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Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison 3.8.17

Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison 3.8.17

There was an exciting follow up to Gary’s talk at North Alabama University! We heard from an assistant English professor who stated: “one of my areas of interest includes prisons and prison literature—that is, literature written by incarcerated inmates.” She outlined the possibilities of collaboration in a pen pal program, the possibility of the exchanges becoming part of an honors writing class, since students must also perform service for that course and more. To say that we are excited and pleased would be an understatement. Over the years we have repeatedly done our best to reach out to students who are after all our future. One of the difficulties of doing that is the fact that one is dealing with an ever changing population, and so the possibility of faculty supporting this is truly a dream come true. In addition, we are also very pleased that this allows us to reach out to a new location in Alabama. And so thank you Gary and thank you Dr. Katie Owens-Murphy!

And yes, there was the exposure on NPR! Heady and also exciting stuff for all of us! We thank all who were so supportive in their responses.

In an article from the Washington Examiner Senator Dick Brewbaker R. Montgomery was quoted that if the Judicial override bill passes that he has additional plans "to strengthen the integrity of the death penalty statute in Alabama."If the time limit on appeals has run and new evidence presents itself that even exonerates a convicted person, there's no way to get it in front of a court," Brewbaker listed as one thing he wants to change. He also wants to make sure that defendants are provided with high quality post conviction representation.  Alabama is the only state that does not provide post conviction representation.

Sen. Paul Bussman (R-Cullman) has introduced a bill to compensate Anthony Ray Hinton $1.5 million, to be paid over a three-year period. He criticized the notion that a wrongly convicted person should be denied compensation when the state lacks evidence to convict, saying, "We can't convict someone in the court of public opinion. ... It has to be in a court of law." We welcome that statement because often when the State lacks the evidence to reconvict after a sentence has been overturned it likes to say that the individual was not found not guilty!

The U.S Supreme Court ruled on Monday that racist comments by jurors may deny defendant’s right to a fair trial. Guess who dissented? Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito!

On Monday Esther attended the closing rally of the Jubilee celebration in Montgomery. She carried a sign EXECUTE JUSTICE NOT PEOPLE!

 See you next week!