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Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison, 2.17.16

Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison, 2.17.16

We had so much to talk about! First there was the update on the 2016 NASW-Alabama Chapter Advocacy Day, which Advisory Board Member Judy Collins also attended. It was a full day! We attended a session with Rep. Mike Jones, Chair of the Alabama House Judiciary Committee and asked some probing questions. The NASW-Alabama Chapter had done a great job organizing and we liked that there were at least 100 social work students in attendance as well as many different organizations. Great coverage of the event in Alabama Today!

One of the highlights was meeting and listening to Anthony Ray Hinton’s presentation. It was an emotional meeting as we remembered friends who have  been executed since we last spoke. I am very glad to say that Ray is doing well. As he said, he has his ups and his downs. Of course I told him how proud we all are of him and the work he is doing to help abolish the death penalty.

Another highlight of the day was our visit with Senator Hank Sanders in his legislative office. We will never be able to thank him adequately for all he has done and continues to do in this fight for justice. This year too Senator Sanders introduced 5 death penalty related bills. They are S.B. 117, S.B. 155, S.B. 152, our favorite one as it comes under the heading of Death Penalty repealed; S.B. 154 and S.B. 153, death penalty moratorium.

Last week we heard from our long time supporter Mike Bouton who teaches at John Carroll Catholic Senior High School letting us know that some students would like to correspond with our members. We should soon be hearing from them and really appreciate this kind of interest.

And then there is the news of the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. If nothing else this certainly changes the death penalty terrain and even the experts can only speculate exactly how. From where we stand we will always remember  Justice Scalia’s statement: “Mere factual innocence is no reason not to carry out a death sentence properly reached.”

See you next week!