We are heartbroken to have to announce that the State of Alabama took the life of Derrick O. Mason, Executive Board Member of our organization, our much loved brother and friend tonight at Holman Prison. Our thoughts and prayers are with Derrick’s parents, his brother and sister in law and other family members and friends. Our thoughts and prayers are also with Derrick’s family at Holman. We mourn Derrick deeply.
We thank all of you who wrote, faxed and called the Governor on behalf of Derrick, even after the Governor had stated that he would not intervene. We thank everyone who organized and attended vigils around the state and who joined with us from abroad. We thank the Alabama State Conference of the NAACP, especially its Legal Redress Chair, Attorney Sherryl Snodgrass Caffey and the Huntsville Madison County Branch for organizing a protest rally in Huntsville. We thank the Alabama New South Coalition, Alabama Arise, Alabama Peace Groups, the Quakers as well as ACAT-France for their support. As always, we thank our sister organizations JAM in Birmingham and the Quest for Social Justice in Mobile for all you do. We thank the media and although we do not want to lift up particular ones, we have a long-standing debt to the Birmingham News for speaking out on this issue. There are also individuals we could lift up for going the extra mile. You know who you are, please accept our gratitude!
We know that justice is not done when a human being is murdered, whether it is by an individual or by the State. We know that Derrick never received justice, beginning with his initial trial, as attested to by Judge Little, Derrick’s trial judge, right on through his representation in post conviction proceedings. Alabama officials who could have rectified these injustices lacked the courage and decency to so and thereby added to this State’s shameful, bloody record.
Derrick was a gentle man, a loving man and this is the legacy he leaves us and we share it with you. We are grateful to the many of you who supported us in our fight for justice for Derrick and who, we know, will continue to stand with us so that one day we may overcome at last!