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Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison 1.18.17

Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison 1.18.17

Yesterday faith leaders and members of the anti-death penalty group Abolitionist Action Committee (AAC) convened at the U.S. Supreme Court to mark the 40th anniversary of the first modern death penalty execution. We thank them for their commitment and a special thanks to the “more than a dozen” who were arrested.

“A split decision from the Supreme Court last month allowed the execution of an Alabama man (Ron) to proceed after multiple stays. Justice Stephen Breyer, who favored granting a stay to block the Alabama man's execution, then delivered a public call for the high court to "reconsider the constitutionality of the death penalty" in a dissent from the court's inaction on a death penalty case from Florida.”

In case we forgot to highlight this important action leading up to Ron’s execution, a group of 101 lawyers and law professors from around Alabama earlier this month asked Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley to remove 34 inmates from death row who had judges override jury recommendations for life without parole. Even though Governor Bentley chose to ignore this we appreciate those who organized this and those who signed.

The U.S. Supreme Court has granted a petition filed by death row prisoner in Alabama asking the Court to review his case. In McWilliams v, Dunn, No. 16-5294, the Court agreed to hear an Alabama death penalty case that raises a question about the independence of mental health experts who are appointed to assist an indigent capital defendant. James McWilliams argued that Alabama violated his right to due process when it provided him an expert who was not independent of the prosecution.

Encouraged by the positive feedback received for the piece “From the Inside” by Anthony Tyson published last week we are planning articles by the Board on what our organization means to them.

Esther did an interview with media personality David Person. The topic was the death sentence in South Carolina which highlighted once more the disrespect invariably shown by States to murder victim family members who don’t want the death penalty for the perpetrator.

David Person is a very skilled and generous interviewer and so as always this was also an opportunity to lift up our organization.

Esther will be attending the Quarterly Meeting of the Alabama State Conference of the NAACP this Saturday.

See you next week!