By Daily Mail Reporter
Updated: 04:32 EST, 24 February 2011
Two imprisoned sisters whose life sentences were suspended on the condition that one donates a kidney to the other have been told they are too fat for the surgery.
Jamie and Gladys Scott were released in January after spending 16 years behind bars for their part in an armed robbery in which they pocketed just $11.
But now doctors have told Jamie that she has to lose 100 pounds for the operation while Gladys must lose 60 pounds and stop smoking.
Weight: Jamie and Gladys Scott need to lose a combined 160 pounds before they can have the surgery
From sharing life sentences to sharing life: Gladys Scott (left) was to give a kidney to her sister Jamie, who requires daily dialysis, in return for both being released
Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour last month suspended the sisters’ life sentences on the condition that 36-year-old Gladys gives a kidney to Jamie, 38, who requires daily dialysis.
But the latest news has thrown their release into turmoil, with Gov. Barbour not yet indicating whether the latest setback means the women will have to go back to prison.
The sisters were planning to move to Florida, where their mother and grown children live.
They were convicted in 1994 of leading two men into an ambush in central Mississippi the year before.
Three teenagers hit each man in the head with a shotgun and took their wallets – making off with only $11.
The Scotts were each convicted of two counts of armed robbery and sentenced to two life sentences.
Civil rights advocates have for years called for their release, saying the sentences were excessive. Those demands gained traction when Barbour asked the Mississippi Parole Board to take another look at the case.
The Scott sisters are eligible for parole in 2014, but Barbour said prison officials no longer think they are a threat to society and Jamie’s medical condition is costing the state a lot of money.
Free: But for how long? the sisters are unsure if the weight issue will affect their release
Their attorney Chokwe Lumumba. said he had no problem with the governor requiring Gladys to offer up her organ because ‘Gladys actually volunteered that as part of her petition.’
He said it was not clear what caused the kidney failure, but it’s likely a combination of different illnesses over the years.
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The Governor’s spokesman Dan Turner said that Jamie Scott was released because she needs the transplant.
‘She wanted to do it,’ Mr Turner said. ‘That wasn’t something we introduced.’
Mr Barbour is a Republican in his second term who has been mentioned as a possible presidential contender in 2012.
He said the parole board agreed with the indefinite suspension of their sentences, which is different from a pardon or commutation because it comes with conditions.
An ‘indefinite suspension of sentence’ can be reversed if the conditions are not followed, but those requirements are usually things like meeting with a parole officer.
The Scott sisters have received significant public support from advocacy groups, including the NAACP, which called for their release.
Hundreds of people marched through downtown Jackson from the state capital to the governor’s mansion in September, chanting in unison that the women should be freed.
Mississippi NAACP President Derrick Johnson said the Scott sisters’ release was ‘a great victory for the state of Mississippi for two individuals who received an excessive sentence’ and he has no problem with the kidney donation requirement because Gladys Scott volunteered.
‘I think it’s encouraging that she’s willing to share a kidney so her sister can have a better quality life,’ Johnson said.
Support: Protesters, seen in Jackson, Mississippi, in September, have long claimed the sisters’ sentences for the armed robbery of just $11 are too harsh