Submitted by Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger
Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, preparing for a run for President, has granted clemency to two African-American sisters serving life sentences for an armed robbery 17 years ago. The sisters were convicted of robbing at gunpoint two men who were driving them to a nightclub in northern Mississippi in 1993. They had no prior criminal record and got $11.00. Each was sentenced to two life terms. Civil Rights activists have lobbied for their release arguing the sentences were too long.
The Chair of the Republican Governor’s Association did place one proviso on the pair however. Gladys Scott, 36, will have to donate a kidney to her ill sister, Jamie Scott, 38, who requires dialysis. Now a cynic like me might believe the move was a cost saving one to keep a few dollars in the state coffers, and … I’d be right. According to Barbour, the move was made to relieve a financial burden on the State. No thought of the harshness of the sentence on two then twenty-something year old “perps.” In Mississippi, the quality of mercy is apparently strained.
Not everybody is happy, however, with the cost-cutting move. “Michael Shapiro, chief of organ transplant at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey, has criticized the decision to impose a condition for the release as unethical and possibly illegal.”
~Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger