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Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison 12.16.20

Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison 12.16.20

We discussed the news that two prisoners at the U.S. penitentiary in Terre Haute are suing the federal government to halt executions, alleging that the number of people entering and leaving the facility during executions could turn them into COVID-19 spreader events that would put other prisoners' lives in danger. The prisoners are not on death row which makes it even more interesting and according to the Justice Department eight execution staff did contract Covid-19. And so this is a very valid concern also for states like ours where the epidemic is widespread. We have updated the Execution Talking Points to reflect this issue.

Our thanks and appreciation to Browder Ministries, City of Hope and Church of the Highlands for the special treats they donated to us and which were much enjoyed! A special shout out to Browder Ministries who have been there for us in so many ways for many, many years!

Good news for Toforest Johnson! His Lawyers filed a new appeal in Jefferson County Circuit Court last Wednesday, arguing that the court must give “great weight” to Jefferson County District Attorney Danny Carr’s request for a new trial. It is not often that one hears of a District Attorney doing an independent review of a death penalty case! This case certainly deserved it!

Advisory Board Member Dr. Katie Owens-Murphy introduced us to Lee Murkey, who is now working for the Alabama Democratic Party and is heading up their criminal justice policy initiatives. They are interested in taking on death penalty abolition. We are excited about this connection as we are about all, regardless of party affiliation or denomination, who say “no more killing in my name!”

As you know, the Alabama Supreme Court set 2.11.21 as the execution date for Willie B. Smith III a developmentally delayed man. The Talking Points are up on our website and on our Facebook page. http://www.phadp.org/?q=alerts. Please contact Governor Ivey!

And yes, your Christmas cards are arriving! Thank you for thinking of us even during these difficult times! http://www.phadp.org/?q=node/858. 

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