Saturday, March 06, 2010


I am not sure why, but I don't think I will want to see his O ness on AMW. O man, stay away from FOX and crime shows. That's where they want you. I know John Walsh does great work, but I am not feeling you having a sit down with him. Let Eric Holder go and talk to him, you have more important things to do.

And speaking of crime, I think the following story is important. I have featured this story before, and other bloggers have blogged about it. But it's important that we keep shedding light on the curious interpretation of justice by some people here in A-merry-ca.

"Jamie and Gladys Scott
Even amidst this kind of rhetoric, it would be difficult to see the Scott sisters as dangerous or violent offenders, although the state of Mississippi went to great lengths to depict them as such. On Christmas Eve of 1993, Jamie and Gladys, then 22 and 19, were both young mothers with no criminal records. They were at the local mini-mart buying heating fuel when they ran into two young men they knew, who offered to give them a ride. Sometime later that evening, the two young men were robbed by a group of three boys, ages 14 to 18, who arrived in another car, armed with a shotgun.

Jamie and Gladys say that they had already left the scene to walk home when the robbery took place, and had nothing to do with it. The state insisted they were an integral part of the crime, and in fact had set up the victims to be robbed. Wherever the truth lies, trial transcripts clearly reveal a the case based on the highly questionable testimony of two of the teenaged co-defendants–who had turned state’s evidence against the Scott sisters in return for eight-year sentences—and a prosecutor who appears determined to demonize the two young women.

Jamie and Gladys Scott were not initially arrested for the crime. But ten months later, the 14-year-old co-defendant–who had been in jail on remand during that time–signed a statement implicating them. When questioned by the Scotts’ attorney, the boy confirmed that he had been “told that before you would be allowed to plead guilty” to a lesser charge, “you would have to testify against Jamie Scott and Gladys Scott.” The boy also testified that he had neither written nor read the statement before signing it. It had been written for him by someone at the county sheriff’s office, he said, and he “didn’t know what it was.” But he had been told that if he signed it “they would let me out of jail the next morning, and that if I didn’t participate with them, that they would send me to Parchman [state penitentiary] and make me out a female”—which he took to mean he would be raped. The 18-year-old co-defendant who testified against the Scott sisters also said he was testifying against the Scotts as a condition of his guilty plea to a lesser charge.

But the prosecutor succeeded in depicting Jamie and Gladys Scott not only as participants in the crime robbery, but as its masterminds—two older women who had lured three impressionable boys into the robbing the victims at gunpoint. (This despite the fact that the oldest of the co-defendants was just a year younger than Gladys, and was driving around with a shotgun in his car.) In his summation, he told the jury: They thought it up. They came up with the plan. They duped three young teenage boys into going along and doing something stupid that is going to cost them the next eight years of their lives in the penitentiary.

That probably makes me, at least, as mad about this case, simply at least as much, as the fact that two people got robbed. That three young boys were duped into doing the dirty work.
The prosecutor also reminded jurors that while Jamie and Gladys Scott admittedly did not have a weapon, the judge’s instructions “tell you that if they encourage someone else or counsel them or aid them in any way in committing this robbery they are equally guilty.”

It took the jury just 36 minutes to convict the Scott sisters. And while there was a range of possible sentences for the crime of armed robbery, the state asked for—and received—two consecutive life sentences for the Scott sisters. In contrast, Edgar Ray Killen, the man convicted in 2005 of manslaughter in the 1964 deaths of civil rights workers Schwerner, Cheney, and Goodman, received a sentence of 60 years–meted out by the same judge who presided over the trial of Jamie and Gladys Scott. A direct appeal, carried out by the same lawyers who defended them at trial, failed to overturn the Scotts’ conviction.

Because they were tried for a crime committed before October 1994, when even harsher sentencing rules were put in place in Mississippi, the Scott sisters will be eligible for parole in 2014, after they have served 20 years—though there is no guarantee they will receive it. In the meantime, Evelyn Rasco is praying for mercy, for a good lawyer—and for her daughter Jamie to live that long." [h/t to Nancy Lockhart for this story]

Hey, if they can put someone away for-at the very least- 20 years of their life for a robbery of $11 worth of goods, maybe it's the people who make the laws in Mississippi who should be on America's Most Wanted.


cactusrose said...

