PEARL, MS (WLBT) - A victory Friday morning for Gladys and Jamie Scott as the two sisters walked out of the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility in Pearl.
The pair had been convicted in 1994 of an armed robbery and received double life sentences. Last week, Governor Haley Barbour suspended those sentences, provided that Gladys Scott donates a kidney to her sister Jamie.
At about 8:00 Friday morning, the sisters were released from the Pearl facility.
"We're free, we're free!" they shouted as they were driven from the facility in a silver SUV -- the sisters' first public comments since their release.
It was a long-awaited victory for their attorney, Chokwe Lumumba.
"I love it, because it's a vindication of the people's spirit and the people's will to fight," he said Friday morning.
Even one of the victims of the sisters' alleged armed robbery believes the two have served enough time.
"I believe they (are) welcome to go," said the victim, who asked to be called Charles, last week. "They served enough time for the things they were trying to do to commit a robbery. The guys they had with them did the robbery. The girls just thought it up."
Just before the Scotts departed the prison, State Senator John Horhn (D-Jackson) and two citizens met one-on-one with the sisters.
"We talked about what their future plans are going to be, we talked about what kind of food they wanted their mom to cook for their arrival," he told WLBT News.
Senator Horhn says even though the past 16 years have been filled with challenges for the women, they are using their experience to help others.
"Gladys wants to become a counselor and go on speaking tours and speak to young children, young people, about staying in school and doing the right thing," Horhn said.
Those who have been supporting the Scott sisters say this case has been a true grassroots effort and illustrates what a difference willpower and determination can make.
"We've seen young people across the country getting outraged and getting involved in this case," said Ben Jealous, president and CEO of the National NAACP. "But it goes back to a family and a mom and two sisters who really believed their in their own right to be treated fairly by the justice system."
The sisters were scheduled to address the media at a press conference with their attorneys in Jackson Friday afternoon. At the end of the day, they are expected to drive to their mother's home in Florida to be reunited with her and their children.
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