Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison 3.16.22

We discussed the federal trial for Oklahoma’s execution protocol which was held with U.S. District Judge Stephen Friot overseeing the case. Oklahoma’s execution protocol has come under heavy scrutiny after witnesses described the October execution of John Grant as a “botched execution. There was expert testimony from OSU pharmacologist Dr. Craig Stevens who testified that Oklahoma’s protocol is “torturous.” He also stated that inmates likely feel “intense burning pain” as the last drug is injected stopping their heart. Apparently such pain would not be visible to witnesses due to the second drug, a muscle paralytic. Florida Mayo Clinic’s Dr. Mark Edgar who has reviewed 32 execution autopsies testified that 27 showed signs of pulmonary edema, causing the lungs to fill with fluid. He said prisoners would feel “doom, panic, drowning, and asphyxiation.” We too have had our share of botched executions, our late Chairman Ronald B. Smith’s execution being just one of those and hope that the message of this trial will be heard loud and clear across this country and even in Alabama!

We do have very special news! The Rev. Tom Duley, a long time friend who really needs no introduction because he is well known as former Executive Director of Urban Ministries and also for his ministry at Donaldson Correctional Institution offered us his services which we are honored and very glad to accept. That means we will have two Spiritual Advisors, our faithful Spiritual Advisor of many years, Donald Blocker and the Rev. Tom Duley. We would like Rev. Tom Duly to speak for himself and so we will quote him in part which will show just how fortunate we are to have him be part of our team.

“ When we were regularly visiting the men at Donaldson we always let them know that we would be with them all the way to the end IF they wanted us to. The outcome was that we accompanied several men all the way through to their execution, witnessed several executions and conducted funerals for some of the men as well. I would like for all the men at Holman (not just those who came from Donaldson) to know that we are willing to do that for them as well IF they want us to. Let me make clear that this is not an attempt to in any way replace family, friends or loved ones. It is simply an offer to be there IF needed and wanted by the man facing this most difficult situation.” In addition there is no doubt that we will definitely be able to make good use of Rev. Duley’s skills in the area of public speaking, leading meetings and writing. We are honored and grateful!

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!

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Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison 3.16.22