State Execution: Area Vigils this Thursday


From AWRN partner Project Hope Against the Death Penalty:

Friends,

The State of Alabama is preparing to execute Thomas Whisenhant on Thursday, 5.27.10 at 6 p.m. at Holman State Prison. Below are the vigils around the state. Please support them and remember that it is not too late to call or fax the Governor and that it is never too late to protest all killing. Phone: 334 242 7100, fax: 334 353 0004.

Thank you for all you do.

Esther

ALABAMA VIGILS ON DAY OF EXECUTION:

MOBILE:

PRAYER VIGIL IN FRONT OF THE CATHEDRAL OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, DAUPHIN AT CLAIBORNE ST. 4:30-5:30 p.m.

MONTGOMERY:

ON THE STEPS OF THE STATE CAPITOL AT 5:30 p.m. PRAYER SERVICE AND CANDLE LIGHT VIGIL. CONTACT: 334 328 9122

BIRMINGHAM:

VIGIL CORNER OF RICHARD ARRINGTON Jr. BLVD. AND 8TH AVE NORTH ACROSS FROM THE JEFFERSON COUNTY COURT BUILDING, ON THE CORNER AT THE EAST END OF THE BIRMINGHAM MUSEUM OF ART. 11:30 a.m.- 1:00 p.m., sponsored by JAM and a group of local Catholics. All invited! “Watch with Me One Hour.” This Vigil will take place whether there is a stay or not.

PRAYER VIGIL IN KELLY INGRAM PARK, OPPOSITE THE KING STATUE AT 5:45 p.m.

BIRMINGHAM FRIENDS MEETING HANGS A BLACK FLAG FROM AN UPSTAIRS WINDOW FACING THE STREET ON ALL EXECUTION DATES IN THIS COUNTRY STATING: TODAY WE MOURN THE DEATH OF A FELLOW HUMAN BEING

HOLMAN PRISON:

THE MEN SHOW THEIR RESPECT AND SOLIDARITY BY REFRAINING FROM SPORTS AND WEARING THEIR DRESS WHITES FOR YARD WHERE THEY OBSERVE MOMENTS OF SILENCE AND PRAYER ON TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY.(Thursday Yard has been cancelled on days of execution).

FRANCE:

ACAT- France, Action of Christians for the Abolition of Torture and the Death Penalty, will be joining us in prayer.

It’s Peanut Butter and Jelly Time!


From our friends at Greater Birmingham Ministries:

School is almost over for the year. Kids are excited — Parents are worried.
 
Many of our neighbors depend on free and reduced price school breakfasts and lunches to feed their children. Summertime brings greater stress on budgets already stretched to the breaking point.
 
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP?
BRING IN THE PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY (AND THE BREAD)!
 
Greater Birmingham Ministries distributes food to families in need each Friday. We welcome your donations Monday-Friday between 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM. If you have a large quantity of food, call us at (205) 326-6821 to arrange a pickup time. We also welcome your financial contributions – please click DONATE TODAY or visit www.gbm.org to make a secure online donation!
 
Thank you for support! It can be the difference between happy kids and hungry kids.
 

 
www.gbm.org
2304 12th Avenue North, Birmingham AL 35234
(205) 326-6821
printable version (PDF)

Imprisoned by mandates – The Boston Globe


Imprisoned by mandates – The Boston Globe

Posted using ShareThis

AWRN posted a local article about increasing fees faced by offenders (article cited fees as a way DA offices plan to stay operational) just days ago.  Now the Boston Globe covers a new daily incarceration fee placed on prisoners.  Erroneous fees placed on persons already sentenced just to cover an agency’s bottom line is slip-sliding into the realm of practices that are illegal in the U.S.–debtor’s prisons, slavery, indentured servitude, just to name a few.

Underfunded District Attorney offices are facing further cuts


Anniston Star

by Rebecca Walker
Star Staff Writer

Read here or below.

The state’s criminal justice system is facing a financial blow as the state budget passed in April by the Legislature cuts $5 million in funding for district attorneys across Alabama for fiscal 2011.

The cuts include a $154,286 hit for the Seventh Circuit district attorney’s office, which serves Calhoun and Cleburne counties.

The state currently funds 35 to 40 percent of district attorneys’ operating budgets, according to Randall Hillburn, executive director of the Alabama District Attorneys Association and the Office of Prosecution Services. District attorneys serve as criminal prosecutors on behalf of the state and victims.

“We are literally dying on the vine. I don’t know what they expect us to do, because we certainly cannot fill our constitutional obligations on the amount of money they’re giving us to live on,” he said.

The only option left for many district attorneys in Alabama is to lay off staff, Hillburn said. Such layoffs would compound an already-strained system. If all of the current criminal cases were divided evenly among district attorneys and their assistants, each lawyer would have about 2,200 cases, he estimated.

