Friday, September 17, 2010

Free the Scott Sisters!!!
UPDATE

MAINSTREAM NEWS REPORTS
-----------
From: Nancy Lockhart
http://www.wapt.com/news/26314528/detail.html

Governor Suspends Scott Sisters' Sentences
Gladys Scott To Donate Kidney To Jamie Scott
POSTED: 4:45 pm CST December 29, 2010
UPDATED: 5:08 pm CST December 29, 2010

JACKSON, Miss. -- Gov. Haley Barbour on Wednesday suspended the double life sentences of sisters Jamie and Gladys Scott, who were convicted in 1994 in connection with a robbery.╲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 statement. "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 Scottâ•˙s medical condition creates a substantial cost to the State of Mississippi."Barbour said the Mississippi Parole Board reviewed the sisters' case and recommended that he neither pardon them nor commute their sentences.╲At my request, the Parole Board subsequently reviewed whether the sisters should be granted an indefinite suspension of sentence, which is tantamount to parole, and have concurred with my decision to suspend their sentences indefinitely," Barbour said. ╲Gladys Scottâ•˙s release is conditioned on her donating one of her kidney to her sister, a procedure which should be scheduled with urgency."Barbour said the release date for Jamie and Gladys Scott is a matter for the Mississippi Department of Corrections.In September, nearly 200 people rallied at the state Capitol asking Barbour to release the sisters.According to court records, the Scott sisters were found guilty of luring two men down a road near Forest, where three young assailants used a shotgun to rob the men.The Scott sisters had exhausted all of their appeals.

============
Dec. 29, 2010

GOV. BARBOUR'S STATEMENT REGARDING RELEASE OF SCOTT SISTERS
"Today, I have issued two orders indefinitely suspending the sentences of Jamie and Gladys Scott. In 1994, a Scott County jury convicted the sisters of armed robbery and imposed two life sentences for the crime. Their convictions and their sentences were affirmed by the Mississippi Court of Appeals in 1996.

"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. 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.

"The Mississippi Parole Board reviewed the sisters' request for a pardon and recommended that I neither pardon them, nor commute their sentence. At my request, the Parole Board subsequently reviewed whether the sisters should be granted an indefinite suspension of sentence, which is tantamount to parole, and have concurred with my decision to suspend their sentences indefinitely.

"Gladys Scott's release is conditioned on her donating one of her kidneys to her sister, a procedure which should be scheduled with urgency. The release date for Jamie and Gladys Scott is a matter for the Department of Corrections.

"I would like to thank Representative George Flaggs, Senator John Horne, Senator Willie Simmons, and Representative Credell Calhoun for their leadership on this issue. These legislators, along with former Mayor Charles Evers, have been in regular contact with me and my staff while the sisters' petition has been under review."
****************************************

Dec. 30, 2010

Sister's Kidney Donation Condition Of Miss. Parole

Unique Parole Condition: Miss. Inmate Must Give Kidney To Sister To Have Life Sentence Lifted
(AP) JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour has suspended the life sentences of two sisters convicted in 1994 for their roles in an armed robbery, but one sister's release is contingent on her giving a kidney to the other.

Gladys and Jamie Scott were convicted of leading two men into an ambush in central Mississippi in 1993. The men were robbed of $11 by three teenagers who hit both men in the head with a shotgun and took their wallets, court records said.

The Scott sisters are eligible for parole in 2014, but 38-year-old Jamie Scott "requires regular dialysis, and her sister has offered to donate one of her kidneys to her," Barbour said.

Barbour said in a news release that 36-year-old Gladys Scott's release is conditioned on her donating one of her kidneys to her sister.

Dan Turner, Barbour's spokesman, told The Associated Press that Jamie Scott was released because she needs the transplant. He said Gladys Scott will be released if she agrees to donate her kidney because of the significant risk and recovery time.

"She wanted to do it," Turner said. "That wasn't something we introduced."

