Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison 4.12.17
On the day the Judicial Override bill received an affirmative vote the Alabama Supreme Court set two execution dates. Thomas Arthur May 25th and Robert Melson June 8th. You will find the Talking Points at http://wwwphadp.org/?q=alerts. We will also be sending them out separately asking you to contact Governor Kay Ivey.
The Alabama Attorney General’s Office has hired an expert on the lethal injection process. The office has a $50,000, $400-an-hour contract with Tampa-based Clinical Pharmacology Services Inc. to “review the effect of drugs used in a lethal injection and provide expert affidavits and/or expert testimony, if needed,” according to the agenda of the Legislative Contract Review Committee. Interesting that this is necessary in light of the DOC’s denial of botched executions!
Advisory Board member Ursula Malchau alerted the director of Reprieve Maya Foa of the above developments. The British organization has been in the forefront of motivating pharmaceutical companies to stop selling drugs to states for executions.
On Tuesday, Gov. Kay Ivey signed the judicial override bill as her first official act as the state’s chief executive officer.
The Senate Judiciary Committee passed a bill 6-3 allowing death row inmates to be executed with nitrogen gas. Opponents argued that not enough is known about this form of execution but not knowing enough is unfortunately not a very powerful argument in Alabama.
With the resignation of Bentley this meeting came to mind:
A couple of years ago I was part of a sit down meeting with the Governor in my role as the AL State Conference of the NAACP chair of the Death Penalty Moratorium Committee. At that time he told me in front of witnesses that he would never grant clemency, in other words not do his job of considering each case. At the end of the meeting he shook hands with each of us. When he came to me I said: Remember Governor what Shakespeare said: the quality of mercy is not strained. His answer: we don't do Shakespeare. Fine, I answered, then how about he who among you is without sin should cast the first stone. He abruptly and rudely turned away.
And finally here is an article appropriate for the week leading up to Easter written by David Person who is an extremely skilled and generous interviewer and journalist.
See you next week!