Friday, January 7, 2011

Red State Justice

They were imprisoned for life for a crime that, at most, should have netted them a couple of years behind bars. When they were young, Jamie and Gladys Scott facilitated a robbery that netted the robbers $11. The women had no prior criminal history. No one was killed and the boys who actually committed the robbery escaped with a few months in jail after fingering the young women in a plea-bargain. But the sisters were sentenced to life.

Now, sixteen years later, Governor Haley Barbour is releasing the Scott Sisters from prison. But it's not for the reasons you might suspect. They aren't being released to right a long-ago wrong. They're being released because the eldest sister, Jamie Scott, requires dialysis treatments which are costing the State of Mississippi about $200,0000.00 a year, and the younger of the two sisters has agreed to donate one of her kidneys to her sister in exchange for their freedom:

After mulling over the matter for several months, Gov. Barbour announced in late December that he would not pardon the sisters, but would instead indefinitely suspend their sentences.

Gov. Barbour said he had acted in part out of concern over Jamie Scott’s health, but also to relieve the state of the cost of her dialysis treatment, approximately $200,000 a year.

“The Mississippi Department of Corrections believes the sisters no longer pose a threat to society,” Mr. Barbour said in a Dec. 29 statement. “Their incarceration is no longer necessary for public safety or rehabilitation, and Jamie Scott’s medical condition creates a substantial cost to the state of Mississippi.”

That's some mighty fine Christian compassion for ya!

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