JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A woman who was released from prison ten years ago after being convicted of a 1993 armed robbery with her sister in Mississippi, and then becoming a justice advocate, has died of COVID-19.
Jamie Scott died on Nov. 9 after contracting the illness caused by the coronavirus, according to a statement released Monday by the Sisters of Hope organization, which she co-founded with sister Gladys Scott. She was 49.
“My sister was a fighter every day of her life, and I will continue her fight, not just for her – not just for what she stood for and what she went through – but for what she and I represent, for what others have gone through and still continue,” Gladys Scott said in a statement. “The battle is not over until everyone is treated with dignity, respect and justice.”
Jamie Scott was 21 and Gladys Scott was 19 when they were sentenced to life in prison for a robbery in central Mississippi. While authorities claimed they were helping to plan an ambush that involved looting a small amount of money, the women denied any wrongdoing and four teenage boys were also jailed.
The sisters’ lawyers and advocacy groups argued that the life sentences they received were excessive given the amount stolen. Then-Gov. Haley Barbour granted Jamie Scott parole in 2011 because she was suffering from kidney failure, and he agreed to let Gladys Scott go on the condition that she donate a kidney to her sister.
Jamie Scott’s kidney transplant was delayed due to her weight, but the sisters’ social media account announced she was undergoing surgery in 2019. By this time, the sisters had moved to Pensacola, Florida, and had founded Sisters of Hope, which provides educational and other assistance to those leaving the correction system and seeking an equivalent degree.