Thursday, February 24, 2011

Ex-Convict Sisters Can't Share Kidney Because of Obesity

I posted before about the bizarre case of two sisters who had spent 16 years in prison for stealing $11 from two men.  They were sentenced to two life terms in prison for the robbery until Tennessee Gov. Hailey Barbour granted Jamie Scott an early release because of kidney failure that cost the State $200,000 a year for dialysis.  He also released her sister, Gladys on the condition that she donate a kidney to her sister.

Now it seems the doctors will not consider them for transplant surgery until Jaimie loses over 100 lbs and her sister sheds 60 lbs.  Gladys also needs to quit smoking and at 4 feet, 9 inches and 184 lbs she certainly has some weight to lose.

This case is so strange on so many levels.  First of all, why should two young women (age 19 and 21 at time of sentencing) be given life for a simple robbery?  The inequities of our legal system are profound and this case proves it.  To read a bit from Jamie Scott about the conviction go here.

2nd, this shows how unhealthy prison can be.  Prisoners age much faster than the normal population due to overcrowding, poor medical care, carb heavy food and general stress.  Women prisoners are generally overweight, as these two have shown.  Smoking is rampant in prison and cigarettes are bartered and sold and used as rewards.  I am not saying prison is the cause of the poor health habits of these two women, but it is a rare person who can maintain good health in that environment.

Finally, how odd to choose this reason to parole the sisters.  Neither had been previously tested for compatibility and there is no real way to enforce compliance.  Barbour hasn't responded directly to numerous questions about whether he'll send the sisters back to prison if the transplant doesn't occur.

The final ending to this odd scenario has not been written.  I would suggest the producers of "The Biggest Loser" snatch these two up right away and get some good high ratings.  I am just glad they are out of prison, back with their children who have suffered so much,  and can try to regain their lives.

13 comments:

KM said...

This story keeps getting stranger all the time. I like your idea about the biggest loser taking them on air for their weight loss challenge. Or Jennifer Hudson could coach them on what she did when I think she lost 80 lbs. Thanks for the follow up on it.

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Chef Scotty said...

I suppose $200 grand a year in savings is a good enough reason for parole. I wonder if this early release from prison would have come about during a time of surging economics. The real 'Biggest Loser' is the company doing the dialysis. Like Minelli sang, "Money makes the world go round".

Michael Kirsch, M.D. said...

Perhaps, the governor wanted to release the 2 women and used the kidney issue as an excuse, since he's a 'law and order' type.

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