1/31/2011

Nancy Lockhart - Legal Analyst

         

Nancy Lockhart -
Legal Analyst
http://www.nancylockhart.blogspot.com/


Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Jamie Scott Hospitalized In Florida


www.wapt.com
JACKSON, Miss. -- Jamie Scott has been hospitalized in Florida after becoming ill, her mother says. Tuesday, January 25, 2011.

JAMIE SCOTT HOSPITALIZED - BROTHER IN AFGHANISTAN NEEDS TO COME HOME

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
@Nancy Lockhart
MRS EVELYN RASCO
CONTACT: MRS EVELYN RASCO
850-375-4336

E-Mail: thewrongfulconviction@gmail.com


JAMIE SCOTT HOSPITALIZED - BROTHER IN AFGHANISTAN NEEDS TO COME HOME

(Pensacola), FL – 12/25/11 – Jamie Scott has been hospitalized with an excessively high potassium level. The sisters were released from prison to serve life on parole and have had a very rough time adjusting with little funds to support themselves. Their mother is on a fixed income and unable to make necessary repairs as a result of storm damage to the house. These repairs require immediate attention to accommodate Jamie upon her release from the hospital.

Currently, their brother serving in Afghanistan owns the home and is the only person who is able to conduct business regarding the house -- the insurance company will not comply with Mrs. Rasco. Willie James Scott Jr., is in need of your assistance to get home. Please contact all media outlets and make this information public.

The Scott Sisters and the Notorious 'Black Codes' of Mississippi

Jan 9, 2011 Tempie Williams
Jamie and Gladys Scott - 4WardEver UK

Two women; two black women; two black women sisters, Jamie and Gladys Scott, on January 7, 2011 made headline news all over the world when they were freed from each serving a life sentence at Central Mississippi Correctional Facility. Mississippi’s second term Republican Governor Haley Barbour suspended their life sentences for their involvement in a crime where two men had been hit over the head with a shotgun by three teenage boys and allegedly robbed of $11 .
Nancy R. Lockhart , a legal analyst and advocate has worked tirelessly, after receiving a handwritten letter from their persistent mother and widow, Mrs. Evelyn Rasco in 2005, telling their story and how injustice had been inflicted upon her daughters. Lockhart not only returned a call to this God fearing woman but made a commitment to get her daughters freed from this unethical injustice they had each suffered for 16 years.
On December 24, 1993 , Scott County Sheriff's Department arrested the two sisters for armed robbery. On October of 1994, both sisters, having had no prior convictions, were convicted by a jury and sentenced to double life sentences in prison for an incident where no one was murdered, hurt or hospitalized.
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Mississippi: A State socially, politically and racially motivated

Further reports indicated the three teenage boys, all related and aged from 14 to 18 confessed to hitting the two men over the head with a shotgun and robbed them of $11, and implicated Jamie and Gladys. It was later said, "coercions, threats and promises later led these men to turn state's evidence on the Scott Sisters.
The 14-year- old testified that he had signed a written statement without an attorney present. He was told that he would be sent up to Parchman Farm - the notorious Mississippi Penitentiary/Plantation - if he did not cooperate. In addition, he was told that he would be "made out of a woman" (raped by men) at Parchman. Later reports indicate the three boys served less than three of their eight year sentences.
What exactly, then, was the two sisters' involvement in this crime? Why was such an extreme sentence given to each of them? Was it because of the two men? Was race an issue? Was politics an issue? Or was the real crime that these two sisters were simply black and poor in a socially, politically and racially motivated state known for its white supremacy after the Civil War? Mississippi is a state where the notorious " Black Codes" were passed by legislatures, described as a revival of slavery in disguise.
“We’re free” was reportedly shouted by the sisters on January 7, 2011, as they fought through crowds of news media to later hold a press conference with the national NAACP leader Ben Jealous in Jackson, Mississippi. They were later scheduled to return to Pensacola, Florida where their mother and children live.

