by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University – Scholarship in Action
Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour has stated that he has no plans to pardon Jamie and Gladys Scott. When he was asked if he planned to pardon the sisters after releasing them from prison, Barbour told the Associated Press, "Tell ’em don’t save any space in the newspaper for that to be announced."
Jamie and Gladys Scott were recently released after being incarcerated for an armed robbery that netted just $11 back in 1994. The sisters were released on the condition that Gladys donate her kidney to Jamie, who has been diagnosed with kidney failure. Gov. Barbour likely chose to release the sisters to alleviate some of the pressure he’d received for sounding like the racially-divisive political figure that he actually is. Many of his comments about President Obama and black people in general made him sound exactly like the kind of man who’d be elected governor of a state like Mississippi.