Jamie Scott, the elder of the Scott Sisters whose double life sentences for a minor robbery sparked both national and international protests that led to their release from a Mississippi prison in January 2011, died at 4:05 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 9 at the University of Alabama Hospital.
The cause of death was congestive heart failure brought on by COVID-19. She was 49.
She is survived by her three children and four grandchildren, and by Gladys, her younger sister and co-defendant in the infamous prison conviction.
Residents of Forest, MS in 1993, Jamie and Gladys were convicted of armed robbery based on the false testimony of the actual perpetrators, who had made a plea bargain with Scott County authorities. The sisters were sentenced to two life sentences.
Jamie later suffered from kidney failure, and both sisters were released in January 2011 after worldwide protests and with the condition that Gladys would be her sister’s kidney donor. They were allowed to move to Pensacola where the family had relocated.
After their release, Jamie and Gladys dedicated their lives to the cause of justice for the incarcerated.
In memory of her sister and the long ordeal they both endured, Gladys Scott offered peace and love to everyone who had stood by them in their darkest hours.
“We want to thank everybody for their love and support through the years for the Scott sisters,” she said. “We’ve lost a strong sister, but the fight is not over because she died on parole for a crime she did not commit. We need to free her and me. That’s my last wish.”
A special note of remembrance of the sister’s 16-year long struggle to gain release from prison comes from Jone Maati Primm, one of the leaders in the fight to set them free and the owner of Marshall’s Bookstore in the Farish Street District of Jackson. She was called “Mom” by the sisters, she recalls.
“They were two ladies who were just abused by this completely racist justice – injustice – system,” Maati said upon learning of the passing of Jamie. “They proved they were not criminals by the way they have lived their lives since being released from prison, which was nearly 11 years ago.
“They should never have been in that prison system at all,” she said. “Jamie got married. She was in a traffic accident a few years ago and lost one of her legs. She lived a good, full, and honest life as a law-abiding, tax-paying citizen. May she rest in peace.”