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Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison 8.19.20

  Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison 8.19.20
 
We discussed the insightful article by Griffin Hardy of Death Penalty Action about the August 26th execution date for Lezmond Mitchell, a member of the Navajo tribe “Should a Legal Loophole Allow the Execution of a Native American”. Although it hardly is news to us that the justice system is all about angles and that the letter of the law kills it remains shocking to what length our government will go in order to kill. There would be many relevant quotes but here are two which we discussed at length: “So, what is this execution really about? Like most executions in the United States, there is a political element. It is election season and the incumbent president wants to present himself as “tough on crime” while drawing a distinction between himself and his opponent on this issue. Those of us who know anything about the death penalty are already aware that executions are a sign of weakness, not strength. That concept has not yet reached some voters, although popular support for capital punishment continues to drop year after year.
 
This execution is about something more, though, and that makes it especially vexing and disturbing. It’s about the federal government running roughshod over tribal sovereignty and disrespecting the culture and values of Native peoples.”(who are against capital punishment). And also once again, here too as so often the wishes of the Murder Victims’ family members are totally disregarded as their voices are only heard when they want vengeance.
 
We devoted some time to Black history not taught in school. “In 1866, one year after the 13 Amendment was ratified (the amendment that ended slavery), Alabama, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Florida, Tennessee, and South Carolina began to lease out convicts for labor (peonage)”. Certainly food for thought!
 
The title of an article in Newsweek reads “Amid Coronavirus Some Lawmakers Spot Chance To Abolish The Death Penalty”. The title of  an article from the Georgia Recorder reads “Georgian GOP Lawmaker makes budget argument to abolish the death penalty”, We quote:“Evidence suggests – study after study – that it is not an actual deterrent to crime and we have alternatives, such as life without parole,” Harrell said. “As someone who is fiscally conservative and prefers a small government consistent with efficient implementation of government, the death penalty fails on all those measures.” GA is our neighbor, so how about it Alabama?
 
We are making great progress on our next edition of Wings of Hope and already know that you will enjoy it!
 
In closing and as always, we continue to thank all our generous donors who either gave by going to our website and using the “donate” button or who gave directly. Thank you also to all who took the time to read our notes, commented, liked and shared them on Facebook. You encourage us and make all the difference. Please stay safe!       
 

 

Esther