Won't you just scream if you hear one more news reporter say that the Scott sisters of Mississippi received life prison sentences for their part in an armed robbery that netted "only" $11? I know I will. Granted, what happened to Jamie and Gladys Scott was pretty outrageous, and for those of you who've never heard of the two sisters whose names have been in the news all this past week, some back story is in order.

The official police version of events goes like this: On Christmas Eve, 1993, Jamie and Gladys had the two victims, Mitchell Duckworth and Johnny Ray Hayes, drive them to a nightclub. Jamie pretended to have nausea and had the driver pull over. Three men in a car following the victims stopped and robbed the victims at gunpoint. According to some news reports, the robbers struck at least one of the victims in the head with a shotgun. The Scott sisters then drove off with the robbers.

Three of the robbers accepted plea bargains and testified against the Scott sisters. They each got prison terms of fewer than eight years. The sisters got LIFE. Even for a tough-on-crime conservative like me, the sentence is excessive. Anybody in Mississippi ever heard of the Eighth Amendment proscription on cruel and unusual punishment?

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour commuted the Scott sisters' sentence last week. They're now out of prison. Yes, their punishment was excessive; but no, this wasn't about the darned $11.

This was about armed robbery, a violent crime that should carry a hefty sentence. And no, this wasn't about a "racist" Mississippi (or American) criminal justice system either. Both Hayes and Duckworth are black men. In September of last year, USA Today published this gem of a quote about the Scott sisters case, from none other than National Association for the Advancement of Colored People leader Benjamin Todd Jealous:

"It is a travesty that in the State of Mississippi the lives of two black women are valued at little more than 11 dollars."

Maybe the state of Mississippi was saying that the armed robbery of two black men was serious enough to warrant harsh punishment, no matter what amount of money was lost in the crime. So please remember the names of Hayes and Duckworth, the victims in the crime. You can bet Jealous won't.

In an op-ed piece that ran last week, Jealous again brought up the figure of $11, but he had the smarts not to use the word "only" when he mentioned it. Instead, Jealous told readers where the NAACP's priorities are when it comes to crime and justice.

"In addition to dealing with a justice system that has indeed become too sanguinary and cruel, we are also confronting one that is grossly overcrowded with Americans of all colors (especially black men and women), and leaders who are too fearful to do much about either aspect of the problem."

So there it is again: the old, tired, obligatory (for Jealous and other liberals) and downright annoying (for crusty, curmudgeonly conservatives like me) whine about too many black folks in prison. Wouldn't it be refreshing to hear, for a change, some black leader somewhere, sometime, speak out for those black Americans who are victims of crime?

My son was the victim of an armed robbery twice. A bunch of hooligans stuck a handgun in his face and stole his bicycle when he was 13; when he was in his early 20s, some shotgun-toting thug robbed him of his jacket.

Who speaks for him and men like Hayes and Duckworth? Certainly not Benjamin Todd Jealous.

Examiner Columnist Gregory Kane is a Pulitzer-nominated news and opinion journalist who has covered people and politics from Baltimore to the Sudan.