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Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison 10.9.19

                      Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison 10.9.19

Our Chairman and Board have been busy mounting pictures of “Ghosts Over the Boiler: Voices from Alabama’s Death Row” on poster boards to be displayed in our “library”. Not only inmates but also staff are taking an interest and are obviously impressed. We are also hearing from friends and relatives who listened to our voices on their cell phones and hope that many will follow their example. The exhibit runs through October and will be at different libraries during that time. But we have amazing news that this will not be the end of this exciting exhibit. Dr. Katie Owens-Murphy spoke with the UNA Archivist about the possibility of our organization having a permanent archive at UNA. When we were asked whether this would be of interest to us the answer was of course a resounding: YES! We have our work cut out for us assembling 30 years worth of our history but it will be a very meaningful task because so many who were part of those years are no longer with us.

Today the Chairman and Board are having orientation for the latest newcomer to death row. It is always a possibility that the man might become a new phadp member but what is important is that he will be given valuable information about the importance of staying on top of his legal issues and other tips on death row survival.

Our Board shares some of their more interesting exchanges with the free world. A recent supporter who joined us after the article about us in The Nation is Toby Lafferty who lives in Salt Lake City. Toby heads up Books Inside, an organization which was started in 2009 and which provides books across the country to jails and prisons. It has 45 members of which 15 are on the outside, all volunteer and 30 are on the inside. It is interesting to note that 85% of juveniles who interface with the court system in this country are functionally illiterate and that more than 70% of the over 2 million people currently incarcerated read below 4th grade level.

On Monday the U.S. Supreme Court’s new term opened with arguments on unanimous juries and insanity as a criminal defense. It rejected an Alabama case where the jury had voted  8-4 for a life sentence but was overridden by the judge who had imposed the death penalty. The Court however did not rule out that this could be litigated with the lower courts. 

 We continue to thank anonymous donors who gave by going to our website and using the “donate” button and of course also those who gave directly. We thank all who believe in what we do and stand with us. You make a difference!