Barbour is a Republican in his second term who has been mentioned as a possible presidential contender in 2012. He said the Mississippi Parole Board reviewed the case at his request and 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.

Still, their release won't be immediate.

Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps said late Wednesday that he had not received the order. He also said the women want to live with relatives in Florida, which requires approval from officials in that state.

In general, that process takes 45 days.
__._,_.___

Jackson, MS march and rally to Free the Scott Sisters
Wednesday, September 15, 2010.

I originally started ~LostFaces~ of the missing, as a means of aiding in the distribution of information, concerning missing children and persons. Yet I find that my perception of who a ~LostFace~ is, continually changes with time.
I have come to realize that some ~LostFaces~ are not even missing at all.

Read, and decide for yourself...
Are Jamie and Gladys Scott ~LostFaces~ Too?

In October of 1994, Jamie and Gladys Scott were sentenced to double life terms in prison. That's double sentences each! Neither sister had prior convictions or arrests. Three young men confessed to the robbery and implicated Jamie and Gladys in the crime.
On December 24, 1993 Scott County Sheriff's Department arrested the sisters for armed robbery. The three young men were all related and referred to as the "Patrick Men". Coercions, threats and promises led these men to turn state's evidence on the Scott Sisters. The Patrick men received lenient sentences in exchange for their testimonies.
During a confusing and obviously fabricated statement on the witness stand, testimony was brought out regarding the coerced statement, the jury still found Jamie and Gladys Scott Guilty.
During the trial the Patrick man admitted that he did not write the confession, the police did. He was threatened and told, "He would be sent to Parchman and made out of a woman". (He was 14 years old during this testimony).
In 1998, one of the Patrick Men wrote a sworn affidavit telling the truth - that Jamie and Gladys were not involved. The court never heard the affidavit!
WHAT IF IT WERE YOU?
I ask this question each time an injustice happens and action from us are needed... I am puzzled about the apathy that we have when it comes to injustice. It appears that if it is not directly affecting us individually, we just aren’t feeling the pain of someone else, the loss of someone else... What If It Were You

Your assistance is very much needed to make this case public. Please read the transcripts, forward flier, sign the petition, and assist us in making this case viral! At this time we are asking people to write to the Sentencing Project to ask their assistance in this case .
Petition for Jamie and Gladys Scott

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!


Clicky Pic


Free The Scott Sisters





Thursday, September 2, 2010

Shared Parenting CAN Work...
It CAN be done!

It's 6:30 on a Friday morning. Missy arrives at her childcare providers home, ready for a new school year. Graduating from grade K to 1st grade brings a whole new schedule for her parents to work out - at home, with the childcare provider, and with the school.

What makes Missy and her schedule different than a lot of other children going back to school this year?
Her parents have a 50/50 shared custody plan.

How do I fit into this?
I'm the childcare provider, and for the past year I have watched Missy's parents work through various scheduling situations, in order to have a workable, shared parenting relationship.

Needless to say, I have changed the names of this family, and I have asked both parents permission to post this.

Missy's mom asked why I wanted to write about them.
All I can say is that Missy's parents do such a tremendous job with shared parenting that they deserve a major shout-out. While handling their own situation, John and Jane S. have been unknowingly setting example of what can be accomplished, when 2 separated/divorced parents work together, for the best interest of their child.

Jane answered my ad for childcare about a year ago, and even though they are divorced, BOTH parents brought Missy to meet with me. It seems they prefer to hire the same childcare provider, instead of Missy having to switch providers every week.
Yes! BOTH Parents worked TOGETHER to find childcare.

SHARED PARENTING CAN WORK...IT CAN BE DONE!

At first I was nervous with this shared custody arrangement. I was concerned that I would say something to one parent that would 'upset the cart,' so to say.
But over the course of the year, both parents have impressed me many times over, and I am no longer worried about either of the parents getting jealous about something, starting a fight, or having the police to my house.

