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Friday
Jan072011

Sisters Released on Condition One Donates Kidney to Other

Photo Courtesy - Mississippi Department of Corrections(PEARL, Miss.) -- Gladys and Jamie Scott yelled "we're free" and "God bless y'all" as they left the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility on Friday for the first time in 16 years. They were serving life sentences for a 1994 armed robbery they claim they didn't commit.

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour suspended the women's sentences on Dec. 29 on the condition that Gladys Scott, 36, donate a kidney to Jamie Scott, 38, within one year of their release.

Jamie Scott suffers from kidney disease and requires daily dialysis.

The release will be a reunion for the women, too. They'd been held recently in different parts of the prison, which is located in Pearl, Miss.

The sisters still need to undergo testing to make sure they are compatible. It is not clear what will happen to the deal if they are not.

Backers have long claimed that the women, who are African-American, were innocent and their life prison sentences were tinged with racism.

The 1994 Mississippi case stirred memories of an older, racist South, as the two young women -- then 19 and 21 -- were accused of masterminding the robbery of two men on a roadside in Forest, Miss. The sisters said their car had broken down and three male acquaintances who had given them a ride had actually committed the crime at gunpoint.

The sisters, who had exhausted all their appeals, would have been eligible for parole in 2014.

The sisters was convicted of two counts of armed robbery and sentenced to two life sentences.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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