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Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison 8.10.16

Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison 8.10.16

We are encouraged that it appears to have become almost automatic that attorneys representing a defendant in a capital murder case ask the Court in a separate motion to declare the death penalty section of the Alabama Capital Murder Statute unconstitutional. Who would have thought that only a couple of years ago? Obviously Alabama still has a way to go but at this point we do see the cup as half full, not as half empty, not always easy with the national negativity that we are drowning in right now.

We welcome the 40-point policy platform issued by the Movement for Black Lives on August 1st that includes a call for the abolition of capital punishment. The platform, which was written or endorsed by more than 60 activist groups including the Black Lives Matter Network, describes its purpose as "articulat[ing] our vision of a fundamentally different world." The portion of the platform seeking "an end to capital punishment" calls the death penalty "morally repugnant," and links it to the legacy of race-based lynchings against Blacks in the U.S. "The death penalty devalues Black lives," it states, going on to describe capital punishment as "geographically discriminatory," "expensive," and "randomly and arbitrarily sought by prosecutors."

We are hoping that Texas will commute the death sentence of Jeffrey Wood, scheduled to be executed on August 24th under the law of parties. Wood was not even aware of the planned robbery, let alone killed anyone and the state psychiatrist who testified that Wood would pose a future threat has meanwhile been discredited. Where do we dig up these so called experts or is it that an honorable human being would not be part of killing anyone to begin with? Surely in the end it is not even about innocence or mitigating circumstances just that killing is wrong, especially when done by the State!

And finally a great quote from Nebraska Republican State Senator in view of the upcoming vote on the death penalty: “Voters should know they’re not voting to fix a system,” Coash said. “They’re voting to keep a system that hasn’t worked for 20 years and will continue to not work should the Legislature’s decision be reversed.”

See you next week!