"the land of the just" helloooo!

I mean....everyone knows that justice is blind, but my thoughts are that it's especially so in the legal matters of the non white folk. As per the case in point.

here in PR if you have the money for good lawyer,(papers,briefcase, cushy office and all:))you get justice, because it's pitcher and catcher between the judges and the lawyers. Got no money, got no justice. One could say that justice is blind to all but the color of green! LOL!

M. Rigmaiden said...

That is truly disgusting and I hope that something can be done to free them, although they only have four years left; they need to be compensated for their pain and suffering!

Anonymous said...

Field, there is no such thing as justice in MS, or anywhere else in the US, for that matter.

The justice system is "humanized", which means it is a system that is loaded with human prejudices. The so-called justice system in MS has always been rigged against Blacks. Actually, the country's justice system is rigged against Blacks, whether you have money or not.

Once in a while, if the times are right, someone like OJ might get off. But that jury was all Black.LOL so once again, Lady Justice proved to be her normal lying self.

mellaneous said...

Field I wasn't aware of this case. Thanks for the info will keep up with it in the future. I'm trying to figure out what prompted the prosecutor to target the girls.
Any clues?

Who is surprised anymore by what happens in the US Justice system.

Nina Simone said...

Is this really a surprise? And especially in a state like Mississippi? There have been 251 exonerations in the U.S. & 151 of them have been black. That's just how this injustice system works. Anything black people do is considered 10x as worse as everyone else. I saw a story about a black man that stole a package of cheese and got 9 years. Meanwhile when the "others" molest a child, the most they may get is 7 years and some rehabilitation classes. And of course they never serve the entire 7 years.

Anonymous said...

"I saw a story about a black man that stole a package of cheese and got 9 years. Meanwhile when the "others" molest a child, the most they may get is 7 years and some rehabilitation classes. And of course they never serve the entire 7 years."

That's fair, considering one was Black and the other White.

hennasplace said...


This is what happened the two people who actually committed, turned in state's evidence against the Scott Sisters. Meaning the two suspects lied in order to get a plea bargain from the prosecutor. This practice is not uncommon, and is unfair. The problem is that sisters knew that a crime was committed, but believed if they just walked away, then they are not involved. The problem is guilt by association, the sisters knew about the crime and some states consider them accessories. The circumstances may have been different if the sisters reported that a crime was being committed. I did not believe that sisters had anything to do with the crime, but the 14 and 18 year-old managed to get their story into the police first. I tell people this all the time, but do not get into car with someone that you know is trouble because you will end up paying for it. It is matter of being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Had I been sitting on the jury, I would have acquitted the sisters because the evidence that planned the crime was not there. However, those 12 jurors had this thought in their minds, the sisters were adults and could have influenced the 14 and 18 year-old to commit the crime. This is human nature, addition, the two sisters probably public defenders and the PD's office does not have resources to put on a proper defense for the women. This is theory, the sisters received a fair trial, but if they had the financial wherewithal to get representation, there might be a different outcome. Where you are poor, do you not get the best legal representation.

finefroghair said...

in the halls of justice
they say the lady's blind
I find this rather doubtful
she sees color all the time

the notion that there's fairness
is certainly most contrived
the concept has been butchered
and justice has not survived

it is meted out in parcels
basically only to the rich
the majority are screwed over
left to sit around and bitch

the system has many players
not all of them are bad
yet it fails on many levels
that's why it's just so sad

a failing of human nature
caused by the color green
and the other evil aspect
that is equally as mean

the innocent are found guilty
lady justice fails again
simply put she's a racist
just like she's always been

Anonymous said...

Bah... Frog, one of the biggest contributors to Dems is lawyers, nice poetry though. Do you think anyone is going to change the system ever? I like giving Judges enough power to hang themselves with and dislike legislature forced sentences, but that just me...

Granny, I posted something on a two day old thread for you.


agape2010 said...