The 7th Circuit’s district attorney, Joe Hubbard, said the number of cases currently being handled by his office is in the thousands. He hopes the office will be able to escape layoffs this year. After three staff members left in the last fiscal year, Hubbard did not rehire people to fill those positions.

“We were somewhat forward-thinking, I think,” he said. “I don’t think ours will be quite as bad because of the fact we had some (employees) leave.”

Nearly 100 percent of state funding for district attorneys goes to pay salaries, Hillburn said. With less than half of their budgets funded by the state, prosecutors’ offices establish special programs to bring in more funds, such as the 7th Circuit’s Worthless Check Unit and Restitution Recovery Program. Hubbard said those programs have sustained his office in past economic downturns. The 7th Circuit employs eight lawyers.

“I can’t make promises that we won’t have layoffs (this year), but hopefully we won’t,” Hubbard said.

Hillburn said district attorneys were already doing all they can to fully fund their operations.

“It takes the DAs in this state about $96 to $100 million a year to operate. It’s costing us that much to run our show,” he said. “We have to do everything short of selling Krispy Kremes on the courthouse steps just to keep the doors open.”

A bill passed by the Alabama Legislature earlier this year will provide a small bit of relief from the budget cuts, but will not make up near the total, Hillburn said. Known as the Solicitor’s Fee bill, it requires those processed through the criminal court system to match court fees paid to the Fair Trial Tax Fund with an additional fee that will help fund the district attorney’s office.

That kind of fee existed in the 7th Circuit prior to the passage of the law, however.

The effects of funding cuts could become apparent to the public when and if the criminal trial process slows down, Hillburn said. Fewer people working in district attorneys’ offices cannot sustain the same number of cases currently in the system, he said.

“It could mean it takes another two to three years before serious crimes like murder make it to trial,” he said.

Judicial circuits serving Randolph and Talladega counties will see cuts of more than $100,000 next year, as well. The 5th Circuit, which serves Randolph, Chambers, Tallapoosa and Macon counties, is budgeted to lose $142,606, while the 40th Circuit in Clay and Coosa counties is losing $54,151.

Attempts to contact district attorneys in those judicial circuits were unsuccessful.

***end article***

_______________________________________________________________________

AWRN comment: It is shameful when the state calls it a "program" to institute additional fines on individuals to sustain a broken system. Shameful and ridiculous.

May is Mental Health Month…


Mark your Calendars for
the 2010 Annual Conference

Alabama Council of
Community Mental Health Boards

36th Annual Conference

May 12-13, 2010
Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center
Birmingham, Alabama

Agenda and Registration

Alabama has scheduled 2 executions in the next 60 days


From Project Hope Against the Death Penalty:

Execution dates set for the following human beings:

Thomas Whisenhant  May 27  (insanity plea never litigated due to lack of funds)

John Forrest Parker  June 10  ( jury override)

Please contact Governor Riley and ask him to stop all executions

THE HONORABLE GOVERNOR BOB RILEY

 

STATE CAPITOL N 104 

600 Dexter Ave

MONTGOMERY, AL 36130 2751 PHONE 1-334-242-7100
FAX: 1-334-353-0004
Email: http://governor.alabama.gov/contact.aspx

Here are other officials and newspapers you may wish to contact with your thoughts:

Suggested Talking Points for the upcoming  Execution

1. Alabama ought to delay all executions to allow for a thorough study of its capital punishment process as recommended by the House Judiciary subcommittee and consider the serious objections raised as to how it administers the death penalty.

2. Alabama executed three people in 2007 and saw its murder rate rise from 8.3 per 100,000 population to 8.9. It has steadily increased since 2005, when the murder rate for Alabama rose from 5.6 per 100,000 to 8.2. There were four executions that year.  Six last year!

3. According to Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center in Washington, capital punishment is growing more infrequent nationally, but Alabama sends more people to death row than any other state! 

4. Alabama is notorious for its unique law that allows a judge to override without limitations the recommendations of a jury for life in a capital case and order death instead of life without parole.

5. Alabama is also notorious for failing to guarantee legal representation for inmates appealing their capital convictions. The effectiveness of attorneys assigned to indigent suspects is questionable.

6. Income and race are factors and a number of caveats in recent post conviction DNA legislation limits accesibility to DNA testing.

The Alabama Supreme Court has set the following execution dates for 2010

Thomas Whisenhant  May 27

John Forrest Parker June 10


ALABAMA AREA VIGILS FOR DAY OF EXECUTION

MOBILE: PRAYER VIGIL IN FRONT OF THE CATHEDRAL OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, DAUPHIN AT CLAIBORNE ST. 4:30-5:30 p.m.

