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Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison 2.23.22

Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison 2.23.22

We discussed information received from Equal Justice USA, a national organization which we have long admired for its hands on, willingness to go where the other is approach to the death penalty. One of its programs is Trauma to Trust which works on breaking down the walls between law enforcement and community members and which both sides agree is already bringing that about in Newark, N.J. Here in Alabama retired and much respected Chief Leon E. Frazier of Tuskegee has been working on this issue for years.

We have long hoped that another program of EJUSA Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty would found a chapter in Alabama. Their latest news is that for the first time the death penalty will be on the agenda of the National Conservative Action Conference. We quote Demetrius the organizer of Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty: “This debate from the CPAC stage is a signal that more and more of us are seeing that this wasteful, inefficient, ineffective system will only continue to fail. I’m looking forward to the discussion.” Time for Alabama conservatives to get on board and it is on our agenda to reach out and ask them to do so.

Meanwhile work continues on Wings of Hope and we are excited to see it taking shape once more as we as usual overcome various hurdles to make it happen. Somehow it always manages to teach us the lesson that perseverance is the answer!

We signed on to a letter by Alabama Grassroots Organizations opposing HB2/SB115 Anti-protest Bills. The bills attack the core principles of American democracy, including the right to assemble and participate in dissent in the form of protest, which the First Amendment protects and could potentially also be used to deny vigils on days of execution. We understand that this is not the motivation behind these bills but do agree with the organizations that the wording of these bills means that some forms of civil disobedience could easily be considered a “riot” and that any attendee or a person providing assistance such as offering water to an attendee could face severe penalties.

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 and wear a mask!

Esther