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Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison 4.7.21

                          Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison 4.7.21

We devoted some time discussing an article sent to us by one of our attorneys about the latest developments regarding adolescents between 18-22 and the death penalty.

“Studies by the Harvard Medical School, the National Institute of Mental Health and the UCLA's Department of Neuroscience find that the frontal and pre-frontal lobes of the brain, which regulate impulse control and judgment, are not fully developed in adolescents. Development is not completed until somewhere between 18 and 22 years of age. These findings confirm that adolescents generally have a greater tendency towards impulsivity, making unsound judgments or reasoning, and are less aware of the consequences of their actions.”

Another article discussed was from the Death Penalty Information Center about issues regarding a developmentally delayed defendant in GA and we quote: “Young’s lawyers argue that the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard is unmeetable and an “insurmountable hurdle.” “This court has before it a clear showing that it is not merely an unacceptable risk created by this standard of proof but a near certainty that persons with intellectual disability will be executed,” said Josh Moore, one of Young’s lawyers, during oral argument.”

Both of the above issues illustrate the law’s aversion to scientific/medical research and expertise. Most of us are not experts and it is important to acknowledge this fact. However it is when we don’t have the courage to do that and when we close our minds to new developments that the world has the right to judge our so called justice system harshly.

We hope you were able to watch last night’s Soul of a Nation on ABC News when Pierre Thomas spoke to 4 people in Alabama personally affected by the death penalty. To quote Pierre Thomas "These conversations left me shaken." Participants Bryan Stevenson and Callie Greer are on our Advisory Board. We thank all involved!

Finally we would like to quote the daughter of Toforest Johnson From an article on NPR: "My hope is that Toforest Johnson will be the reason why the next man won't have to go through two decades behind bars for something that he or she didn't do," Poole says. Her father's case is not an anomaly, she says, but a symptom of a system that needs repair.” We couldn’t agree more!

 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