Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison 12.14.16
We dedicated this meeting to Ron sharing memories and our feelings of grief and anger. Grief over the loss of our friend and anger at the barbarity of our State so in love with killing and quite honestly also at the U.S. Supreme Court that showed so little respect in how it handled last Thursday highlighted in the Adam Liptak article “The Lethal Gap How the Supreme Court Handles the Death Penalty.”
It goes without saying that I shared what I could about Ron’s last days; his visitors and our hope which declined as Thursday progressed. It just didn’t seem possible that the execution could take place with all the good issues Ron had, especially the Hurst issue. It still doesn’t seem possible!
We discussed Ron’s legacy and how he had hoped for his brothers on death row that by granting him the Hurst issue others would benefit. The legacy we would not have wanted him to leave, his torture death, will likely be given some meaning by benefitting others.
We were gratified to see that Ron’s death did not go unnoticed but resonated around the country and even abroad. There has been an outpouring of love and concern from many of you and we thank you, just as we also thank all of you who wrote and contacted the Governor who failed to answer the clemency petition.
Also, we cannot say enough about Ron’s attorneys and their support staff from the Federal Public Defenders. On each of the three days various representatives from that office visited to give Ron and all of us support, a support that continued well into the evening of the execution, keeping me informed until the end. Thank you, thank you! Ron thought the world of all of you, as do we.
The newsletter went out the day after the execution.
We did go to Dothan on Sunday to be part of a program of tribute to the Publishers Ann and Hillard Hamm of the Southeast Alabama Gazette on their retirement. I read a letter of thanks and appreciation written by Ron and presented the card written by the Board.
A special thanks to Richard A. Shaffer, Ron’s uncle, who is giving a presentation on Ron and Project Hope to Abolish the Death Penalty on a WA CBS affiliate in Spokane today.