Stop The Killing…

17Sep08


Longest serving death row inmate executed
Statement from REPRIEVE 17th September 2008

Reprieve is deeply saddened by the execution of Jack Alderman. Jack, who was the longest serving death row prisoner in the United States, had been on Georgia’s death row for over 33 years. He was executed yesterday evening.
Jack always maintained his innocence. In addition, his neighbour John Brown, a known drug addict and alcoholic, confessed to the murder of Jack’s wife. There was no forensic evidence against Jack and he was only convicted as a result of statements provided by Brown. The District Attorney who prosecuted Jack stated that he “structured the entire case” around John Brown’s testimony. Brown made a deal with prosecutors to implicate Jack in the crime; Brown pled guilty in return for a prison sentence and was freed after serving only 12 years.

Two of the original jurors in Jack’s case have affirmed that they would never have voted to execute Jack if the prosecutors had acknowledged the existence of the deal with Brown, and five jurors urged that Jack’s life be spared.
During his 33 years on death row, Jack had been a peacemaker within the prison community, and had become well-respected by his fellow prisoners, guards, and even the prison administration. Hundreds of individuals, faith-based organizations, and even those supporting capital punishment advocated for clemency for Jack.

There was a glimmer of hope when a judge stayed the execution on Monday and ordered the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles to grant Jack a hearing. The hearing, which was held yesterday morning, lasted almost two hours. Seven witnesses gave statements: five members of the clergy, one school teacher, and Jack’s Dad. All of the witnesses spoke about Jack’s character – his friendship, his spirituality, his mentoring role, his peacekeeping role, and his integrity. Several also stated that they believed that Jack was innocent, and some made the point about the disparity in sentencing between John Brown and Jack.

The Board indicated that they would meet together, then deliberate individually, and then vote. The decision would be made by a simple majority. However, the Board denied clemency, and Jack was executed just hours later. This was the same board which offered parole to John Brown. Clive Stafford Smith, Reprieve’s Director, said: “I am devastated. Jack was a model prisoner and loved by many. The fact that Jack was killed despite his strong claim of innocence demonstrates with depressing clarity why this barbaric practice must end.”

At Reprieve we remain committed to the 21 men and women facing the death penalty around the world whose cases we work on, providing free legal and investigative assistance.
Please help us to continue to fight for them by pledging your support:
Click Here >
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Other Report:

Longest-serving US death row prisoner dies despite pleas from British lawyers
17th September 2008

Jack Alderman, 57, a convicted murderer who spent more than 33 years on death row, was put to death in Georgia shortly after 1.00 am British time on Wednesday.
The Associated Press news agency reported that he remained calm during the 14-minute lethal injection process, having declined a sedative. He had barely touched the normal prison meal offered to him three hours earlier, a prison spokesman said.

Read full report >

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Save Troy Davis: scheduled to be executed on 23rd September
courtesy of 4WardEver UK

Troy Anthony Davis is currently on death row in Georgia and his execution is now scheduled for September 23rd, 2008. In 1991, Troy was convicted in the murder of off-duty police officer Marc MacPhail largely on the basis of eyewitness testimony—no physical evidence links him to the crime. Since his trial, seven of nine eyewitnesses have recanted their original statements, yet federal law prevents these new eyewitness statements from being heard. On September 12, 2008 he was denied clemency by the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles.
Learn more about this case and take action here >

Amnesty International Appeal
Take action right now to stop this execution!
Troy Davis was convicted of murder solely on the basis of witness testimony, and seven of the nine non-police witnesses have since recanted or changed their testimony, several citing police coercion. Others have signed affidavits implicating one of the remaining two witnesses as the actual killer. But due to an increasingly restrictive appeals process, none of this new evidence has ever been heard in court.

Read about other cases on our website:
Click Here >

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