Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison 3.15.17
To begin with a positive, we were delighted to see the AP article published today about Senator Hank Sanders. Lone lawmaker crusades against the death penalty in Alabama. There is absolutely no doubt that who Senator Hank Sanders is and what he does has made it possible for us not to give up hope over the years. He has encouraged us not just by words but by deeds. We are forever in his debt!
A revealing citation from the article illustrates the people we choose to represent us here in Alabama: “Though Sanders' crusade has never gotten far, he insists many lawmakers quietly agree capital punishment should be ended but fear losing votes: "There have been other politicians who have said to me, privately, 'You're right, but I can't touch that.'"
This is the season when state legislatures are in session and although we obviously welcome some of the various bills introduced around the country we can’t help asking when will the people we elect finally get tired of tinkering with the machinery of death, wasting tax payers’ money, feeding our desire for vengeance and abolish the death penalty? When will the legislators do some fundamental research, acknowledge that closure has to come from within and stop their cynical abuse of murder victims family members?
There are some states we follow more closely than others, Florida being one of them because of the Hurst issue. It resolved that and it now takes a unanimous jury to impose a death sentence allowing it to restart its machinery of death. As for Arkansas! Eight executions within the space of 10 days?
We like this quote in an article about Midazolam and its inventor Dr. Walser in the New York Times article “When a Common Sedative Becomes an Execution Drug”. “I didn’t make it for the purpose,” Dr. Walser, whose drug has been used for sedation during 20 lethal injections nationwide, said in an interview at his home here. “I am not a friend of the death penalty or execution.” Also from the same article : “The way executions have proceeded in the United States has been, in a sense, through the herd mentality: One state does something and it appears to work, and others hop on board,” said Robert Dunham, the executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center.” Yes, the herd mentality in our nation that prides itself on individualism!
Lawyers for Tommy Arthur say the state is violating open records law by refusing to release execution logs of the last two botched executions and have filed in Montgomery Circuit Court, asking a judge to order the state to do so.
We are very pleased to welcome our longtime supporter and friend Britta Slopianka to our Advisory Board. Britta has a long history of abolition work in Florida while at the same time having been a valuable support to all of us here in Alabama. Welcome Britta!
See you next week!