Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour has ordered the release of the Scott sisters, Gladys and Jamie, imprisoned for their involvement in a 1993 robbery that may have netted only $11, citing the $190,000 cost of Jamie’s dialysis treatment, reports the Jackson Clarion-Ledger. Both of Jamie’s kidneys failed in January. The girls’ mother Evelyn Rasco, complains that, “The prison contributed to everything that has happened to Jamie’s health. They could have prevented kidney failure.”
The sisters have maintained their innocence, though prosecutors said they were masterminds of an armed robbery. The sisters were accused of luring two acquaintances to a secluded area where three teens robbed them. The sisters were not eligible for parole until 2014. Barbour said he has asked state prison director Christopher Epps to look at all inmates receiving dialysis to determine whether they are fit for release. There are 16 inmates receiving dialysis. “The ones who are not threats to society, I don’t think the Mississippi taxpayers ought to bear that cost,” Barbour told civil rights activist and businessman Charles Evers on Evers’ political talk radio show. The governor conditioned Gladys’ release on her donating a kidney to Jamie, something she had already volunteered to do.