Block Report: The Scott Sisters
The Block Report interviews Mrs. Rasco, the mother of Jamie and Gladys Scott, two women in Mississippi who were accused of an $11 dollar robbery and given double life sentences. The sisters have always proclaimed their innocence. Now one of them has been hospitalized.
Scroll down for important ACTION ALERTS – a new petition to sign and other breaking news.
by Marpessa Kupendua
Jamie and Gladys Scott are sisters who have been wrongfully convicted of armed robbery. They each incredibly received draconian double-life sentences – life for each of the alleged two victims – although no one was murdered or injured during this robbery of approximately $11! Witnesses and the two alleged victims testified that the sisters had absolutely nothing to do with this robbery and also testified that the sheriff coerced and threatened them to lie on the Scott Sisters. Jamie and Gladys Scott have been in prison since October of 1994, victims of Mississippi injustice with the best years of their lives snatched away.
Jamie Scott suffered kidney failure in early January 2010 as the culmination of many medical ailments that have manifested during her incarceration and which were never properly diagnosed nor correctly treated due to the state’s refusal to provide her with proper medical care. Even after Jamie’s kidneys shut down, the prison medical doctor stubbornly refused to send Jamie to the hospital and toxins continued to accumulate in her body.
One morning last month she was taken to the hospital where a temporary catheter was inserted into her neck and she was returned directly to the prison a few hours later and soon thereafter removed from the prison medical building when she was very weak and barely able to take care of her activities of daily living. Jamie was recently rescued by an inmate who found her lying in her cell unresponsive and in shock and yelled out for her to be rushed back to the hospital.
The doctor there informed Jamie that her dialysis had not been administered correctly and that her temporary catheter was malfunctioning, yet she was again returned right back to the prison!
The prison’s cut-rate medical practices are life-threatening for Jamie! The longer she remains in that prison the more her health will continue to deteriorate. This is a proven fact which is documented by her steady decline during her 15 years of unjust incarceration.
Jamie needs compassionate release RIGHT NOW before she suffers any further. Large numbers of people must raise this demand before the authorities will take any action on her behalf!
Please continue to call and write to support the Scott Sisters and particularly Jamie Scott during this period of medical emergency. Specifically this week we are asking that a special focus be placed on COMPASSIONATE RELEASE for Jamie Scott through the governor’s office.
As was reported on Feb. 5, the level of medical care that she is receiving in that prison is ATROCIOUS. She missed a dialysis treatment, has a possible infection from a malfunctioning temporary catheter – Jamie says it is full of blood and pus – and just prior to that went into shock due to malpractice on the part of the prison medical staff!
Jamie was told that she would be going back to the hospital for surgery to have a permanent shunt installed on Monday or Tuesday, but we don’t know that this will occur or if it will even be appropriately used given the circumstances surrounding the failures of the prison to properly care for her to date. The family and legal supporters are pressing to get Jamie released based on her frighteningly declining health ever since her initial imprisonment!
Jamie recently wrote a letter to her supporters, excerpts of which follow:
“First let me thank you for the prayers, strength and consideration you have displayed for me and my sister. This ordeal with my kidneys has truly broke me down. I am tired, but I know I cannot give up, because of my family and many supporters.
“It was first determined that I had protein in my urine in 1997. Throughout the years it went uncured and untreated and I wasn’t hurting so I thought nothing of it. They would take tests and never receive results. I had a kidney biopsy done around 1997, but once again never received any results. My uterus fell and was removed in 2005. Once again, I never received results of tests on my kidneys.
“Now what we must not do is lose our temper and make things worse. Please, you cannot call up here and use abusive language. That will not solve anything. About my dialysis treatments, I go Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The setup is inside a trailer.
“It is hard and I want my life. The only thing as a whole we can do is try to get the governor to do something right and release me and Gladys.
“I want to thank each one of you for everything you have done. – Jamie.”
Mrs. Evelyn Rasco, Jamie and Gladys’ mother, writes:
“My girls are dying in that prison cell daily and they have five kids that have been asked all of their lives, ‘Why does your grandmother have you?’ When they tell people, they can’t believe that their mothers received double life sentences each and never touched anyone or even held a weapon. My whole world revolves around these kids and their children, and we are crying out for help! It is this justice system that should be made to free Jamie and Gladys and to stop trying to destroy our entire family.”
Call on Gov. Barber to grant compassionate release to Jamie
Executive paralegal with Advocate Associates, Sis. Shakeerah Abdul al-Sabuur, has filed for compassionate release for Jamie and we need to request that Gov. Haley Barbour act on that and immediately release JAMIE SCOTT, No. 19197, from Central Mississippi Corrections Facility (CMCF). He is under a budget crisis, has stated that releasing inmates from the prisons are a possibility and has released inmates in the past.
Jamie Scott must get the medical care that she needs to survive OUTSIDE of those prison walls! The paperwork that was submitted is at http://www.scribd.com/doc/26252282/COMPASSIONATE-RELEASE-FOR-JAMIE-SCOTT. Contacting the others on the list below is still very important, particularly the mainstream media, but we absolutely must make certain that the governor’s office hears and reads messages from a whole lot of people to bolster the efforts of our legal advisers.
