Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison 9.14.16
Lots of reasons for celebration! On Saturday Death Penalty Reform once more became one of Arise’s issue priorities. We cannot thank several Advisory Board members, friends and supporters enough for giving up their Saturday and driving some distance to come and vote. They made this happen. As always there were many important competing issues, issues which directly affect many of the people who were there to vote as members of Arise. And talk about a cliff hanger and the importance of one vote! If you ever wondered about the importance of your vote take a look at what happened on Saturday where one vote made all the difference!
The importance of Arise for us and the state of Alabama can be briefly summed up by quoting Arise: “Arise works in three related ways to help make life better for low-income Alabamians and for everyone focusing on Policy Analysis, Statewide organizing and Citizen Advocacy.” We are proud and grateful to be a member of Arise.
Saturday was also an occasion to visit with old friends and make new ones. We handed out our Talking Points flyers and were touched and pleased by the reception we received. As an additional bonus we were able to add Dynamite Hill-Smithfield Community Land Trust to the 850 entities who support abolition/moratorium. Many thanks!
On Monday we headed back to Montgomery to join faith leaders from diverse traditions, people impacted by poverty, racism and injustice and advocates and activists to proclaim a moral higher ground on the steps of the capitol. This also gave us the opportunity to again hand out our Talking Points flyers. We were grateful to be a part of this.
An article in the Yale Law Review explores the connection between jury override and non unanimous death sentences and exonerations in Alabama and predicts the end of this practice by judges in the not too distant future. We are now the only state where this takes place.
And finally we would like to direct your attention to an excellent article in the New Yorker The Long defense of the Alabama Death-row Prisoner Doyle Lee Hamm. It is an illustration of the fact that those who society has failed get swept under the rug and that although innocence is a powerful argument for abolition, the failures of society are even stronger.
See you next week!