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Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison 8.23.17

Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison 8.23.17

 

We were delighted to see the article in the Death Penalty Information Center “Merck  CEO Ken Frazier: Application of the Death Penalty Not “Fair and Consistent.” Yes, the topic of course but what really pleased us was that Frazier had come to this conclusion through his pro bono representation of James Willie “Bo” Cochran. Bo spent 18 years on death row and was one of the very first members of our organization. Upon his release I could always count on Bo and his wife Shirley, a murder victim family member, to come and speak whenever and wherever I needed them whether to the legislature, town council or church. They are no longer with us but I will always treasure the memory of our friendship and all they did to bring awareness to the unfairness and inconsistency of the death penalty.

Looking around the nation it is difficult to come up with much positive news. Arkansas appears to have found a supplier to supply it with the poison so it can kill a man with well documented brain damage and mental illness. And the supplier is able to sell just the right dose so that it doesn’t cost too much or expire! Our neighbor Florida is getting ready to execute a man with an untried drug who has already done 30 years, hardly the same man who committed the crime!

However there is also some positive news. A Kentucky Trial Judge ruled the Death Penalty Unconstitutional for Offenders Younger Than Age 21. If the U.S. Supreme Court were to rule favorably on this we are aware of several Alabama death row inmates who would be affected.

 

In Arizona one of the country’s top lawyers is asking the Supreme Court to take up a case that could reshape — or even end — the death penalty in America. This “aggressive filing comes as the Supreme Court is already set to hear a high-profile series of cases.” How incredible it would be if the Supreme Court for whatever diverse motivation would finally decide to move this country into the 21st century!

 

In closing we would like to congratulate Missouri’s Governor for having the courage to stay tonight’s execution and order further investigation into DNA supported innocence claims.

 

 See you next week!

                                                      Esther