Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison 3.13.24

Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison 3.13.24

The Attorney General has asked for execution dates for Jamie Mills and Keith Gavin by lethal injection. We will keep you posted once a date has been set. The Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall's office also asked the state Supreme Court to set an execution date for Alan Eugene Miller. The state said Miller’s execution would be carried out using nitrogen. This is the second execution date as Mr. Miller survived a botched and very painful execution attempt. Now the state plans to use nitrogen hypoxia which to quote a lawsuit "The results of the first human experiment are now in and they demonstrate that nitrogen gas asphyxiation is neither quick nor painless, but agonizing and painful.”

Some very good news from the article by the Guardian Three top nitrogen gas manufacturers in US bar products from use in executions   and we quote: “Three of the largest manufacturers of medical-grade nitrogen gas in the US have barred their products from being used in executions, following Alabama’s recent killing of the death row inmate Kenneth Smith using a previously untested method known as nitrogen hypoxia.

The three companies have confirmed to the Guardian that they have put in place mechanisms that will prevent their nitrogen cylinders falling into the hands of departments of correction in death penalty states. The move by the trio marks the first signs of corporate action to stop medical nitrogen, which is designed to preserve life, being used for the exact opposite – killing people.”

We recommend in the BMJ, (British medical journal) the following Opinion “Use of nitrous oxide for execution is a concerning development in ongoing medicalisation of the death penalty” and quote :” In 2008, the American Medical Association renewed their 1980 disavowal of physician participation in the death penalty, reinforcing their view that “a physician, as a member of a profession dedicated to preserving life . . . should not be a participant in a legally authorised execution.” The American College of Correctional Physicians, American College of Physicians, American Public Health Association, American Society of Anesthesiologists, and the World Medical Association have all declared it unethical for physicians to participate in capital punishment—yet US physicians continue to participate.”

We are working diligently on a project inspired by the United Nations’ official statement released before the execution of Kenny Smith by nitrogen hypoxia. “We are concerned that nitrogen hypoxia would result in a painful and humiliating death,” four experts said. The experts are Morris Tidball-Binz, a UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial summer or arbitrary executions; Alice Jill Edwards, a UN special rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; Tlaleng Mofokeng, a UN special rapporteur on the right to health; and Margaret Satterthwaite, a UN special rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers. They also stated that the execution would likely violate the 1984 Convention against Torture, which the U.S. ratified in 1994, according to the UN. This was before Kenny’s execution which horrified the witnesses and definitely can be categorized as torture. We will keep you updated as this project progresses.

In response to LA adding Nitrogen Hypoxia for executions in NOLA.COM Letters to the Editor: “Even for those who support capital punishment, the use of gas as a form of state-sanctioned murder should be deeply troubling, violating fundamental human rights and evoking painful memories of Nazi atrocities.” And “As Jewish citizens of Louisiana, we find the use of gas for state executions a violation of our ethical principles and of Judaism’s deep commitment to innate human dignity.” And this gives us an opportunity to say how much we appreciate Cantor Zoosman, the powerful articles he has written on this topic, and all he does for abolition and those on death row.

From our friends at Alabama Arise: “the bill prohibiting execution by nitrogen hypoxia is HB 248, sponsored by Representative Rafferty. The bill making the ban on judicial override retroactive is HB 27, sponsored by Representative England. You can follow both of the bills on our bill tracking website: https://www.votervoice.net/ALARISE/Bills#/new_tab “ Also a reminder that the Alabama Arise Legislative Day is April 2nd in Montgomery. Time to register! And the rally for HB 27 organized by Amnesty International and AL ACLU on March 21 at 11:00 a.m. at the capitol in Montgomery!

We thank all who are working so hard and diligently to stop all killing in Alabama! And as always in closing, we 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. Stay safe and be kind to each other! 


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Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison 3.13.24