RANKIN COUNTY, MS (WLBT) - Their case put Mississippi back in the national spotlight. Gladys and Jamie Scott were released from prison Friday morning after serving 16 years behind bars. They have maintained their innocence but it was a grassroots movement that helped them gain their freedom.
They have waited for 16 years to be able to utter these words .
"We're free, we're free," Jamie and Gladys Scott said.
As they left the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility in Rankin County Jamie and Gladys Scott prepared for their first day of freedom since they were 21 and 19 years old. They talked with national and local media and thanked supporters from around the country, including their mother who lives in Pensacola, Florida.
"No I never gave up, I got real tired, but I never gave up."
At Gloria's Kitchen they were welcomed like celebrities. Many of the rallies and plans to fight for the Scotts' freedom were organized here.
"Thank you God. I'm feeling good. I thank all y'all," said Jamie Scott.
"How y'all doing. Blessed, blessed," Gladys Scott said.
From there the sisters arrived at the Masonic Temple to more cheers, songs and tears. With their attorney, Chokwe Lumumba they answered questions about their release but not the crime they were given two life sentences for. Lumumba says he will continue to work for a pardon to wipe the Scotts' record clean .
"You're not going to criminalize us, you're not gonna make us criminals, so we're going to resist and we will resist every where we go because we will tell you that we are not guilty of the crime that you charged us with," Lumumba said.
Gladys Scott responded to a question regarding her giving a kidney to her sister as a condition for the release from prison. Jaime Scott is diabetic and needs a kidney transplant.
"Whether I was, you know, released because I had to give her a kidney, I was going to give it to her anyway if I had to give it to her in prison," said Gladys Scott.
"We couldn't have made it in that prison being bitter. You know we couldn't have did it. I wouldn't have worked. We don't hold grudges against anyone. They have to pay for their actions and placing me and my sister in prison for a crime we did not commit," Jaime Scott said.
The teenagers who carried out the robbery served very little time in jail. While Lumumba and the Scotts maintain their innocence one of the victims of the robbery in 1993 in Scott County talked with us by phone. He believes the Scott sisters planned the ambush and robbery that netted 11 dollars but says he is satisfied with the time the Scotts stayed behind bars. He did not want to be identified.
"The guys that they had with them they done the robbery. The girls just thought it up," said the victim.
With prison behind them, Gladys Scott wants to become a counselor and go on speaking tours to encourage young people to stay in school.
"It was times when we wanted to give up. But I told my sister we going to make it we coming up out of here. We not going to die," said Gladys Scott.
"When I left my children they were 7, 3 and 11 months old. They are 23, 20 and 18 now," Jaime Scott said.
Jaime Scott will undergo dialysis in Pensacola, Florida and testing will begin to make sure her sister is match and will be able to donate a kidney.
Governor Haley Barbour granted the suspension in the Scott case last Wednesday. The Scott sisters will move to Pensacola, Florida to live with their mother. Jaime Scott is hoping to qualify for government assistance to pay for dialysis and the transplant. Officials in Mississippi say her medical care cost taxpayers 200 thousand dollars a year.
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