Friday, December 31, 2010

an injustice in Mississippi is an injustice everywhere

so i've been reading about the Scott Sisters in the news every now and then, and theres been a break in the case just recently, but even more outraging than their arrest.
to make a long story short, the Scott Sisters were arrested 16 years ago and sentenced to 2 life sentences for stealing $11. yes, ELEVEN DOLLARS. yes, TWO LIFE sentences each.
i would write a post about this, but a common friend on facebook wrote a very good and concise commentary on the story with some very important questions we all should be asking the government.
here's the commentary:

The number one priority is to assess the financial circumstances under which Jamie will be able to get the greatly needed kidney transplant from the donor who will be her Sister, Gladys. Where is the money coming from, who will pay ? Her kidneys failed IN prison, she got sick IN prison.

The second priority is to assess and examine the strategies necessary to make their release fully permanent. Indefinite suspension is not FREEDOM. This action is not about JUSTICE. We promised Jamie and Gladys JUSTICE.

We need to question the terms and condition and status of their release. The State of Mississippi has released them without pardon and without a commutation which very much remands them still to the custody of the Department of Corrections, but not under the normal probationary regulations. We have to ask why. This is bottom line an impediment and barrier to block them from talking to media, the community or to redress the great injustice done to them and the burden it has placed on their lives and their family.

We have to ask, on this matter was this a way of ensuring that the Sisters cannot charge the state with violation of both their judicial, civil or human rights or challenge the initial sentence of 2x life sentences; or challenge the conduct of the court or prosecutors in the matter ? Did Barbour view this release as a way of removing political baggage off of his desk in his quest for the Republican nomination for President , espeically in the light of his recent idiot racist remarks reported widely ? Why was there no immediate release ? Why did Barbour intentionally underscore guilt in his statement, where guilt is at the core of the question of the courts' decision ? Why did the Pardons Board recommend no commutation or pardon ? They could have and the Governor could have chosen his option of indefinite suspension.

Suspension means just that, suspend, hold up. At any point, these Sisters can be returned to prison. If they speak to the media, hire an attorney, file complaints about their incarceration or the inadequacy of Jamie's medical treatment while incarcerated; or if they speak at all about the conditions under which they were found guilty, sentenced or incarcerated. Have any of us ever heard of one instance when the government imposes an organ donation as a term of anything ? In the situation of a suspension of sentence, I guess they can just about do anything. This action is nothing less than house arrest, with organ donation thrown in and no financial capacity for the surgery.

Still I wept in happiness for Jamie and Gladys and their family. As a Mother, I wept for Evelyn Rasco. Rest now for a while. We have work to do.

this case brought to light the history of the government and large corporations exploiting the bodies of people of color, especially that of prisoners. what cases have ever required a prisoner to give up a part of their body? what right does Haley Barbour think he has to make someone give up an ORGAN!! the books Killing the Black Body and Medical Apartheid speak about the ways the government has disrespected our rights to our own bodies since the beginning of colonialism. i cannot fathom how this case has even been thriving for 16 years. this needs to be a call to action. especially for those that believe race relations are all unicorns and sunshine since Obama was elected.

i'm ready for a riot. anyone know of one, just let me know the time and the place.

also, here's Governor Haley Barbour's address so you can send him hate mail:

Governor Haley Barbour

P.O. Box 139

Jackson, Mississippi


comment. think. criticize. riot.

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