Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison 4.21.21

Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison 4.21.21

As part of our Board meeting we always go over the Weekly Notes from the Death Penalty Information Center and discuss them. They do not always come as news especially when they concern Alabama and last week Alabama was unfortunately featured and we quote: “ In an unpublished opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has upheld the death sentence imposed on Kenneth Smith by an Alabama trial judge in 1996 after the sentencing jury had voted 11-1 to spare Smith’s life. No state in the United States any longer permits trial judges to override jury votes for life.”

Although most of us were not politically involved on the street we have become acutely aware  that change can only come through involvement, in other words getting out the vote. To that end we have posted a political map of Alabama on our bulletin board highlighting the various districts etc. We believe it is not too soon to begin working on getting the vote out by focusing on our Alabama relatives and friends asking  them not only to register to vote but to work on getting others to do the same.

A shout out to our Legal Research Assistant Hannah Swenson, a student at Gonzaga University School of Law, who sent us valuable information for our project on Alabama’s lack of an Equal Protection Clause. Thank you Hannah for this and for years of support and friendship!

We close with an in part quote from Shari Silberstein’s, Executive Director of Equal Justice USA statement to yesterday’s events. The full statement can be read on our Facebook page: “Many people have said that this verdict represents accountability. We disagree. Chauvin has been punished. But true accountability is active and ongoing. It requires real acknowledgement of the harm done, meaningful work to repair of that harm, and a change in future actions so the harm is not repeated. Derek Chauvin has not done that. Neither has our nation.

When we are accountable to our racist history and the violence it produces, and we work to repair that harm, then we can build a justice system that centers healing and equity, and creates safety for everyone.”


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Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison 4.21.21