MONTGOMERY: ON THE STEPS OF THE STATE CAPITOL AT 5:30 p.m. PRAYER SERVICE AND CANDLE LIGHT VIGIL. CONTACT: 334 328 9122

BIRMINGHAM:

VIGIL CORNER OF RICHARD ARRINGTON Jr. BLVD. AND 8TH AVE NORTH ACROSS FROM THE JEFFERSON COUNTY COURT BUILDING, ON THE CORNER AT THE EAST END OF THE BIRMINGHAM MUSEUM OF ART. 11:30 A.M.- 1:00 P.M., sponsored by JAM and a group of local Catholics. All invited! “Watch with Me One Hour.”

 PRAYER VIGIL IN KELLY INGRAM PARK, OPPOSITE THE KING STATUE AT 5:45 p.m.

BIRMINGHAM FRIENDS MEETING HANGS A BLACK FLAG FROM AN UPSTAIRS WINDOW FACING THE STREET ON ALL EXECUTION DATES IN THIS COUNTRY STATING: TODAY WE MOURN THE DEATH OF A FELLOW HUMAN BEING

SELMA: PRAYER VIGIL AT THE FOOT OF THE EDMUND PETTUS BRIDGE AT NOON.

HOLMAN PRISON: THE MEN SHOW THEIR RESPECT AND SOLIDARITY BY REFRAINING FROM SPORTS AND WEARING THEIR DRESS WHITES FOR YARD WHERE THEY OBSERVE MOMENTS OF SILENCE AND  PRAYER ON TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY.

  Thomas Whisenhant  May 27  (insanity plea never litigated due to lack of funds)

                           John Forrest Parker  June 10  ( jury override)

Please contact Governor Riley and ask him to stop all executions

THE HONORABLE GOVERNOR BOB RILEY

STATE CAPITOL N 104

600 Dexter Ave

MONTGOMERY, AL 36130 2751 

PHONE 1-334-242-7100
FAX: 1-334-353-0004
Email: http://governor.alabama.gov/contact.aspx  

Here are other officials and newspapers you may wish to contact with your thoughts:

Suggested Talking Points for the upcoming  Execution

1. Alabama ought to delay all executions to allow for a thorough study of its capital punishment process as recommended by the House Judiciary subcommittee and consider the serious objections raised as to how it administers the death penalty.

2. Alabama executed three people in 2007 and saw its murder rate rise from 8.3 per 100,000 population to 8.9. It has steadily increased since 2005, when the murder rate for Alabama rose from 5.6 per 100,000 to 8.2. There were four executions that year.  Six last year!

3. According to Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center in Washington, capital punishment is growing more infrequent nationally, but Alabama sends more people to death row than any other state! 

4. Alabama is notorious for its unique law that allows a judge to override without limitations the recommendations of a jury for life in a capital case and order death instead of life without parole.

5. Alabama is also notorious for failing to guarantee legal representation for inmates appealing their capital convictions. The effectiveness of attorneys assigned to indigent suspects is questionable.

6. Income and race are factors and a number of caveats in recent post conviction DNA legislation limits accessibility to DNA testing.

The Alabama Supreme Court has set the following execution dates for 2010

Thomas Whisenhant  May 27

John Forrest Parker June 10


ALABAMA AREA VIGILS FOR DAY OF EXECUTION

MOBILE: PRAYER VIGIL IN FRONT OF THE CATHEDRAL OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, DAUPHIN AT CLAIBORNE ST. 4:30-5:30 p.m.

MONTGOMERY: ON THE STEPS OF THE STATE CAPITOL AT 5:30 p.m. PRAYER SERVICE AND CANDLE LIGHT VIGIL. CONTACT: 334 328 9122

BIRMINGHAM:

VIGIL CORNER OF RICHARD ARRINGTON Jr. BLVD. AND 8TH AVE NORTH ACROSS FROM THE JEFFERSON COUNTY COURT BUILDING, ON THE CORNER AT THE EAST END OF THE BIRMINGHAM MUSEUM OF ART. 11:30 A.M.- 1:00 P.M., sponsored by JAM and a group of local Catholics. All invited! “Watch with Me One Hour.”

 PRAYER VIGIL IN KELLY INGRAM PARK, OPPOSITE THE KING STATUE AT 5:45 p.m.

BIRMINGHAM FRIENDS MEETING HANGS A BLACK FLAG FROM AN UPSTAIRS WINDOW FACING THE STREET ON ALL EXECUTION DATES IN THIS COUNTRY STATING: TODAY WE MOURN THE DEATH OF A FELLOW HUMAN BEING

SELMA: PRAYER VIGIL AT THE FOOT OF THE EDMUND PETTUS BRIDGE AT NOON.

HOLMAN PRISON: THE MEN SHOW THEIR RESPECT AND SOLIDARITY BY REFRAINING FROM SPORTS AND WEARING THEIR DRESS WHITES FOR YARD WHERE THEY OBSERVE MOMENTS OF SILENCE AND  PRAYER ON TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY.