Press Release Contacts: B.J. Janice Peak-Graham / Marpessa Kupendua 1- 866-968-1188, Ext. 2 ghwitnesses@gmail.

com http://www.grayhairedwitnesses.blogspot.com/ WASHINGTON, June 3/Gray-Haired Witnesses for Justice News --Fiery human rights activist, Dick Gregory, urged everyone to support the June 21, 2010 Gray-Haired Witnesses Fast for Justice in DC in an interview yesterday. The upcoming day-long event is to call attention to the shocking case of the Mississippi Scott Sisters, two women who each received double-life sentences for an alleged robbery of $11.00 almost 16 years ago. The public fast, press conference and rally also calls attention to the entire system of justice which increasingly incarcerates and oversentences nonviolent Black female first time offenders, such as Jamie and Gladys Scott, punishing and many times actually destroying entire families. "This is one of the worst cases I have ever heard of in my life," exclaimed Gregory, "My jaw dropped when I read that these women have been in prison for almost 16 years and aren't even charged with laying a hand on anyone! This country should be embarrassed to have such a blatant travesty of justice exist while wagging our finger at people abroad for human rights abuses. What we have going on here is the epitome of cruel and unusual punishment and is outrageous, even for Mississippi!". The Gray-Haired Witnesses Fast for Justice was prompted by the very serious illness of now 38-yr. old Jamie Scott who entered prison in 1994 a healthy young woman yet suffered kidney failure this past January and was deprived adequate medical treatment for an extended period of time. Jamie has quickly declined to stage 5 (end stage) kidney disease and has suffered many life-threatening medical emergencies in an unclean environment. Mr. Gregory was dumbfounded as to why MS Governor Haley Barbour has ignored all calls to pardon the women. "They went in at the ages of 19 and 22 with no prior criminal record, have consistently maintained their innocence, and even the testimony against them is documented as having been coerced! Even if they were guilty, we are talking about double-life sentences each, how does that make any kind of sense, don't their lives mean anything at all? If Gov. Barbour won't do the right thing then we need Eric Holder and President Obama to immediately step in! Washington, DC should be packed with people on June 21, demanding the immediate release of the Scott Sisters!".

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On June 21, 2010, the Gray-Haired Witnesses will commence a Fast at the Department of Justice in a 10:00 a.m formal appeal to Eric Holder, rejoin at the White House at Noon with a press conference and formal appeal to President Obama, and then continue at Lafayette Square Park from 1PM until 9PM for the duration of the fast with speakers, live performances and artists. The Gray-Haired Witnesses are calling on all people of good will to join them on that day and demand justice for the Scott Sisters and an end to the oversentencing, degradation and dehumanization of Black women in this system and nation as a whole. ###

Press Release Contacts: B.J. Janice Peak-Graham / Marpessa Kupendua 1- 866-968-1188, Ext. 2 ghwitnesses@gmail.com http://www.grayhairedwitnesses.blogspot.com/ WASHINGTON, June 9/Gray-Haired Witnesses for Justice News – Author and legal scholar, Michelle Alexander, has taken time from her current national book tour to strongly endorse the June 21, 2010 Gray-Haired Witnesses Fast for Justice in DC and their mission in a statement to their web editor and founding member, Marpessa Kupendua. In her new book this brave and insightful legal scholar and civil rights advocate argues that although Jim Crow laws have been eliminated, the racial caste system it set up was not eradicated. It’s simply been redesigned, and now racial control functions through the criminal justice system. In her support of the Gray-haired Witnesses for Justice movement, Ms. Alexander wrote:"With extraordinary vision and courage, and in the tradition of Ida B. Wells and countless other women who have stood for justice in the face of severe racial oppression, the Gray Haired Witnesses for Justice are calling attention to the harm caused by America's latest caste system: mass incarceration. Women of color are the fastest growing group of the prison population today and the Gray Haired Witnesses for Justice are shining a bright light on the racial bias and cruelty of our criminal justice system. All Americans who care about justice should join them in their campaign to free the Scott sisters, who have been sentenced to die in prison for an extremely minor, non-violent offense. “ In a February, 2010 article which appeared in the Huffington Post, she wrote, “ The clock has been turned back on racial progress in America, though scarcely anyone seems to notice. All eyes are fixed on people like Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey who have defied the odds and achieved great power, wealth and fame.” In referencing the focus of the Gray-Haired Witnesses on the case of the Scott Sisters, she had this to say, “The double life sentences imposed on the Scott sisters for an alleged robbery in Mississippi netting little more than $11 is a glaring example of a criminal justice system that is no longer much concerned with justice. No one was hurt or injured, and these women have no prior offenses. No other Western democracy subjects its own people to such draconian punishment for minor crimes. And no other country in the world incarcerates such a large percentage of its racial and ethnic minorities. This is Jim Crow justice, alive and well today. I urge all those of conscience

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to support the Scott sisters and the thousands of other prisoners who find themselves in similar shoes. Sadly, the Scott sisters are not alone. The Gray Haired Witnesses for Justice are standing up for all those suffering needlessly behind bars and we must join them. If we fail to act, history will judge us harshly." Michelle Alexander is the author of "The New Jim Crow - Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness". Her book is taking the nation by storm, especially by major news analysts and commentators in examining issues of race bearing upon the era of the Obama administration. Ms. Alexander is a rising legal star who presents a bold and innovative argument that mass incarceration amounts to a devastating system of racial control. On June 21, 2010, the Gray-Haired Witnesses will commence a Fast at the Department of Justice in a 10:00 a.m. formal appeal to Eric Holder, rejoin at the White House at Noon with a press conference and formal appeal to President Obama, and then continue at Lafayette Square Park from 1PM until 9PM for the duration of the fast with speakers, live performances and artists. They are calling on all people of good will to join them on that day and demand justice for the Scott Sisters and an end to the oversentencing, degradation and dehumanization of Black women in this system and nation as a whole. Michelle Alexander is the author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (The New Press, 2010). The former director of the Racial Justice Project of the ACLU in Northern California, she also served as a law clerk to Justice Harry Blackmun on the U.S. Supreme Court. Currently, she holds a joint appointment with the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and the Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University.

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