Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison 2.22.17
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear Thomas Arthur’s challenge to Alabama's execution method, prompting liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor to assert that the court should have considered whether the lethal injection procedures amounted to unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment. This is bad news indeed!
We were heartened by the response to the Alabama Arise initiative “Help us keep judicial override ban moving forward” after the Senate and House bills made it out of committee. You contacted your legislators and some of us even received a response from them. Our thanks also to the Alabama State Conference of the NAACP for forwarding this initiative! It should have only taken 5 minutes to email your legislators and for those of you who have not yet invested those 5 minutes, it is not too late to do so now! We would also like to make you aware of the article “Support common sense reform of Alabama’s death penalty process” by attorney William N. Clark who was part of a team of legal experts who reviewed Alabama’s use of the death penalty.
Earlier this month attorneys with the Federal Public Defender Office for the Middle District of Alabama filed a response to the now former Attorney General’s request to the Alabama Supreme Court to set an execution date for Robert Melson. "This Court should not set any execution dates until the question of the constitutionality of Alabama's method of execution is resolved, particularly after Ronald Smith's execution was badly botched." The attorneys also pointed out that a federal judge in Ohio recently ruled that state could not execute someone using its three-drug protocol, the same one Alabama is using, midazolam, a paralytic and potassium chloride as it violates the Eighth Amendment (against cruel and unusual punishment). In addition, Robert Melson shares the all too often in Alabama problem of missed filing deadlines due to another unique issue to this state that the condemned have no right to counsel after the initial appeal.
We continue to appreciate the positive feedback to articles on the topic “What Project Hope means to me”. Your feedback makes a difference!
And finally we look forward to seeing many of you next Tuesday, February 28th in Montgomery at the Arise Legislative Day 2017. It will be a full day with Issue Briefing, News Conference, Legislative Reception and Legislative Visits.
See you next week!