Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison 2.15.17
A bill sponsored by Sen. Dick Brewbaker, R-Montgomery to remove from judges the authority to issue a death sentence after a jury has recommended life in prison won approval last Wednesday in the Alabama Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill cleared the committee on a 5-3 vote, with committee chairman Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, casting the last and deciding vote. Ward joined four Democrats in voting for the bill and said he thought it was the right thing to do. It now moves to the full Senate. Our thanks to Senator Brewbaker for sponsoring the bill, to Senator Cam Ward for breaking the tie and to Stephen Stetson of Alabama Arise for testifying.
We appreciated the following quote from Senator Brewbaker raising the concern that the majority of overrides in the last 10 years happened in election years. “I’m not saying anyone has any evil intent,” Brewbaker said. “I’m not arguing about constitutionality, but there’s no way to take politics out of politics. It’s like taking the wet out of the water. It can’t be done.” We wondered what that says about our so called Christian state.
We were pleased to see that in a poll in Utah nearly two-thirds prefer life-sentencing alternatives to the death penalty and also the changing views of some prosecutors around the nation regarding the death penalty.
The question of human fallibility has always been a strong reason against imposition of the death penalty and recently there were problems in Florida and Arizona with the reliability of forensic testimony.
And finally Arizona, unable to find the execution drugs has come up with the bizarre idea of you buy, we kill! Yes, the new execution protocol says that if defense attorneys choose to do so, they can pick up the drugs on their own and the department will use them to kill their clients. Of course the attorney will be picked up for illegal drug purchase! Hard not to comment on this!
See you next week!