UPDATE: watch an inspiring video with the newly freed Scott sisters here.

I’m thrilled to spread the word that after more than 16 years in prison, Jamie and Gladys Scott finally left prison in Mississippi today and will be reunited with their family in Pensacola, Florida.

photo, Vicki D. King, the Clarion Ledger

Their case became a national cause for Civil Rights leaders and others who believe either that the sisters are innocent (which they have always maintained) or that if they were guilty, their sentences were outrageously draconian given the facts of the case.

Controversy continues to rage in response to Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour’s order that Gladys donate one of her kidneys to Jamie as a condition of her release. What will happen if tests reveal that Gladys is not a suitable donor is unclear.

I’ve followed this case closely and have written about it several times in the past. Further details of their release are available at USA Today.