@ FN:

This judge seems to dole out sentences impartially. Is he elected or appointed?


agape2010 said...

@ hennaplace:

That information you gave put a new perspective on what happened.

My first thought was, a small town in MS. You know these girls had to know these boys...they knew if the boys could be "bad boys".

However, if they needed a ride home from the store, can see them getting in the car anyway. Small town people all know each other.

And you are so right, this is the type of outcome seen when no one has prepared a solid defense.


BigmacInPittsburgh said...

So why isn't any of that money from the NAACP Legal Defense Fund being used to hire some big guns for these two ladies?It's time we stop sitting around bitching and moaning about injustice and get busy freeing these to ladies.How about it all you defense lawyers,how about giving a little of your time to this cause!

Constructive Feedback said...

Filled Negro:

Why didn't you say anything about:

* The girls knowing a STREET PIRATE when they see one and thus not getting into a car with them?

* The responsibility for the Street Pirates to realize that since they are going on a pirate expedition later in life that they need to use their "dash board cam" to show that they allowed these girls out AND/OR to record the audio of them dispensing of these girl?

* The mental damage done to the other people that the Street Pirates have robbed?

field negro said...

Hennasplace, that was a good explanation of what happened.

CF, you are an idiot. I swear you are getting worse. "The mental damage done to the other people that the street pirates robbed"?

And folks who are accessories -if that's what you want to beleive-get 20 YEARS? Do you just disagree to be disagreeable?

You have been watching your political soul-mates in Washington too long.

agape, I am guessing that judge is elected.

alicia banks said...

ditto fn


just us...and far more frequent that we know!

hennasplace said...


Thank you, but I have seen this movie too many times (figurely speaking) and know how it ends. People tend not to understand the law in terms of who is responsible. The sisters made a mistake of getting into the car with criminals and knew the guys were in the process of committing a crime and there is no dispute that the sisters had knowledge of this and reason why they left and walked home. The law is looking at in this sense, the sisters could have called the police and reported the crime and the crime in question could have been prevented. Better yet, just do not get into the car at all then you do not have knowledge of anything. Let us go a step further and said that this is also self-preservation. The prosecutor also overcharged the sisters and jurors did not bother to understand the statutes presented to them doing the instructions. Justice would have been better served if the sisters would have done community service for the charge of failure to report a crime. Justice is not problem, but people who are dispensing said justice. If the judge and prosecutor are elected to their positions, then they are more politically motivated than practicing the law.

As for CF, I concur with you Field and the word cretin comes into my mind whenever I read anything by CF.

Geneva Girl said...

Field, are you aware of a defense for them? I don't have much, but i could pitch in a few bucks. That story is going to give me nightmares.

alicia banks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hathor said...

Where did you get your info, that car they got in were the robbers? I thought this article said they got into the car of those who were robbed. This one of the link say different?

cactusrose said...

Not the time or the place, but anybody know what is wrong with Granny's blog? The same thing happens with Intersection of Madness blog.

alicia banks said...

wonder if their arresting officers had quotas to meet that day:

Anonymous said...

Imagine how many stories that have not made it to main stream media?????

alicia banks said...



Anonymous said...

praying for mercy, for a good lawyer

i am sure you can recommend one for them.

you reap what you sew

field negro said...

AB, thanks for those lnks. Hathor, I think hennasplace got it right. But I will check again.

Geneva Girl, I gave a link at the end of the story to a blog that can help you with that. Ms. Lockhart has been all over this case.

hennasplace said...


