We have been in contact with James Scott for a couple of months now and have posted some of his story before. Here’s another letter from Mr. Scott.
“Good morning everyone
I pray that everyone reading this is doing well and you’re staying safe. I see how things are out there in the free world and hope things get back to some since of normalcy soon. Everything is going as good as can be expected considering where I’m at. There has been a lot thats taken place over the past couple of months and I’d like to share that with you. Then I will tell you about myself and how it was that I received a life sentence for a property crime. Usually you will tell someone thank you for doing something after but I want to do this different. I want to thank you for reading the following. I know its going to be lengthy but at this time this is the only way I have to communicate with everyone. I’m eternally grateful to Lori and all the people at MPR for making this possible. Its like a dream but as mom said “this is really happening.” Again Thank You!!
First I want to begin by telling you how all this came about that I’m able to correspond with you’ll through social media. It all began with one of my friends Joseph ****** who recently transferred to another prison. He contacted Missouri Prison Reform on my behalf saying that I’d be interested in speaking with them. I recieved an email from Lori saying they wanted to help get my story out on their social media sites. Then there was Tammy at WMP Justice Review who wants to get involved in a legal stance. I won’t say finally because I believe there is much more to come. But then there is Vise Media out of New York City who wants to do a story about my situation.
I believe that God is bringing everyone together where each one will play a different role in assuring I’m finally able to go home where I long to be. Believe me that day can’t and won’t come soon enough. But it will when God is ready for me to leave the confines of this prison. Even though its not very bright at this time there is light at the end of my tunnel. As I’ve told mom, my brother, Lori, Tammy, and others, “I’m not going to put the cart before the horse because right now all I have is a cart sitting on the ground with no wheels and no horse. But I believe that all the parts are there they just need the right people to put it together. We are beginning to get them in place right now.
My name is James Scott and I’m serving a life sentence at the Jefferson City Correctional Center here in Jefferson City, Mo. I’ve spent over half my life in prison for a crime I didn’t commit. The police in 1993 had me to believe that I committed the crime I’m in prison for but that’s not true. My case stems from the Great Flood of 1993. I’m the first and only person to be convicted and sentenced for Knowingly Causing A Catastrophe a class A felony that carries a maximum sentence of Life and that’s what I received. I believe as other do that if I didn’t have the problems as a kid and teenager then I’d probably not be in prison today. Plus if I would of had paid attorney’s then again I wouldn’t be in prison.
There are people here in this prison who have committee more heinous crimes like rape murder child molestation sodomy ect. that receive less time and serve less time then me. We as a whole don’t believe that’s right or fair. As I’ve told others that’s the justice system we have here in Missouri. People asked me if your from Illinois then how is it you ended up here in Missouri. I put my spin on it and say I just crossed the wrong bridge. I love Missouri and its a beautiful state but at this time my feelings are I don’t care to ever come back. Not even to go to a Cardinals or Blues game.
Like I said I’ve been locked up for over 27 years for something I didn’t do. I continue to fight my case and research case law hoping to find something I can use to hopefully get back in court. If I give up then the people who are responsible for me being here win and I refuse to give them the satisfaction. I just want for this nightmare to end so I can go home. I can’t say it enough. If you say something long enough you’ll start believing it. I will continue saying I’m going home till it finally happens.
Mom and I have spent the past 10 plus years writing to who ever we can hoping someone will take interest in my case but nothing.(well until now) I have been told that because I’m not serving a life sentence or on death row as a result of a case that involves DNA, rape murder molestation just to name a few people won’t help me. She wrote to Governor Parsons and it took a second letter to get a response. They wrote her and said I have a petition on his desk but there is no timeline for him to decide.
Because of the way I was sentenced I’m not scheduled to see the parole board until July of 2026. Here is why. I was sentenced as a prior/persistent offender which means I have to serve 60% of a life sentence. When I was arrested 1993 it was in Illinois for a burglary, a burglary I don’t remember committing. I received 10 years for that crime. On June 28,1998 I was released from my Illinois sentence, while waiting to be sentenced for this case here in Missouri. Judge Clayton said that we found guility on circumstantial evidence. He ran my sentence consecutive to any sentence I was currently serving in Illinois. My attorney argued that I was release form that sentence June 28th and now its July 6th. He still sentenced me in the manner he did to ensure I served the maximum time.
I have made a lot of mistakes in my life and did a lot of dumb stuff that I’m not proud of. Crimes I’m guilty of and crimes I admitted to in order to keep someone else out of trouble. Most of the time it was my brothers that I was protecting. I believe my errors and transgressions at that young age is the reason I’m here today. I wish I could go back in time and start over but I can’t. I’m forced to live with the mistakes of my youth everyday. I can’t and won’t sit here and try to convince you or anyone reading this that I never caused the levee to fail they never proved I did at my trial because I DIDN’T CAUSE THE WEST QUINCY LEVEE TO FAIL!
I’ve lost so much as a result of this case with the top two being the 27 plus years that were taken from me but my biggest lose was when my dad passed away in 2014. Not only was he my dad but he was also my buddy and my friend. All I have is the memories that I hold near and dear to my heart. We loved to go fishing together and before he passed we would talk about catching the big one that always seemed to get away. Whenever I’m able to go home after I drop my stuff off at moms the first thing I want to is go visit dads gravesite. My mom is up in age and I pray that she will be there when I go him. I’ve told her that I owe her my life for the rest of hers. She s my rock and my best friend and there is no one who has done more for me since I’ve been locked up then her.
One other thing that I missed out on because of this case is my opportunity to have children of my own and have the family I longed for. I listen to some of the guys here talk about there children and frankly it hurts. But hey maybe it wasn’t meant to be. I believe God has a plan and purpose for me and my life and I can’t wait till he reveals it to me. Mom reads a scripture to me all the time and I’d like to share it with you. It ties in with what I just said
**Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.**
I know there are a lot of people out there who believe in me and want nothing more then for me to be allowed to go home. Your support is much needed. We have a lot of work to do and the team is being assembled to insure that happens. We have Lori and her team at Missouri Prison Reform, Tammy and her team at WMPJustice Review and Sneha at Vise Media. We are working to set up a PayPal fundraising account to help pay for legal expences and thats where I’m really going to need your help. I’m so grateful for every one involved in helping me. Until next time thank you again for reading what I’ve wrote and I look forward to doing it again. Before I close I would like to share one of my favorite songs with you When I’m Back On My Feet Again by Michael Bolton. If your able to listen to it I hope you will and I hope you like it as much as I do
Respectfully James Scott”