The Contingency of the sisters release from prison

Gov. Barbour suspended both sister’s life sentences conditionally, instead of giving them the pardon they requested. Their conditional release is contingent upon the younger sister, 36-year-old Gladys Scott, giving her 38-year-old sister, Jamie Scott, her kidney. Jamie needs daily dialysis due to receiving inadequate healthcare while in prison. This was a voluntary donation from Gladys, willing to help her sister Jamie. Lockhart further reported, "Jamie Scott has stated that she is going blind; her vision is getting worse daily and she has NOT received glasses as of yet."
Daily dialysis treatments improve the quality of life and are very expensive. Kent Croker, spokesman for the Mississippi Department of Corrections shared that the state was paying $200,000 a year to provide them. It was decided by Gov. Barbour that since both sisters were no longer a threat to society and they were eligible for parole in 2014, he would suspend their life sentences.
"For the governor to mandate this donation is both unprecedented and unconscionable. As others have pointed out, releasing Jamie Scott before she has this costly life-saving surgery could also stand to save the state a considerable amount of money; a donation from her sister could save even more and is apparently part of the price of their freedom." states James Ridgeway of San Francisco BayView.
Additionally, Lockhart said, regarding the sister's release, "each will have to pay $52 a month for the administration of their parole in Florida, where their mother lives and where they plan to reside." Since they were serving life sentences, that means $624 a year for the rest of their lives. Both women are now in their 30s; if they live 40 more years, each will have paid the state $24,960. Of course, Jamie, in particular, will be lucky to live so long." Recorded in The Law Office of the Southern Center For Human Rights , "Contrary to what many people may believe, there are debtors' prisons throughout the United States where people are imprisoned because they are too poor to pay fines and fees."
Evelyn Rasco, the sister’s mother, clearly expressed her gratitude for having both her daughters released and soon to be home with her and their children, but expressed her scepticism regarding the Governor’s motives. She said, “To me it was a political decision,” and “It’s not that he actually had any sympathy for my daughters or cared bout them.” Barbour had been mentioned as a possible presidential contender in 2012.

Black women seeking justice in Mississippi

As Nancy R. Lockhart, M.J. read the handwritten letter of a mother and widow, persistent and determined to get help for both her convicted daughters, after 11 years of no response, knowing the cry of injustice, she became compelled and was convinced that it had occurred on the judicial bench. This same mother has a son: "Jamie and Gladys' older brother serving in Iraq for the US Army, while Americans have wrongfully placed his sisters in prison," Lockhart stated.
She recognized immediately the signs, and knew the misrepresentation of poor black women and their fight for justice in Mississippi's legal system as she explains in her telling, The State of Mississippi verses Jamie Scott and Gladys Scott: My first encounter with Justice denied. Lockhart, decided to leave Chicago and go to Jamie and Gladys Scott with the commitment to get them freed as she had promised their mother. Freed from a system that had denied them. Freed from, " the laws that had imposed severe restrictions on freed slaves such as prohibiting their right to vote, forbidding them to sit on juries, limiting their right to testify against white men, carrying weapons in public places and working in certain occupations. Free from the 'black codes' of Mississippi.
While we are happy that the Scott sisters have been released from wrongful double life sentences and are about to battle paying their debts by way of another reprehensible and unwarranted contingent condition and fines; it is imperative that we continue fighting unethical injustice, even in an era with a black president of the USA; that to many is used to legitimize the system and mask its ugliness so that laws such as the 'black code' still enforced in Mississippi and elsewhere are not repassed by legislators and cease to exist.
Sources:
"Scott sisters free at last" , A Brown Publishing Company, blackvoicenews.com. Accessed Jan 2011
“Sister’s kidney donation condition of Miss. Parole.“ Associated Press, kxxv.com. Accessed Jan 2011
"Scott sisters freed from prison,” The Clarion - Ledger, clarionledger.com. Accessed Jan 2011
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

The Scott Sisters: Double Life for $11



This brief article is your introduction to the story of Jamie and Gladys Scott, two sisters serving double life sentences for an alleged robbery netting $11.  I have been hearing about the Scott sisters for several months now, but the basic facts of the case remained fuzzy.  South Carolina legal analyst Nancy Lockhart has been assisting the Scott sisters on a pro bono basis and is fully acquainted with the story.  You can find more information on this case at The Black Commentator.

