The campaign to release the Scott Sisters of Mississippi is finally getting the mainstream media attention it deserves. As I wrote at BlogHer this summer, a judge sentenced the the two young women to double-life after they were convicted in 1994 for alleged involvement in a roadside robbery. They were given harsher sentences than the young men, teens who testified against them, and the case is riddled with procedural errors that smack of Mississippi corruption. They were also given harsher sentences than the same judge has given to confessed murderers.
The sisters' advocates focus on what they feel is the most compelling aspect of the case, that only $11 was stolen and while one of the male teens had a gun, the sisters did not fire or even handle the weapon. In addition, no one was shot or injured, and the sisters still maintain their innocence.
Multiple news sources report that supporters marched in front of Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour's house recently, demanding a pardon, and the District Attorney who prosecuted the case has gone on record to say the state should consider reducing the sisters' sentences. After the hard work of advocates, such as Nancy Lockhart, the NAACP has begun to throw its weight behind the sisters' case. In the above video, its president Ben Jealous, possibly recalling how many women were offended at the NAACP so easily throwing Shirley Sherrod under the bus this summer following her firing from the USDA, explains why the old organization is speaking out on behalf of the sisters.
Barbour has asked the state parole board to re-examine the case. Vocal advocates declare the women's harsh sentences were influenced by race, class, and gender.