The Scott Sisters have been in prison for the last 16 years after being convicted of an armed robbery. Now, Governor Haley Barbour has suspended their life sentences on one condition: one sister must donate her kidney to the other. Gov. Haley Barbour also commented that the Scott sisters were no longer a threat to society; therefore, releasing them would not pose a danger to the community.
The town had been rallying for the sisters’ freedom for some time, along with other prominent civil rights organizations such as the NAACP asking for the sisters’ release. Although these groups may have played some role in the sisters’ release, the biggest reason seems to be the cost of keeping the sisters in prison. The kidney dialysis treatment cost the state a substantial amount of money, specifically $190,000 a year.
So is this a noble decision to release a sick person from prison in the interest of her health? Or one that shows the pocketbook is the most influential factor on the state’s decisions?