The State of Mississippi versus Jamie Scott and Gladys Scott

Nancy Lockhart, MJ
In 1994, the State of Mississippi sentenced two sisters, Jamie and Gladys Scott, to consecutive double life terms each for two counts of armed robbery they did not commit.  The Scott sisters did not have prior criminal records, and from the beginning, they have vigorously maintained their innocence.  Their convictions rest entirely on a combination of contradictory, coerced, and potentially perjured testimony by the victims and two other people charged with the crime who were offered lighter sentences for their cooperation. 
I have transcribed and attached below as Appendix 1 the most troubling evidence of coercion.  It is testimony from one of the other people charged with the crime, a 14-year-old boy who said that he signed a statement he neither wrote nor read that implicated the Scott sisters because the police told him if he did, he could go home the next morning, but if he did not, he would be sent to prison where he would be raped.
The Facts
The facts below were culled from the transcripts to The State of Mississippi vs. Jamie and Gladys Scott, which can be found online at http://www.scribd.com/doc/21748820/Scott-transcript.  The Scott sisters’ original indictment can also be found online at http://www.scribd.com/doc/21748521/Scott-Indictment.
(We have included parenthetical references to the trial transcripts after descriptions of key details.  To find the referenced passage from the trial, go to the top of the court document, and you will find an arrow key that will let you go to the page number you want.)
In the initial complaint filed shortly after the robbery, the victims never mentioned the Scott sisters’ involvement in the crime.  Almost one year later, the victims changed their account of the crime and stated that the Scott sisters participated in it.  (32-34; 60-63)
Three other people were convicted of the robbery, two of whom, cousins Howard Patrick (who was 14 years old) and Gregory Patrick (who was 18 years old), were given lighter sentences of eight years each for testifying about the Scott sisters’ involvement.   Howard Patrick testified that he spent 10 months in jail charged with the robbery before he signed a statement that implicated the Scott sisters.  On cross-examination, Howard admitted he didn’t know what he was signing.  He further said that he neither wrote, nor read the statement, but signed it because he was told by the police that if he did sign it, he would be released from jail the next morning, but if he did not, he would be sent to prison where he would be raped. (91-94—see Appendix 1 for an excerpt of Howard’s Patrick testimony where he describes the police threatening him with prison rape.) Howard Patrick also testified that this alleged robbery netted about ($9-$11) nine, ten or eleven dollars individually. (92) Similarly, Gregory Patrick testified that his statement that implicated the sisters included pages that were not written by him.  These pages included critical descriptions of the Scott sisters’ involvement. (113-115)
Using this dubious testimony, the prosecution constructed the following version of the crime.  On the night of the robbery, the prosecution argued that the Scott sisters persuaded Johnny Ray Hayes and Mitchell Duckworth to give them a ride home.  On the way to their home, the sisters convinced the victims to stop the car so they could use the restroom.  There, the prosecution argued that the Scott sisters met with Chris Patrick, Howard Patrick, and Gregory Patrick, devised, and then executed the following plan.
The sisters got back into the victim’s car, and the Patrick’s followed behind them in another car.  After driving a few miles, one of the Scotts acted as if she was going to be sick, forcing the victims to pull the car over to the side of the rode.  The Scotts then got out of the car, whereupon their alleged partners pulled up next to them, got out of their car, and used a shotgun to rob Hayes and Duckworth of about $200. 
The group then drove off together, leaving the victims on the side of the road. Conflicting testimony states that $9-$11 dollars was netted.