I misread the sentence and that does change things. It would difficult to prove that Scott sisters knew anything about the crime. Did the sisters know the robbers? If the answer is no, then they should have not be charged with anything. This sounds like a coincidental happenstance, and the two robbers took advantage of this fortuitous opportunity to blame the sisters because they saw them in the car with the victims. To say that the testimonies of the robbers who turned in state's evidence is highly questionable is an understatement because a deal was made to get it. I am going to read the transcript to see how the prosecutor made a connection between the robbers and the sisters other than the robbers testimony. If there is no other connection, then the jurors were not paying attention at the trial. However, if sisters knew that crime was taken place at the time they walked and it seems to be the case, then they should have called the police and reported it under the law. That is the biggest problem that the sisters had knowledge of a crime in process. It would been even more advantageous for the sisters to call the police considering that they knew victims.
That is a question that jurors had to ask during the deliberation, why didn't the sisters call the police to at least aid the guys who gave them a ride home? Granted it is circumstantial evidence, but it does become a valid and reasonable question to ask. Personally, I think sisters were afraid that if they did call the police, the robbers would find and possibly kill them. I do not believe the sisters were involved in committing or participating in the robbery, however, did know that a robbery was taking place. I am having a feeling that robbery ever took place, particularly when you do not have evidence of a gun being used. It sounds like lot of coercion going on with the victims and robbers. Is it a robbery or a fight? This is a strange story.

alicia banks said...


my pleasure...IOU!

happy sunday bro

my wife is making me get offline

Anonymous said...

Something isn't right. Why would any prosecutor take action if the sisters had no involvement?
I think there might be more to the story.


Oh, before you mention how many 'young gentlemen' have been sent up...ask if you would rather they be in a cage...or waiting for you.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the sidebar story of Vincent Chin. I do remember this story but didn't know about the most recent documentary film. I learn so much from reading your blog and your regular commenters as well.
.....and to compare what happened to Vincent Chin's attackers to what happened to the Scott sisters makes one sick about the justice system disparities.

aloha from Makaii

mellaneous said...

hennasplace;- thanks for the clarification. That just makes it worse. The system is really designed to lock up the poor,the radicals, youth and people of color.

Field ditto on the Vincent Chin posting. I remember when it happened and was doing some justice work for an organization and we did forums and discussions around it.

Solitary Watch said...

Readers might want to know that there's a longer version of this story on the site where it originally appeared: Solitary Watch at solitarywatch(dot)wordpress(dot)com.

The full story tells about how Jamie's life is now endangered by the inadequate care being provided by the private prison contractor used by the state of Mississippi. The same company has already been linked to the deaths of prisoners in other states...

field negro said...

SW, that's a great point. Thanks for making note of that.

Makaii, and mel, you are welcome.
Makaii, you know I have to stay on your good side, because I will still need a place to crash when I visit your beautiful islands.:)

hennasplace said...

I am doubting if a crime was ever committed due to the tainted testimony of the robbers and victims because coercion occurred with the sheriff department. It is difficult to determine what really happened on the night in question. What I read in the transcript, one of the sister may have confessed to something that she did not, and the attorney requested that the sisters be tried separately. The State has spent a great deal of money to convict the sisters for an $11.00 armed robbery case. Think about it the State literally spent a few million dollars between the trials and imprisoning the sisters. That funding could gone to the State's educational system that is very much needed in Mississippi considering the state of disarray in its system. From a practical point of view, this does not make any sense.

Constructive Feedback said...

[quote]CF, you are an idiot. I swear you are getting worse. "The mental damage done to the other people that the street pirates robbed"?[/quote]

Filled Negro and Henna's Place:

here is where your purported quest for JUSTICE falls flat on its face.

You, like the "Innocence Project" are always staked against THE STATE.

You PRETEND that you are operating as the "check and balance" against the judicial over-reaching of the state against the INNOCENT. (In this case these girls)

Unfortunately as we go through the daily "ins and out" of criminal activity - and how the POLICE and the District Attorney are given a thankless job that NEVER should have had them to deal with such an array of dysfunction - we only get SILENCE from you AND/OR further advancement of your own ideology which works to contribute MORE people who grow up into the ranks of individuals that will come before a COURT and a DISTRICT ATTORNEY having been ensnared by the system.

YOU DON'T IMPRESS ME with your stance in support for this "ONE INNOCENT MAN" who you want to get out of jail.


Hennan's Place - I DON'T GIVE ONE FLYING DAMN if you choose to not read what I type.

Your choice to read what I type or not MEANS NOTHING in regard to your feelings of safety in walking down the street at night by yourself, turning around and seeing 3 men behind you.