I have observed John and/or Jane holding their tongue, instead of making bad comments about the other.

Both John and Jane S. have been flexible enough to smoothly handle Dr. and Dentist appointments.

Missy came home from school one afternoon with a small problem. Even though it was not life threatening, I asked her if she wanted to use the phone and talk with her Mom... Dad didn't freak out because I allowed Missy to call her mom, when it was his week.
I guess he just trusted my judgment on which parent I felt should handle the phone call.
What a smart Dad! Instead of insisting that all phone calls be made to him on his week, he traded off that one phone call - for a lifetime of trust!

AND...

Even though it was Mom's week to have Missy, it was Dad's scheduled vacation time, so she allowed Dad to take Missy on summer vacation.
Jane had every right to refuse this request...after all, it was her week!
But she didn't.
What a smart mom! She gave up one of her weeks - for a lifetime of respect!

SHARED PARENTING CAN WORK...IT CAN BE DONE!

John and Jane S. don't deserve to be considered a 50/50 parenting arrangement, because from what I've witnessed, BOTH Parents are giving even more than 100%

I frequent various sites and forums that deal with children being used as a pawn, in the 'game of divorce,' and I've seen some rather depressing statistics of parents who alienate their children from the other partner.

I am hoping that this post will give a bit of encouragement to those parents who are searching for ways of better handling their shared custody arrangement.

SHARED PARENTING CAN WORK... IT CAN BE DONE!

For many reasons, I think it's important that parents start finding more positive posts/stories about shared parenting.
If you feel you have a working shared parenting arrangement, and you would like to share, please contact me.
mammabear89@yahoo.com

Monday, August 23, 2010

When Andrew Came Home

A child abducted by a stranger brings about outrage in the community, and there is a great public outcry.
Had that same child been abducted by a parent, the common reaction is,
"Well, at least the child is with the other parent, so they are probably OK."

Based on a true story, 'When Andrew Came Home' was released in 2000.

Monday, August 9, 2010

With so many safety No-No's,
Secret Builders earns this moms
YES!

DON'T talk to strangers!
NEVER tell someone you are home alone!
NEVER accept a strangers candy OR get in their car!
DO NOT walk home alone!
These are only a few things we preach to our children, as we teach them to be safety minded individuals.

The internet is no different.
NEVER use your real name!
DO NOT give out personal information on the internet!
DON'T believe someone just because they say they are a 12 year old friend!
NEVER meet with someone you have met on the internet!!!

Many 'seemingly harmless' social networking sites have become nothing more than a hunting ground for predators who are on the prowl!
We surely can't lock our children away to keep them safe, and let's face it-
the internet is NOT going to go away!
Therefore, as parents all we can really do is teach our children good safety rules, remain involved, and be vigilant.

Once my son graduated from Elmo's world, Thomas the Train, and Nick Jr, I quickly realized that I'd best be on my toes!
As soon as he'd show me a site that I thought was ok, he'd turn around and prove me wrong by clicking on an external link at the bottom of the page.
I was horrified to learn that with a few clicks, my son could go from 'fun math facts' to 'kill 'em all DEAD DEAD DEAD!'
YIKES!

I was leary when he told me about a new site called 'Secret Builders'
Especially when he mentioned that it's a chat site.
My first thought was,
'And it's a secret Why???'
PLUS
I'm not ready for my son to be in chat~
even though he is!
BUT, I have an open mind, and I promised that I'd check out Secret Builders with him. I'm glad I did!

SecretBuilders is a virtual world for children 5 to 14 years old powered by a web 2.0 community of children, parents, educators, writers, artists and game developers. On SecretBuilders, children will explore virtual lands, undertake quests, play games, maintain a home, nurture a pet, and interact with their friends. Three features which form the backdrop for SecretBuilders distinguish it from other online worlds:

* Children learn through immersing themselves in the stories, themes, and concepts from the best in literature, arts and humanities. They will interact with famous historical and fictional figures and be introduced to content and characters from world civilization and the great thoughts and ideas of human creativity.