The Scott’s trial lasted two days.  The jury deliberated a little over 30 minutes before delivering a unanimous guilty verdict of armed robbery that carried consecutive double life sentences for each sister.
Post Conviction
After their conviction, the sisters appealed their verdict, arguing that there was insufficient evidence to convict them, and that the verdict was against the overwhelming weight of evidence.   The Mississippi Court of Appeals, however, affirmed the convictions.  Subsequent appeals have been filed with Mississippi’s Supreme Court including an Application for Leave TO File Post Conviction Motion as three affidavits in support of the sisters were not available during the trial but, all appeals have been denied. 
Why were the Scott Sisters charged with armed robbery?
It is difficult to reconcile the trial transcripts with the Scott sisters’ conviction without assuming that there is some kind of corruption behind this ordeal.   Through research and investigations I have heard the following account from several people involved with the case.  Scott County likely charged the Scott sisters with armed robbery because a family member turned state’s evidence against Sheriff Glenn Warren which resulted in his incarceration.  Scott County is a dry county, and allegedly this sheriff was running a bootlegging operation that also may have involved the judge who presided over the Scott’s trial.  Deputy sheriff Marvin Williams, who is also deceased, worked under Sheriff Glenn Warren and allegedly promised to pay their family back for the relative’s  testimony.
The Scott County sheriff department also apparently tried to pin a restaurant robbery on the Scott sisters while they were awaiting trial, but the restaurant owners refused to cooperate.
Jamie Scott’s Medical Condition
Both Jamie and Gladys Scott were healthy women when they entered the department of corrections prison system.  38 year old, Jamie Scott has kidney failure as a result of sub standard medical care within the department of corrections over the years.  E-mails, calls and letters from The Scott Sister’s supporters are the reason Jamie Scott has been taken to the hospital.  Jamie has had at least 5 infected catheters inserted in her neck causing her veins to collapse. Jamie’s doctors have stated that she was near death, infection had spread throughout her body and this was caused by cost cutting within Wexford Health Solutions, the prison medical contractor.
Sincerely,
Nancy Lockhart, M.J.
Appendix 1
Selections from Howard Patrick’s Testimony on signing a statement that implicated Jamie and Gladys Scott.
Q. Did you write this statement?
A. I didn’t write that.  I signed it.
Q. You didn’t write it out.  Someone else wrote it out for you?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Okay.  Did you read it?
A. No.
Q. You didn’t read it?
A. No
Q. So was the statement written out after you talked with Williams [Scotts County sheriff], or was it written out while you were talking with him?
A. It was written out before I talked to him. . . .
Q. Okay; and, then you signed it without reading it?
A. That’s right.   They told me they was going to let me go next morning. [Howard Patrick had been in jail for the previous 10 months charged with the robbery in question]
Q. Beg, your pardon?
A. They told me they was going to let me go the next morning.
Q. And, that’s why you signed the statement?
A. Yes, sir . . . .
Q. Let me just make sure I’m clear.  You signed this statement without reading it, because you wanted to get out of jail?
A. Yes, I wanted to get out of jail.
Q. And, you had been promised that if you signed the statement, you could get out of jail the next morning?
A. That, and they said if I didn’t participate with them, they would send me to Parchman [prison] and make me out a female.
Q. I’m sorry?
A. That 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 and make me out a female.
Q. In other words, they would send you to Parchman, and you would get raped; right?
A. Yes, sir. . .
Q. So, you decided it was better to sign the statement, even without reading it?
A. I didn’t know what it was.

