During our Board meeting today Willie and the events of last week were very much present. The only allowed media witness reported that during the execution, Willie B. Smith jerked up from the gurney on which he laid. We are left wondering and are of course not too surprised that ADOC Commissioner Jeff Dunn said that the protocol had gone according to plan. So much to share and discuss not only the outpouring of support but also our sadness!
There was an important event last week which only came to our attention after the fact and so did not get included in our note after the execution. We received the following email from the Rev, Cathy Hoop of Tuscaloosa Grace Presbyterian Baptist Church complete with photos: “I wanted to let you know that we held a vigil here in Tuscaloosa today. We were a small group, but we definitely felt that we raised awareness around capital punishment, and Willie B. Smith.
We also had a letter writing campaign several weeks ago.” This news certainly lifted our spirits and we are so very grateful!
We also heard from other friends some going back years and years. We feel your presence and during this time of mourning you remind us that we are not alone. One of these friends, she and her late husband are one of the original Freedom Fighters wrote: “Thank you for being there for all of us. Our prayers,” Truly we are not alone!
Briefly and it will be briefly because we do not want to be contaminated by the rudeness of the powers that be in this state, we reject the tone and content of the statements made after the execution by the Governor and Attorney General. We understand the need to justify their actions but murder can never be justified whether by an individual or the State.
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!