* Children will create this site, not just consume it. They are directly involved in creating this world with their ideas, critiques and contributions on virtually every aspect of the site and many of their ideas will be implemented!


* Children publish their works – writings, art, videos – making SecretBuilders their own personal store of creativity. They can invite friends and family to view their works, and comment upon them. Seeing their works published and enjoyed by others instills tremendous for self-confidence as well as motivation to do more.
Secret Builders~About Us

I helped my lil'guy open an account in Secret Builders, then I spent a great deal of time doing what I always do...
I surfed the site & Here's what this mammabear found:

1) There are NO external links! Yay!
2) Since I signed him up, I have the right to cancel his account.
3) Secret Builders has many games...NONE of them promote violence!
4) There are many ways for a child to actually learn something...
even if they didn't mean to!
5) Secret Builders has rules for chatting!
These rules include giving out personal information.
ANYONE breaking these rules can be banned!
It's a great introduction into the world of chat.

I do have one confession...
My son was having a good time in Secret Builders.
TOO good of a time.
Sooooo, what's a mammabear to do?
YEP! I got my very own account, and now I'm a member of Secret Builders too.
It's a great way to remain involved in my son's internet activities,
and, we have a great time playing games together!

OK...
So I've been busted playing Secret Builders all by myself!
So again I say, 'What's a mammabear to do?'


Sunday, May 30, 2010

2nd Annual
Freedom Bike Treck

2nd Annual Freedom Bike Trek 4 Families Rally and Sendoff Event
July 18, 2010 at Peoples Park at Independence Hall in Philadelphia 10:00 am. Promoting Equal Rights for Fathers in Family Court

May 30, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE :


Contact:
Robin Gilchrist
267-981-9590
rgillmanrn@aol.com

Bill Gibbons
215-704-9612
bgibbons55@gmail.com

Several Riders with courage and commitment to the cause of equality in the family court system of Pennsylvania will be riding their bicycles from Philadelphia, PA to Washington, D.C. in protest to the numerous injustices perpetrated against Fathers and their children in the Family Court System.

Along their route they will be stopping in Harrisburg, PA on July 21st to Lobby the support of several pieces of introduced Legislation to correct these inequalities and to protect a Fathers relationship with his children after separation or divorce.

Upon their arrival in Washington, they will make an address to the thousands of attendees from states across the nation at the
4th Annual Family Preservation Festival in Washington, D.C.

The proposed pieces of Legislation are:

PA House Bill 463
Which provides for Presumptive Equal Custody of children provided that in those cases children would not be put at risk.

Please see hb463.com for more details about the bill, hearings, and movement to bring fathers back to their kids in the Commonwealth of PA.

PA House Bill 1639
Provides for contempt for Custodial Parents denying court ordered visitation and or custody and provides for Grandparents rights.

PA House Bill 418
Provides for disciplinary actions against Judges, Masters, and court officers for misconduct.

PA House Bill 90
Provides for prevention of child abduction in cases involving custody disputes.


State Rep. Robert E. Belfanti, Jr.
D-Northumberland/Montour/Columbia

"The state's current 'best interest of the child' standard is too often based on outdated, inaccurate or stereotypical views of parenting in our society and the relationship that each parent has with a child," Belfanti said. "Under my legislation, the goal in every child custody case would still be finding an arrangement that represents the best interest of the child, but we would start from a presumption that joint custody represents that best interest and work from there, not the other way around."

Belfanti stressed that the legislation does not mandate joint custody or any other type of custody arrangement, nor any specific division of physical custody. Courts would still have wide discretion in deciding final custody arrangements.

