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Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison, 1.13.16

Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison, 1.13.16

At this point the execution date for Christopher Brooks remains active and we have sent out an Execution Alert asking all to contact Governor Bentley to ask for a stay. We thank all who have shared the petition for Christopher Brooks and all those who have already contacted the Governor. The petition is up on our website as well as on our face book page. On our website you can find it under Execution Alerts, and on face book it is anchored on our page. Please act!

Yesterday Judge Watkins began a 2 day hearing on a lawsuit that challenges Alabama’s death penalty protocol. At issue is 1) the use of midazolam which could violate the 8th amendments right by causing cruel and unusual pain; 2) inadequately trained execution staff; 3) crucial information about protocol was withheld. Although this hearing is in reply to appeals filed by Thomas Arthur, the implications are far wider reaching and the outcome will affect many others, including Christopher Brooks.

The very good news is that the US Supreme Court ruled yesterday that Florida’s death penalty system is unconstitutional 8-1. As Alabama shares that system and a unanimous jury is not needed to sentence someone to death this is wonderful news. Now the question will be how it affects those currently on death row but for now we refuse to be anything else but hopeful!

In an exchange with the pharmaceutical Swiss company Roche, the original manufacturer of midazolam, we received a statement reaffirming that it does not sell midazolam to the US, let alone to the Alabama DOC. Our thanks to all who have contacted Roche during the past year!

We are grateful to S.O.S. and the Alabama New South Coalition for the opportunity to address the upcoming execution date of Christopher Brooks on 1.21.16 at their respective retreat and annual convention last weekend. Also, it will not come as a surprise that the keynote speaker at the convention, Bryan Stevenson was given an enthusiastic reception.

Participants at the convention were also afforded the opportunity to question political candidates on their stand on political issues. To loosely quote from Bryan Stevenson’s speech, it is important not to give up hope and action is an important part of hope. So in closing, please act on behalf of Chris Brooks!

See you next week,
Esther