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Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison 9.23.20

                          Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison 9.23.20

The first topic of our meeting was the devastating news of the death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last week. We quote from the ACLU “Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg leaves a country changed because of her life's work.” Her death will be felt by all who believe in justice including those of us who fight for the abolition of the death penalty. Remembering how the last administration was blocked from filling a vacant seat on the U.S. Supreme Court during its final year in office our hope is the same will be true for the current administration.

We discussed the welcome news that in our neighbor state of TN a judge finally ordered the testing of DNA evidence in the case of Pervis Payne, an intellectually disabled man who is scheduled to be executed in December. We remembered our late Chairman Darrell Grayson who would have been proven innocent if a judge had allowed the request from the Innocence Project for testing. And as so often we wondered how in this day and age when we pride ourselves on our scientific and psychiatric advancements our need to kill allows us to ignore them. At this point 172 individuals have been exonerated and the question is how many should have been exonerated but were killed?

We are back to normal after hurricane Sally, definitely an unwelcome guest, and hope that the same is true for all our friends and supporters as well.

Yesterday a coalition of more than 200 organizations, including ours, organized by Death Penalty Action hosted a live and in-person (physically distanced) press conference on the lawn in front of the US Capitol in Washington, DC, with Representative Adriano Espaillat. The coalition presented our current demands calling on Congress to act to address the federal death penalty. 1 more federal execution is scheduled for tomorrow.

And now for some PHADP family news: Hannah, our first Student Representative of some years ago, married and a mother of 2 boys is now a first year student at Gonzaga Law School and wanted us to know that she is connecting with the Innocence Project and that it is we who motivate and inspire her. And yes, she has one of our T-shirts!

As with previous general elections we are encouraging our families and friends to make sure they are registered and vote. No Vote, No Voice!

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