Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison 6.15.16
Last Saturday the Goodsell United Methodist Church of Lanett celebrated the 151st anniversary of Juneteenth, also known as Juneteenth Independence Day, Freedom Day or Independence Day which is recognized as a state holiday or special day of observance in most states, but not in Alabama. It celebrates the abolition of slavery in the U.S. State of Texas in 1865 and more generally the emancipation of African-American slaves throughout the South. The Reverend Dr. Kelley, who is a long time supporter dating back to when he was still located in Anniston and signed on his church to the death penalty moratorium, once more organized a great event. We used it to meet and greet and to hand out copies of our newsletter. We were warmly received and the Reverend Dr. Kelley even asked for our button, “Execute Justice not People” and wore it proudly.
Alabama politics have certainly been making national news. For most of us none of this comes as a great surprise neither do we see it as our business to pass judgment on particular individuals nor to take joy in a politician’s downfall. However what we do wonder is whether these events could lead to an awakening for some of our politicians regarding Alabama justice and what can only be described as their self-righteous stand when it comes to the death penalty. “He who is without sin should cast the first stone” comes to mind.
We welcome the news that the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA), a coalition of 40 prominent Latino organizations, this week joined the growing, bipartisan list of groups calling for the end of the death penalty, noting that Latinos are “directly affected by its injustices.”
And finally we would like to quote in part the statement of the Reverend Dr. Jack Sullivan Jr. Executive Director of Murder Victims’ Families for Reconciliation on the Orlando Terror-Hate Massacre: “Murder Victims’ Families for Reconciliation (MVFR) joins people of goodwill and peace everywhere who are expressing both profound sadness and the highest levels of outrage over the unspeakably gruesome actions of the mass murderer. In addition, we are united by our deep concern for the families of those who perished in this cowardly act, and by our unending hopes for recovery of the wounded.
The membership of MVFR is broad and diverse. We boldly embrace our diversity and view it as a sign of our strength. Therefore we fully understand the intersectionality of our nation, and the ways that all of us, as the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., once suggested in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail, are “caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.”
See you in 2 weeks!