Both Filled Negro and others worry about my SUPPOSED obsession over "Street Pirates".
The one thing that THEY DON'T TALK ABOUT is the fact that the S.P. DOESN'T GIVE A DAMN about what you think (as I don't either) but I AM NOT TRYING TO ROB YOU or cut your damned throat as they are known TO DO.

You (and Jody) will impress me when you get them to LIVE UP TO THEIR OWN "Social Justice Commitments" in a CIVILIZED SOCIETY.

Constructive Feedback said...

The "Homicide Clearance Rate" In Philly:


The number of KILLERS on the street roaming free as Filled Negro, Jody and Hennasplace worry about the "1 Innocent Man".

The very people who GRIEVE among the MURDER RATE in the big, progressive areas of the nation are also the same people who sit on their mound of righteousness saying "I have NEVER prosecuted an INNOCENT MAN. I will give this KILLER the benefit of the doubt and catch him......THE NEXT TIME he strikes and KILLS someone but happens to leave incontrovertible DNA evidence like I see in "CSI Miami""

field negro said...

"Unfortunately as we go through the daily "ins and out" of criminal activity - and how the POLICE and the District Attorney are given a thankless job that NEVER should have had them to deal with such an array of dysfunction - we only get SILENCE"

PLEASE! Typical armchair republican. Spoken like a person who has never set foot in a court -room to do battle with a DA from any jurisdiction; let alone a city like Philadelphia. Spare me the lecture about how the criminal justice system works and what those of us on the front lines of it have to deal with every day.

You have no idea what a typical DA will do to win a case- Not to mention an arresting officer. And yes, def. atty's as well.

hennasplace said...

CF of course you care because you wouldn't have bother to mention it. I do not dislike you because do not know you, but your writing leans more to emotional arguments than on facts. It is fine to have emotions, but it weakens your argument. In addition, you have to have a willingness to change your position when new information surfaces just like did earlier when Hathor pointed it out to me, and thanks Hathor. You know growing up and self-reflection is good thing. The criminal justice system is not perfect because human error occurs more often than we care to admit. Field is right police can lie to suspect to coerce confessions from suspect. There is a problem with the Scott Sister's case because I cannot fathom why anyone would go to such lengths to prosecute and convict to people to life in prison for an $11.00 armed robbery and no one was killed, and the evidence of armed is shaky at best because a gun was not produced, the the suspects use their finger hold up the victims. This is not logical. In addition, there were conflicted testimony from the witnesses.

Just for the sake of argument, if the robbers were convicted for the robbery, they still would not served eight years in prison for the crime. I am sorry, but I think spending millions of dollars of taxpayers's money for an $11.00 robbery, if one occurred is not justice but daft. I am not an attorney, only a few law classes in college, but have a rudimentary understanding of the criminal justice system. It is a fact that prosecutors over charged in the hope that something sticks. CF, I do not know if you have served on the jury which I have done as well. I was juror on a case that should have been pleaded out. It was a 4th degree assault on a police officer. The defendant spat on the police officer. We convicted her, but we all felt that they could pleaded out the case because she was only going to get six months. Another trial was a murder case and that hinged on an eyewitness was seven years old at the time. I am not saying that the little boy was lying, but the crime occurred prior to trial and people's memories fade as time goes on. The little boy was not sure if the defendant orange shorts, or shorts with the color orange in it. You may think it is a small detail, but details are important when it comes to identifying people in a crime. He was not sure what the defendant was wearing, and in addition, he really did not get a good look at the defendant's face and I was leaning to towards acquittal, but the case ended in a mistrial. It is all about reasonable doubt. The defendant may have committed the crime, but the State has the burden of proof and they did not in my mind.

La♥audiobooks said...

Thank you Field for bringing this to light, you are always appreciated. This is a sad situation, but I might have to plead the fifth. But I will say, If some black females continue to associate themselves or even take innocent car rides with "pookie and dem" this will continue to be their fate.

(Now see how many black males and the usual others are not even chiming in with support for these black women. Take the black females out the equation and put in the po ole black man scenario and this thread would be climbing 200 plus comments.)

...That was me just thinking out loud.