“To date, the sisters have served 16 years of their sentences and are eligible for parole in 2014. Jamie Scott requires regular dialysis, and her sister has offered to donate one of her kidneys to her,” Barbour said in a prepared statement, according to The Hattiesburg American. “The Mississippi Department of Corrections believes the sisters no longer pose a threat to society. Their incarceration is no longer necessary for public safety or rehabilitation, and Jamie Scott’s medical condition creates a substantial cost to the State of Mississippi.”
According to The American, in 1993 the sisters lured two men down a road where they were robbed by three teens. The Scott sisters were convicted of robbery with a deadly weapon in the incident and each received reportedly unusual double life prison sentences. The teenagers who allegedly carried out the robbery only served two years in prison.
Barbour’s statement said that he asked the Mississippi Parole Board to review the Scott’s case, and that they supported his decision to suspend their sentences.
According to the Associated Press, the sisters have received support from national groups including the NAACP. A march for them earlier this year drew hundreds of people.
A release date for the sisters has not been decided, and will be set by the Mississippi Department of Corrections, according to Jackson, Miss. NBC affiliate WLBT.