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Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison 6.21.17

Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison 6.21.17

 

We are pleased to bring you some good news. In a 5–4 decision on Monday, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of an indigent Alabama death row prisoner who had no dedicated mental health expert to help explain his condition to the court that sentenced him to die. The task before the court in McWilliams v. Dunn was to determine what kind of expert psychiatric assistance an indigent defendant deserves at trial. The case now goes back to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to determine whether that kind of help would have made a difference at sentencing. The majority did not rule on the broader constitutional question of whether Ake meant that indigent defendants have the right to have meaningful assistance and participation from these expert mental health witnesses. It is a step in the right direction and so we are hopeful.

 

The President of the State Conference of the NAACP sent out an invitation to committee chairs to have a input into the Senatorial Candidates forums that will take place on June 26 in Montgomery and June 29 in Huntsville by submitting questions we would like to ask the candidates. We were glad to do this.

 

Mrs. Mary Boone the wife of the late Rev. Richard Boone honored us by inviting us to attend the event We Will Celebrate the Life and Legacy of Rev. Dr. Richard Boone in the Cedar Park location in Montgomery on 7.7.17 from 10:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m. Rev. Boone was a freedom fighter and is a Civil Rights icon. We are especially touched and honored by this invitation because for years Rev. Richard Boone and family attended our execution day vigils in Montgomery. We hope many of you will attend because as we know the fight is not over and he who forgets the past is doomed to repeat it.

See you next week!

                                                      Esther