Parole Board investigator meets with Scott sisters
The Mississippi Link: News
For the first time in their 16-year imprisonment, Gladys and Jamie Scott have gotten some action from the Mississippi Department of Correction Parole Board.
According to their attorney, Chokwe Lumumba, an investigator from the Parole Board visited the sisters in the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility early this week. However, he was not given the opportunity to be present.
“They did not tell me that they [the Parole Board] were going to see them,” Lumumba told The Mississippi Link Tuesday night, Sept. 21. “This is not really characteristic of Parole Board procedure. It is inappropriate not to allow council to be present.”
The sisters are incarcerated for their alleged involvement with two other teenagers in a 1993 armed robbery of two men of $11. They are serving double life sentences. They maintain their innocence. No one was killed.
For more information and updates about the sisters ordeal, log on to http://freethescottsisters.blogspot.com/
The fact that Lumumba was not privy to the investigator’s visit with the sisters has alarmed their mother Evelyn Rasco of Pensacola, Fla.
“I don’t know why they would not want Mr. Lumumba present. This has me very concerned,” Rasco said, who recently lost her father. Her daughters were allowed to attend their grandfather’s wake in Forrest, Miss., but not his funeral.
While his office will inquire why he was not alerted, Lumumba, at the same time, said he is hoping the Board is acting in good faith. He said he is optimistic that the Parole Board has been moved to do something, but he wants that something to be positive.
The “move” comes after a loud cry for justice for the Scott sisters went out last Wednesday, Sept. 15, when hundreds marched and rallied from Farish Street Park to the Governor’s Manson on to the state capitol in downtown Jackson. The crowd chanted: “We are here - without fear - and we want our sisters free;” “Haley Barbour, can’t you see? The Scott sisters must be free. Right now, Right now!” and “Fifteen years is too long; Send our sisters home!”
NAACP President Ben Jealous was also in town last week to accompany Lumumba in submitting a petition with more than 2,000 signatures in support of freeing the Scott sisters to the Governor’s office.
Mississippi Parole Board Chairman Shannon Warnock told The Mississippi Link that the Board has received the clemency request from Lumumba. “We’ve received a request from the Governor to proceed with the clemency investigation as we would any other pardon applicant,” she said. “I’ve asked our investigator to launch that process. Once we receive the report, we will interview the candidates. Then make our recommendation to the Governor, along with submitting the complete investigative report. I’m sorry, but I cannot commit to a time line. Typically, it takes several months. But I can say this, once we make our recommendation to the governor, it is his discretion at that point.”