"This joint custody presumption is a guide, a starting point, but not a straitjacket," he said. "It does not require shared parenting, nor does it reduce or eliminate protections against unfit or violent parents. It simply instructs the courts, when possible and appropriate, to maximize exposure of the child to each parent and to recognize that fit parents who have a desire and ability to share responsibility for custody and care of their child after a separation or divorce have the right to do so." More than 30 other states already have some form of a joint custody rebuttal provision in place, he said.

"The impact that a single-parent household has on a child can be startling," he said. "For instance, about 63 percent of teen suicides, 90 percent of homeless or runaway children, 71 percent of high school dropouts and 85 percent of youth in prison come from fatherless homes," Belfanti said. "Both mothers and fathers are an important part of a child's life. In cases where both are willing – and able – to provide custody and care for a child after a separation or divorce, that is the position from which the courts should start, as well."
Bill would introduce joint custody presumption in Pa. child custody law

For More Information Contact Event Coordinators:
Bill Gibbons
215-704-9612
bgibbons55@gmail.com
Robin Gilchrist
267-981-9590
rgillmanrn@aol.com


Event Sponsors/Supporters:
Families' & Childrens' Equality (FACE)
PA FACE - Every Child Deserves Two Parents
Families' & Childrens' Equality (FACE)
P O Box 1062
Newtown, PA 18940

Fathers 4 Justice

American Coalition for
Fathers


The Fathers Rights Network

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Recognize insecurity & put it in it's place!

We made initial contact by E-mail, through a 3rd party. At first I was skeptical of who it was I was talking with. We e-mailed personal questions&answers back and forth
until the both of us were satisfied that it was indeed mom and son talking.
That's when insecurity stepped in!

What if he doesn't really want to reunite, but instead just wants the chance to tell me how much he hates me?
What if he tells me that he never wants to see me again?
Will he be embarrassed of the mom he barely remembers, once we go to video cam?
What if he doesn't believe anything I say to him?

Those were just a few of the questions nagging at me, when we first began our reunification process.

In spite of my worries, our conversations went well.
"Skype!" He suggested.
"HUH?"
He patiently explained how to download the Skype program.
After ten years of searching, there my older son was, sitting right before my eyes!
I didn't have a cam set up at first, so he could not see the tears as I traced my fingers across the computer screen.

For about a week we met up on Skype just about every night.
We asked each other questions. I heard "Do you remember?" about a million times.
We played songs for each other. We sent funny video links back and forth. I 'introduced' him to his little brother. We took many pictures of each other on Skype...
All of these activities helped fill in gaps, when we were lost at what to say next.
Then as easily as he reappeared in my life, he was gone!

Did I say something wrong? I was honest with his questions.
(Even the uncomfortable ones) Should I have lied to him instead?
Maybe he really did hate me, and just wanted to ......

The list of 'what if's' goes on and on. All of these questions were filled
with self doubt.
I am sure that I was miserable to be around at this point.

I sent him an Email, but there was no answer. Perhaps I am being too pushy, and he feels like I'm bugging him too much?
That's it! If he don't want to talk anymore, I get it...

About 2 weeks later, he contacted me. I was afraid of being rejected again, so I tried to remain aloof. That didn't work well for me and instead, my heart bubbled over with joy.
It turns out that I had neither said nor done anything wrong.
The lack of contact was simply because he's a teen boy, with things to do. Go figure!
About that unanswered E-mail?
"I HATE to write, mom! I don't write Email or letters. I did read your letter though."

I went through this 'insecure phase' the first few months of initial contact. Every time I didn't hear from him, I blamed myself, and constantly questioned what it was that I had done wrong.
Yet each time it was the same answer....
A young adult with things to do!
Whew!

It took quite a few months, and a bit of pressure from my sis for me to take the next BIG step.

It's not that I didn't want to see my own son...
After all, I'd been searching for him and his brother for over 10 years.
But I was insecure and frightened to death.
Afraid of what?
Everything! I was afraid of saying the wrong thing. I was afraid of doing the wrong thing. You name it, and I was just downright scared of messing it up!

