WASHINGTON, June 3/Gray-Haired Witnesses for Justice News --Fiery human rights activist, Dick Gregory, urged everyone to support the June 21, 2010 Gray-Haired Witnesses Fast for Justice in DC in an interview yesterday. The upcoming day-long event is to call attention to the shocking case of the Mississippi Scott Sisters, two women who each received double-life sentences for an alleged robbery of $11.00 almost 16 years ago. The public fast, press conference and rally also calls attention to the entire system of justice which increasingly incarcerates and oversentences non-violent Black female first time offenders, such as Jamie and Gladys Scott, punishing and many times actually destroying entire families.
"This is one of the worst cases I have ever heard of in my life," exclaimed Gregory, "My jaw dropped when I read that these women have been in prison for almost 16 years and aren't even charged with laying a hand on anyone! This country should be embarrassed to have such a blatant travesty of justice exist while wagging our finger at people abroad for human rights abuses. What we have going on here is the epitome of cruel and unusual punishment and is outrageous, even for Mississippi!".
The Gray-Haired Witnesses Fast for Justice was prompted by the very serious illness of now 38-yr. old Jamie Scott who entered prison in 1994 a healthy young woman yet suffered kidney failure this past January and was deprived adequate medical treatment for an extended period of time. Jamie has quickly declined to stage 5 (end stage) kidney disease and has suffered many life-threatening medical emergencies in an unclean environment.
Mr. Gregory was dumbfounded as to why MS Governor Haley Barbour has ignored all calls to pardon the women. "They went in at the ages of 19 and 22 with no prior criminal record, have consistently maintained their innocence, and even the testimony against them is documented as having been coerced! Even if they were guilty, we are talking about double-life sentences each, how does that make any kind of sense, don't their lives mean anything at all? If Gov. Barbour won't do the right thing then we need Eric Holder and President Obama to immediately step in! Washington, DC should be packed with people on June 21, demanding the immediate release of the Scott Sisters!".
On June 21, 2010, the Gray-Haired Witnesses will commence a Fast at the Department of Justice in a 10:00 a.m formal appeal to Eric Holder, rejoin at the White House at Noon with a press conference and formal appeal to President Obama, and then continue at Lafayette Square Park from 1PM until 9PM for the duration of the fast with speakers, live performances and artists. The Gray-Haired Witnesses are calling on all people of good will to join them on that day and demand justice for the Scott Sisters and an end to the oversentencing, degradation and dehumanization of Black women in this system and nation as a whole.