Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison 6.2.21

Weekly Report from the Board Meeting at Holman Prison 6.2.21

Last week Federal Judge Watkins vacated the death sentence of Richard Jerome Flowers due to ineffective counsel. Flowers agreed to halt all further appeals in return for a life without the possibility of parole sentence. We wish him well as he transitions to his death in prison sentence.

Lack of transparency associated with the legal system and in particular with all that surrounds executions has always been an issue. The recent in depth report issued by the Death Penalty Information Center “Behind the Curtain: Secrecy and the Death Penalty in the United States” confirmed much of what we already knew but provided us with greater clarity on this issue. The outcome of the pervasive secrecy has been that “Botched or problematic executions have increased as states experiment with new drug combinations, including midazolam. In 2017, more than 60 percent of the executions carried out with midazolam produced eyewitness accounts of the execution going amiss.” No doubt states would argue that the end, in this case vengeance, justifies the means.

We spent some time discussing how our present location affects those among us who are either developmentally delayed or who have a psychiatric diagnosis. The obvious answer of course is that they should not have been sentenced to death in the first place. We are concerned!

Yes, the new location presents challenges but to quote our Chairman: “We had a mission where we were and we have a mission here.” The organization definitely proved that by figuring out a way to hold their legal class and the Oppose meeting in the general assembly room when it would have been asking too much of staff to bring people to what was the library. And it worked out for the best! Men who don’t normally attend were attracted to the class and were allowed to participate.

And last but never least our quarterly newsletter Wings of Hope is on its way thanks to a lot of hard work by our great Board!

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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