Prison central item for upcoming session

INSIDE THE STATEHOUSE
by Steve Flowers

While the presidential race played out this year, several things happened in Alabama politics that went under the radar.

First, a federal appeals court upheld the legislature’s banning PAC to PAC transfers. The new Republican legislative majority that marched into the Statehouse in 2011 set out to destroy and bury the last bastion of Democratic power in the state – the once omnipotent Alabama Education Association. They succeeded.
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Alabama’s Holman Prison is Hell on Earth

By Stephen Cooper

Since opening its doors on December 15, 1969, Alabama’s William C. Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore, Alabama, has been a bastion of violence, fear, pain and baleful human suffering.

Built on a shoestring budget of five million dollars during Governor Lurleen Wallace’s administration, it took just five years for Holman prison’s perpetually overcrowded, unsafe and unsanitary conditions to draw the ire of Federal officials. In an article titled, “Court closes Alabama prison gates,” dated August 30, 1975. The St. Petersburg Times (now The Tampa Bay Times), in neighboring Florida, reported that two Federal district court judges, William Brevard Hand and Frank M. Johnson, Jr., ordered Alabama to stop sending prisoners to Holman (and three other prisons) due to overcrowding and the accompanying inhumanity, violence and other perils that brings.
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Clemency in Alabama is a Farce

By Stephen Cooper

In about two weeks, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley — himself a desperate cartoonish candidate for clemency from the people of Alabama (who he has so profoundly betrayed) — will be the sole arbiter of clemency for Mr. Vernon Madison, an African-American death row inmate; On May 12, Mr. Madison is scheduled to be executed in the death chamber at Holman Prison, in Atmore, Alabama, for his 1985 conviction for the murder of a Mobile police officer.
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