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Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison, 7.6.16

Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison 7.6.16

Until the death penalty is abolished it appears that we will be on a rollercoaster with hopefully the good news outweighing the bad. An important national development last week was that the abolition of the death penalty became part of the democratic platform. It is unlikely that at this point the republican platform will follow suit, nevertheless it is important for our friends to remember that we are not in the business of endorsing political candidates and that we value the support of the many republicans who for various reasons oppose the death penalty. Abolition will not come without their support.

Along the same lines, we were also happy to see that California once more has the abolition of the death penalty as one of many propositions on the ballot in November. “The ballot this November will include Prop. 62, to repeal the death penalty, and Prop. 66, a counter-initiative backed by prosecutors to reduce the time between sentencing and execution, in a state where condemned prisoners typically spend more than two decades on Death Row. Among other things, it would limit appeals and require the state Supreme Court to decide capital cases within five years of sentencing. If both measures pass, only the one with the most votes will become law.”

Meanwhile the Florida Supreme Court went on recess without voting on the death penalty. Our eyes are on Florida and Hurst!

Closer to home, a Morgan County judge denied a motion to rule the death penalty unconstitutional in an August 22nd scheduled trial. Too bad judges do not have to pay the cost of the litigation which is sure to follow out of their own pockets!

Steven Hall, a white inmate was resentenced to life without the possibility of parole because of the exclusion of black jurors from his jury. It is a well documented fact that black jurors are less likely to vote for death than white jurors.