The Scott Sisters, Nancy Lockhart and the Politics of Freedom

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Sat Jan 01, 2011 at 01:53:06 PM PST

Newspapers, national radio programs, bloggers and politicos are all talking about how Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour on Dec. 29 suspended the life sentences of two sisters jailed for an armed robbery that netted just $11—but the release of one sister will require her to donate a kidney to the other.
Let the truth be told, it was not the national NAACP that lead the effort to free the Scott Sisters, it was Nancy Lockhart through her use of grassroots Internet organizing,
As reported in The Afro American Newspaper today,  Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour on Dec. 29 suspended the life sentences, saying:
"To date, the sisters have served 16 years of their sentences and are eligible for parole in 2014. Jamie Scott requires regular dialysis, and her sister has offered to donate one of her kidneys to her," Barbour said in a prepared statement, according to The Hattiesburg American. "The Mississippi Department of Corrections believes the sisters no longer pose a threat to society. Their incarceration is no longer necessary for public safety or rehabilitation, and Jamie Scott’s medical condition creates a substantial cost to the State of Mississippi."
According to The American, in 1993 the sisters lured two men down a road where they were robbed by three teens. The Scott sisters were convicted of robbery with a deadly weapon in the incident and each received reportedly unusual double life prison sentences. The teenagers who allegedly carried out the robbery only served two years in prison.
Barbour’s statement said that he asked the Mississippi Parole Board to review the Scott’s case, and that they supported his decision to suspend their sentences.
According to the Associated Press, the sisters have received support from national groups including the NAACP. A march for them earlier this year drew hundreds of people.
A release date for the sisters has not been decided, and will be set by the Mississippi Department of Corrections, according to Jackson, Miss. NBC affiliate WLBT.
AAP says: But with all the grandstanding that is about to happen, groups like the national office of the NAACP, Al Sharpton and the rest of the slick poverty pimp hustlers need to move over, and salute one of the key people that fought the up hill battle to get these women free. A true black woman freedom fighter who deserves accolades and support from America and America's African American community, Ms. Nancy Lockhart, who for years, through the strategic use of the Internet, and her Free the Scott Sisters Blog, along with Internet BlogTalkRadio shows began a grassroots effort to free the Scott sisters. Without Nancy Lockhart who has proven to be a modern day,  21st Century,  Harriet Tubman like, African American women working on the outside, the Scott sisters may not be looking at Freedom. Of course we have to include the recent color aroused political blunders by Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, as the emphasis for the his true interest in reducing the life sentences of two black American sisters jailed for an armed robbery that netted just $11.
Ms. Nancy Lockhart, who has worked closely with grass root groups and individuals like Jerry Robinson, a sharp mouthed grass root community organizer, political activist, and national President of the Chicago based Poor People's Campaign has worked with Nancy Lockhart in her efforts to engage grass-root Internet activist, bloggers, and community groups from across the nation to support the Scott Sisters  quest for freedom.
Let the truth be told, it was not the national NAACP that lead the effort to free the Scott Sisters, it was Nancy Lockhart through her use of grassroots Internet organizing, with the support of people like Jerry Robinson of the Poor People's Campaign, Black left Internet groups like the afrospear, Black Agenda Report, and black bloggers like Electronic Village, Jack and Jill Politics, Field Negro, Eddie G. Griffin, Anderson at Large, From My Brown Eyed View, Exodus Mentality, field negro, Francis L. Holland Blog, BlackPerspective.net, along with many dozens of Internet blogtalkradio host, such as Black Achievement USA, Black Talk Radio, JWriter, Justice4Us, Duchess of Wisdom, AANation, PPC, Kala Nation, Joli Ali, BostonAnt, Pumpkin13, Madison Media, Dale Daniels, Antoinette former co-host of African American Pundit's SlugFest Program, along with Antionette Harrell, One Black Mans View, Scotty, and so many others, who were able to create a band of national Internet activist who worked with Nancy Lockhart to get the word out to the larger blogosphere, afrosphere, black radio and national media,  that caused the Scott Sisters to be of interest to groups like the NAACP and because of recent color aroused political blunders by Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, caused him to look at the Scott Sisters case as a political opportunity to make himself look good, as part of his potential Presidential ambitions. As noted in The Washington Post, Barbour, who is weighing a run for president, announced the pardon a week after he ran afoul of civil rights advocates. Last week, Barbour backtracked on comments he made about the civil rights era in Mississippi.
AAP says: All that being said, America, particularly Black America should salute and thank Nancy Lockhart for a job well done! She has taught us a new lesson for the 21st Century, "grassroot Internet organizing can work for America, particularly black America,  if we put your mind, heart and soul into it."  I remember urging the NAACP to get involved, suggesting it was really time for afrospear bloogers, the national office of the NAACP, and the Lawyers Committee on Civil Rights to take a look at, research, investigate and advocate for a new trial and immediate release of the Scott Sisters. Read more HERENow all f a sudden they say they have lead the effort. They are a punch of liars!
As one political black blogger noted, although the Scott sisters have been in jail for sixteen years, while the NAACP's President Ben Jealous may have first mentioned the case to the media on September 15, 2010. "The president of the N.A.A.C.P., is seeking a pardon from the Governor of Mississippi, announced the Red Mountain Post on October 15, 2010.  When the NAACP announces its support in a nationally-known case of injustice that has been advocated at blogs and community groups for years, and the NAACP's freshly-painted involvement becomes national news, you know that organization has lost its way.  It has gone from political leader to political opportunist, just as occurred in the Jena Six case, where "NAACP Spent More on Internal Jena Six Activities Than on Youths’ Defense Funds."
UPDATE: Black Internet Activist Pissed with NAACP Over Scott Sisters:
Scotty Reid of BlackTalkMedia says that the NAACP ignored the Scott sisters' case until it became a media magnet, and then the NAACP jumped into the media fray as a "Johnny come lately," opening a financial donations account from which the Scott sisters allegedly have not received a dime.  "The NAACP has not contributed one dime to the legal expenses of the Scott sisters and nor has it stated that it will do so. . . " alleges Scotty Reid.
It sounds like the national office of the NAACP is making plans to cash in on the Scott Sisters as they did with the Jena 6.
Tags: Nancy Lockhart, Politics of Freedom, The Scott Sisters, NAACP, Hustle and Flow, Color Aroused Hatred, Mississippi (all tags) :: Previous Tag Versions

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