FINALLY I asked. "Would it be o.k. if I came down, and we went out for a pizza or something?" Instead of a slice of pizza and not enough time, the people with whom he lived invited me to their home for the weekend. How kind of them!

It was a long enough drive to where he lives. Long enough for me to worry myself ill!
What if they were luring me there, only to gang up and beat the crap out of me?
What if it were a hoax, and I made the drive, only to find that it was a wrong address?

Do you see an unhealthy pattern developing?
For every step forward with our reunification, I worried myself 3 steps back.
BAD MAMMABEAR!!!
Again all of this worry was unnecessary.

After 10 + years of searching, I FINALLY MET MY SON!
I can never repay these 'strangers' who opened up their home as a 'neutral-comfort zone,' so that my son and I could reunite.
Words can't possibly describe that weekend. We had a great time!
(Although I am suspicious that he was trying to do me in, with that 12 mile hike in the wee AM hours!)
The weekend came to an end waaayyy too soon. It was impossible to even begin to make up for the 10 years gone by.
I grew bold and asked him if he wanted to come visit for a week, and was more than elated when he agreed.
Within the week he met his little brother, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other relatives. There were a few informal dinner parties. The two of us stayed up late, trying to catch up with lost time.
Many many times he compared himself and his mannerisms to mine. He saw! What an awesome compliment!

Alas, it was time to take him back home. I have to admit that It wasn't easy to do that!
There was still so much left unsaid.
And yet he said it all...
With a hug he asked, "When are you coming back, mom?"

Saturday, May 15, 2010

~LOCATED~
Now What
???

You've finally located a missing loved one... Now What?


The search for a missing loved one affects many people.
Parents, siblings, grandparents, children, aunts, uncles, and friends, all find their lives forever changed.
If your life has been touched by the search for a missing loved one, and you are now dealing with reunification issues...
If you find yourself asking 'NOW WHAT?'
Please take a few moments to read through this. Your comments, ideas, questions, and suggestions are more than welcome.
mammabear
Often when a loved one is missing families talk about ‘just needing to know they are alive'. When the missing person is discovered to be alive much joy and relief is brought to anxious family members and friends. Yet, many discover that a number of issues surface and create friction within relationships – particularly those between the missing person and their family members and friends
You are NOT alone!
These 2 links offer confirmation that emotions can be quite confusing, once a loved one has been located...
Someone is Missing:The Reunion
The Missing Person Has Been Located...What Now? (PDF format)

Initial Reunification Tips for Parents

A child who has been missing and is about to be or has been reunited with his or her parent(s).
Vanished Children's Alliance offers some helpful tips for the initial contact.
Initial Reunification Tips for Parents (PDF Format)

Monday, February 22, 2010

~Christina Whittaker~

CHRISTINA WHITTAKER

Alias / Nickname: Tina Young
Date of Birth: 1988-03-28
Date Missing: 2009-11-13
From City/State: Hannibal, MO
Age at Time of Disappearance: 21
Gender: Female
Race: White
Height: 66 inches
Weight: 120 pounds
Hair Color: Red
Eye Color: Brown



Circumstances of Disappearance



Christina was last seen at approximately 11:45PM at the Rookies Sports Bar in the vicinity of the 600 block of Broadway in Hannibal. She had met with friends and eventually asked to leave the bar due to intoxication. Witnesses state she left the bar alone. Her cell phone was found on the ground on South Seventh St., several blocks away from the bar.



Investigative Agency
Hannibal (MO) Police Department
Phone(573) 221-0987
Investigative Case# 2009-30080


Link to Printable Poster
Source: The National Center for Missing Adults

Investigator thinks Christina Whittaker is alive
Rajah Maples
A private investigator says he thinks a Hannibal woman who's been missing for more than 15 months is alive.

William Rinehart with Big River Investigations in Quincy said he's pretty sure Christina Whittaker is in the Peoria area...Investigator thinks Christina Whittaker is alive