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Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison 1.13.21

                          Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison 1.13.21

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! To quote the Governor, “All lives matter!” We would also like to make you aware of the petition hosted by Action Network https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/stop-the-execution-of-willie-smith-i.... It is quick and easy to sign and will be delivered to Governor Ivey at noon of the execution date. You will also find it posted on our Facebook page.

We took note of our neighbor state Tennessee which granted a stay due to Covid 19 of the execution set for next month and sincerely hope that Alabama might follow suit.

There are many aspects, all of them horrifying, of the storming of the Capitol in Washington last week. One of the glaring ones for us involved with the criminal justice system was that here too the response demonstrated that the color of one’s skin determines how one will be treated. Fortunately the obvious racism demonstrated by law enforcement and which permeates all aspects of life in this country was widely acknowledged in the media. May this be a necessary first step in addressing this evil!

We welcome the unveiling of legislation by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, the incoming chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass. that would seek to end federal capital punishment. We are sad that it comes too late for those executed and about to be executed by the outgoing administration. It will not affect states’ capital punishment.

We are devoting a good part of our weekly Board meetings once we have taken care of business which includes discussing the latest death penalty news focusing on our article for the Mississippi Quarterly. 

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. Stay safe!        

                                                                                     Esther