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Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison 11.6.19

                      Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison 11.6.19

We are delighted and grateful to be able to share the latest from Advisory Board Member Dr. Katie Owens: “I have curated the exhibit, "Ghosts Over the Boiler: Voices from Alabama's Death Row," for five different classes (education, sociology, future faculty, and two First Year Experience classes) and am currently grading the assignments from my American Lit class for non-majors who took their own tour of the exhibit using this aid: https://msnha.oncell.com/…/ghosts-over-the-boiler-voices-fr…

Very proud of these students for allowing themselves to feel and explore the impact of this material. Also very grateful to Project Hope to Abolish the Death Penalty and to Esther Brown for sharing their stories, artwork, and advocacy with us!

Next we move to the Florence-Lauderdale Public Library. Gary Drinkard joins me on November 21 @ 5:30 pm for our next presentation. Please mark your calendars!”

We were so encouraged to read last week that Republicans in states including Wyoming, Utah and Ohio plan to keep pushing for death-penalty repeal even as U.S. officials move toward resuming executions. We connected with Wyoming Campaign to End the Death Penalty. They are doing a great job and we thank our Wyoming Advisory Board Member who made us aware of them.

A national group, Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty, released a statement Monday saying the death penalty is costly and prone to error. Over 250 people signed including Republican Rep. Jared Olsen, of Cheyenne, who promised in a news conference to try again with death-penalty repeal legislation in Wyoming in 2020. It is our hope that some Alabama Republicans can be found to join this group for whatever reason they find motivating. Judging by the news coverage regarding the statement it would appear that the 250 dignitaries who signed on were heard, maybe not agreed with but heard! And that is a beginning.

In an Opinion piece “Sick and Shrouded in Secrecy: Alabama’s Contract to Gas Humans to Death” Stephen Cooper wrote: “For $25,000, Alabama’s Attorney General Steve Marshall has contracted with Tennessee company “FDR Safety,” to assist Alabama in developing a barbaric new protocol – to execute its death row prisoners, whom Alabama treats like human guinea pigs– with nitrogen hypoxia.” The above contract first came to light in August of this year. Barbaric indeed like all killings by the state!

We heard from author Michael Betcherman about his new novel for young adults, The Justice Project, which explores the subject of wrongful convictions and the death penalty. Witness to Innocence, called the book "a great way to teach young people about the issues in our criminal justice system and how to become part of the solution." It is available from all the usual book sellers.

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 also thank all those who recently joined our Facebook page.  Our thanks to all who believe in what we do and stand with us. You make a difference!