Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison 2.3.21
As you know, the Alabama Supreme Court set 2.11.21 as the execution date for Willie B. Smith III a developmentally delayed man. The Talking Points are up on our website and on our Facebook page. http://www.phadp.org/. Please contact Governor Ivey! To quote the Governor, “All lives matter!” We would also like to make you aware of the petition hosted by Action Network https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/stop-the-execution-of-willie-smith-in-alabama?source=facebook&&fbclid=IwAR1rPB4IJW0M5lT4402dYSaFMbSvXZ0AdwgNvIceHiaMObPBshVKZe48z4k. It is quick and easy to sign and will be delivered to Governor Ivey at noon of the execution date. You will also find it posted on our Facebook page.
We discussed and highly recommend the article in Alcom by Ivana Hrynkiw “Alabama execution should be delayed due to COVID, lawyer says,” We also discussed various articles which highlighted the spread of Covid 19 from the recent federal executions among staff, attorneys, witnesses, family members and other participants. TN wisely chose to put a scheduled execution on hold for this reason. As mentioned last week already there is at least one case of Covid 19 on the Row and others in Population at Holman. The question is will Alabama choose to ignore this reality, risk lives and increase the already out of control pandemic in our state in order to take a life? Apparently so and so it comes as no surprise that the so called accommodations made by the Attorney General for Covid are all the expense of Willie B. Smith’s support system.
We will be sending out information on Execution Day Vigils early next week, including a virtual zoom vigil to be set up with our friends at Death Penalty Action.
Esther submitted questions regarding possible death penalty bills for a NAACP zoom call meeting with Alabama Legislators.
Esther participated via zoom call in the Alabama Arise Action Briefing on Criminal Justice & Death Penalty Reform. At the end of the last session Rep. Chris England filed a bill that would mandate a unanimous jury verdict. The expectation and hope is that Rep. England will refile this bill in the upcoming session. We will keep you posted.
Esther participated in the zoom call organized by Death Penalty Action "Coalition to Support the Death Penalty Prohibition Act of 2021 with Rep. Pressley who has filed a bill to abolish the Federal death penalty.
We are continuing to devote a good part of our weekly Board meetings, once we have taken care of business, focusing on our article for the Mississippi Quarterly. A lot of work has been done which is being typed up and will be on its way to Dr. Katie Owens-Murphy. And then there will be more to do!
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. And a special thank you to all who contacted Governor Ivey on behalf of Willie B. Smith!!!.You encourage us and make all the difference. Stay safe! Esther