Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Christie Bray Scott Heads to Death Row

Louise Harris from Montgomery, Tierra Gobble from Houston, Shonda Johnson from Walker, and Patricia Blackman from Houston--all prisoners at Tutwiler with a "Z" before their Alabama Inmate System Number, all women who expect to die in prison, all females sentenced to death for heinous crimes. Now, Christie Michelle Bray Scott of Franklin County will join them.

In less than 30 days, the State of Alabama will forward paperwork to the Franklin County Jail ordering deputies to transport Scott south to Elmore County, home of the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women. In all probability, Scott's journey will take place at night. Unannounced, a female jailer will enter her cell, command her to dress, shackle her, and escort her to a waiting transport. Marked police vehicles are allowed to speed down the state's roadways, and Scott should reach Tutwiler shortly after dawn.

Most transfers are shuttled into a holding pen outside the prison, but a prisoner with a death sentence should be given special escort into the building. There Scott will be told to disrobe and shower. Prison workers will delouse Scott, a barber will cut her hair to collar length, and she will be handed a unisex white uniform along with a minimum of toiletries. Now Scott is ready to be taken to her new home--a small cell measuring approximately 10' x 10'.

There are only four death row cells at Tutwiler, currently all full. It's likely Scott will be placed in one of the adjacent segregation cells. It's also likely prison personnel will make it clear to Scott that she is a burden to them, since she is only adding to their time-consuming death row routine.

Now, Christie Scott is alone, alone with four books, a television if any of her family should desire to provide her one, and possibly a small animal. Yes, Scott will have the luxury of a bird or a cat, as long as her family provides its upkeep. She will also get to shower every other day and walk for one hour each day in a small private garden. Even her meals will be delivered to the small cell that will become her home.

For 30 days, Scott will be allowed no visitors. After that period, immediate family may make arrangements to visit during approved hours. Then Christie Scott will be alone again, alone in a cell where all lights are turned off at ten o'clock at night, alone with her thoughts and her guilt.

This is the life for which Christie Michelle Bray Scott traded her son Mason. Let us all pray for her family.