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Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison 3.10.21

                          Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison 3.10.21

Great News and we quote from an article by Beth Shelburne:” Former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Drayton Nabers, Jr. and former Alabama Attorney General Bill Baxley have joined District Attorney Danny Carr’s call for a Jefferson County court to throw out the conviction of Toforest Johnson, who is facing the death penalty.” And now we wait on the State to finally do the right thing!

Also, Congratulations to our organization founded on Alabama’s death row! You are now 32 years young! Young because although we are definitely an Alabama death penalty organization our vision allows us to look beyond what could limit it. And so we not only keep up with national news but also do our best to keep things real in our discussions. An example of this was our recent discussion on the federal death penalty and  whether it needs to be the most urgent issue for the new administration. We have heard the clear statements on the death penalty made by the administration and believe that no execution dates are about to be set so perhaps there are other issues that are more urgent priorities like the pandemic that affect many more people, including our families?

And yes, we are an Alabama organization but we welcome and look forward to being in touch with “the 9th grade class at Temple Emanuel in MD which embraced writing letters to people on death row in Alabama.” It should broaden horizons at both ends.

And yes, once more we are 32 years young because although the majority of organizations with which we work are in Alabama we are certainly not limited by state boundaries. And so when we were contacted by the project director for the Prison Story Project in Fayetteville, Arkansas, to be a panelist for their on-line performance at Canterbury Cathedral in Tuscaloosa on March 18th at 6:30 p.m. we accepted. Apparently in 2016 the Prison Story Project was given unprecedented access to the men on Arkansas' death row. The staged reading of their work, On the Row, has toured across the country and was filmed before a live audience in 2019 at St. James Episcopal Church in Wichita, Kansas. Following the showing of the film there will be a Q&A and it will be our job to answer Alabama specific concerns. Further details can be found on the Facebook Prison Story Project page as well as on ours.

  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