PLEASE PASS THE WORD AND HELP TO LIGHT UP THE GOVERNOR’S OFFICE THIS WEEK! Be direct but please be courteous; don’t lose your temper no matter what you hear. It will only take a few minutes. Please participate!
To contact Gov. Haley Barbour, write P.O. Box 139, Jackson, MS 39205, call 1 (877) 405-0733 or (601) 359-3150, or fax (601) 359-3741. If you reach voice mail, leave a message, and also send faxes and letters.
ACTION ALERTS as of Feb. 10
The Action Committee for Women in Prison just posted a BRAND NEW petition specific to getting compassionate release for Jamie Scott and we need to get as many people as possible to sign on quickly, so please go to http://tinyurl.com/yfrj5g6 and SEND IT TO OTHERS.
Peggy Plews of Mississippi Prison Watch did an outstanding appeal to the Mississippi Kidney Foundation at http://mississippiprisonwatch.blogspot.com/2010/02/mississippi-kidney-foundation-appeal.html, which includes the following powerful statement:
“It may well be that Jamie’s crisis is the catalyst that gets so much needed focus on the critically and terminally ill in prison; without her voice, countless others may suffer in invisibility. And her example of survival and resistance is an inspiration to other women living and dying there, too.” Check it out. She was very thorough!
The Women Behind the Wall blogtalk radio program hosted by Mary Ellen and Gloria on Feb. 9 provided a lot of education and insight from those who could personally testify to being sick inside of those hellholes and the lack of caring offered by the corporations which dole out what passes for medical care, some of which has to come directly from the inmates’ own pockets! This program featured Mrs. Rasco and Shakeerah Abdul al-Sabuur, paralegal, and is archived at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/4justicenow/2010/02/09/women-behind-the-wall?&utm_source=remail&utm_medium=listener.
Contact these government officials – in addition to the governor
Christopher Epps, Commissioner of Prisons for the State of Mississippi, 723 North President St., Jackson, MS 39202, (601) 359-5600, CEPPS@mdoc.state.ms.us
Emmitt Sparkman, Deputy Commissioner of Prisons, (601) 359-5610, email@example.com
Margaret Bingham, Superintendent of Central Mississippi Corrections Facility, P.O. Box 88550 Pearl, MS 39208, (601) 932-2880, firstname.lastname@example.org, fax (601) 664-0782
Dr. Gloria Perry, Medical Department, (601) 359-5155, email@example.com
Attorney General Eric Holder, U.S. Department of Justice, 950 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20530-0001
Mayor Brad Rogers of Pearl, MS, where Jamie is incarcerated, (601) 932-3575, fax (601) 932-3568
Congressman Gregg Harper, 2507-A Old Brandon Road, Pearl, MS 39208, (601) 932-2410, fax (601) 932-4647
U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, United States Senate, Washington, DC 20510-2402, Jackson (601) 965-4459, contact form http://cochran.senate.gov/contact.htm
Contact the media
Feel free to contact any and all major media you have information for. Don’t be limited by these listings at all!
WLBT newsroom (601) 960-4426, newsroom fax (601) 355-7830, http://www.wlbt.com/Global/story.asp?S=241208&nav=menu119_8_8, Assistant News Director Wilson Stribling, firstname.lastname@example.org
WAPT TV (601) 922-1607, news tips (601) 922-1652 or http://www.wapt.com/contact/index.html
WJTV (601) 372-6311, fax (601) 372-8798, http://www2.wjtv.com/jtv/online/site_information/contacts/
FOX 40 (601) 922-1234, http://www.my601.com/content/contactus/default.aspx
NBC Today Show Today@NBCUNI.com
NBC News, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112, (212) 664-4444, fax (212) 664-4426
CBS feedback form http://www.cbs.com/info/user_services/fb_global_form.php; CBS News, 524 W. 57 St., New York, NY 10019, (212) 975-4321, fax (212) 975-1893
ABC News contact form http://abcnews.go.com/Site/page?id=3271346&cat=Good%20Morning%20America; ABC News, 77 W. 66 St., New York, NY 10023, (212) 456-7777
CNN News tip form http://www.cnn.com/feedback/tips/newstips.html; CNN, One CNN Center, Box 105366, Atlanta, GA 30303-5366, (404) 827-1500, fax (404) 827-1784
Joe Madison Joe.Madison@xmradio.com
Geraldo Rivera email@example.com
Oprah contact form https://www.oprah.com/plugform.jsp?plugId=220
USA Today, 7950 Jones Branch Dr., McLean, VA 22108, (703) 854-3400, fax (703) 854-2078
Associated Press, 450 West 33rd St., New York, NY 10001, (212) 621-1500, fax (212) 621-7523, firstname.lastname@example.org
Congressman Bennie Thompson, 2432 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515, (202) 225-5876, fax (202) 225-5898; Jackson, Mississippi, Office, 3607 Medgar Evers Blvd, Jackson, MS 39213, (601) 946-9003, fax (601) 982-5337
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings, 2353 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515, (202) 225-1313, fax (202) 225-1171
Congressman Jeff Miller, 2439 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515, (202) 225-4136, fax (202) 225-3414, toll free number to district office in Pensacola, Florida, (866) 367-1614
To learn more about the Scott Sisters and how you can help free them, go to http://www.freethescottsisters.blogspot.com. Marpessa Kupendua is a political and human rights activist and writer. She can be reached at email@example.com.