Double-life sentence for ‘dollar’ sisters
Jamie and Gladys Scott have been wrongfully convicted of armed robbery and received double life sentences each. No one was murdered or taken to the hospital during this robbery, no one was even injured. The transcripts state that 9, 10 or 11 dollars was stolen.
Witnesses confessed during the trial, that the sheriff coerced and threatened them to lie on the Scott Sisters. That testimony was obviously not taken into consideration by Judge Marcus Gordon. They have been in prison now for 14 years.
Fourteen years ago in a small town, Forest, Mississippi, two young Black sisters were given a double life sentence. This sentence was for a crime they did not commit. The alleged crime was armed robbery of two black men. No one was killed or harmed during the robbery.
Three young black men confessed to the robbery. They also implicated that Gladys and me [Jamie Scott] were involved and participated in this crime. On December 24, 1993, Scott county Sheriff’s Department arrested Gladys and me for armed robbery.
This was the beginning of a real life nightmare for everyone in our family: our parents, our children, and especially us.
Our trial began on October 4, 1994. Gladys, nineteen, and I, Jamie, were 22 years old. The three young men called the “Patrick Men” (because they were related), through coercions, threats and promises; chose to turn states evidence against Gladys and me. These men were promised a lenient sentence, in return for their testimonies.
During our trial, the tale began to unravel. One of the Patrick men testified he didn’t write the statement used as evidence against Gladys and me.
He testified that the police coerced and threatened him with a long sentence at Parchman State Prison, if he didn’t sign the written statement. The Scott county Police used fear, threats, and intimidation against the Patrick Men to sign a statement against us.
This man testified regarding the coerced statement on the witness stand; however, the jury found Gladys and me guilty. We received a double life sentence.
In 1998, one of the Patrick Men wrote a sworn affidavit clearing Gladys and me. But, the courts never heard the affidavit. The most devastating and unfair thing about this is the police and investigators know we are innocent.
We will never cease speaking out against the [injustice] done to us. However, we have discovered our voice carries very little weight, especially now, we are convicted as violent offenders serving a double life sentence.
Horror, frustration and humiliation of being subjected to life in prison for a crime, we did not commit, has made both of us feel hopeless and helpless at certain times; but we will continue to fight for our lives. This is [something] that could happen to anyone.
My mother, Evelyn Rasco, decided to leave the state of Mississippi due to this “miscarriage of justice” inflicted upon Gladys and me. There is a great deal more to our story than what we are revealing presently.
The injustices that have occurred are pattern within this county and their police departments. This type of injustice and exploitation has been done to many African-Americans who have lived in this county.
The officials in this community should be exposed and reprimanded for all they have done and continue to do to others and us. Once this has occurred, and revealed; perhaps, it will bring an end to this horrific story we have endured and experienced for the past fourteen years.
We need someone willing to take a stand for our families, to be our voice and us. Also, to assist, guide and lead our mother, because she is fearful. Our mother and children need us. Thank you for taking the time to read this.
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