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Racial math: $11 = double-life sentences

November 26, 2010

Christmas, 1993. A 22-year old woman and her pregnant 19-year old sister allegedly set-up an armed robbery using three teenagers to take $11 from two men. The Scott sisters, neither of whom had a criminal records before this, were given double-life sentences.  $11 + no one injured = double-life sentences?  This is racial math and a travesty of justice.

If these were two white women, there would have been an uproar.  But, two women who are black and poor in Mississippi?  They are disposable.

As Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts Jr states,

And as report after report has testified, if you are poor or black (and God help you if you are both), the American justice system has long had this terrible tendency to throw you away like garbage. . . .If you doubt it, play with the scenario in your head. Try to imagine some rich white girl doing double life for an $11 robbery. You can’t.

Sisters may or may not be guilty, but Mississippi assuredly is

The sisters have always claimed their innocence. Two of the men who committed the robbery testified against the sisters as part of a plea bargain.  The sister’s mother describes the extraordinary sentences as revenge for her family’s testimony against a corrupt sheriff in Mississippi where this took place. No shotgun or forensic evidence was produced at trial.

Even if the Scott sisters are guilty as charged, the punishment is not just.

Challenge the system of whiteness that unjustly exploits people of color. Join the growing grassroots movement to spread the word about this injustice that has kept these women in prison for 16 years as their children have grown up without them.

Sign a petition to free the Scott Sisters

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