely need financial help soon. We will keep you updated, and for Jamie Scott’s sake, I hope that her sister’s kidney is a match.