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Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison 9.26.18

 Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison 9.26.18


We were contacted by Shelley Douglass, delegate from Pax Christi who also wears quite a few other hats including member of our Advisory Board about their plan to make videos about the death penalty which could be shown at Catholic parishes. Needless to say we are delighted with their idea and look forward to working with this great organization.

Esther attended the Alabama New South Coalition membership meeting in Montgomery. The focus of the meeting was to encourage all to get out the vote and to give the membership the opportunity to hear and ask questions of the contestants running for office. Although contestants from both parties, as well as independents had been invited only democrats had accepted. Of special interest to us were Walter Maddox running for governor and Joseph Siegelman running for Attorney General. We asked Walter Maddox publicly whether he saw the power to grant clemency as part of the governor’s office (which it is) and which the current and previous 3 governors had not done, in fact we pointed out that the only time when clemency had been granted it had been to a Caucasian female. We received a very positive response that not only did he see that as part of the Governor’s power before an execution but that he also would want to take a look at other egregious cases on death row. The questions for Siegelman were whether he would be submitting names to the Alabama Supreme Court to set execution dates and whether he would appeal cases that had been overturned for prosecutorial misconduct. Understandably the answer was not as straightforward but appropriate.

There will be new wrinkle in the law class. Our Chairman who runs the law class is requiring that participants be able to explain in detail the last ruling in their case and the next legal move. This will mean that participants will actually read their latest ruling something which is definitely not a given. It also means that individuals are held responsible and empowered to have input when speaking with their attorneys. Great idea!

Our good friend Claudia Tramer John, member of our Swiss sister organization Lifespark was invited to write an Opinion piece for the Geneva Tribune about the involvement of the pharmaceutical industry with executions in the U.S. Claudia has a stellar medical background and years of active involvement against the death penalty so the Geneva Tribune picked the perfect individual to write this. For years Claudia has been especially vocal on this issue.

We regret to have to close on a sad note. Two Montgomery teenagers are charged with capital murder in connection with a May 2016 homicide in Prattville. One of the teens was 14 at the time of the homicide, making him one of the youngest people in the state to be charged with capital murder.

 See you next week!