The Alabama Department of Corrections has responded to Demands from Free Alabama Movement via the call for a #30dayEconomicBlackout from January 1, 2021, to January 31, 2021, by violently attacking and beating Mr. Ronnie Miller, who is one of 11 men on hunger strike at Kilby Correctional Facility.
FAM has called for the boycott of prison contractors and state agencies admidst the ongoing human rights violations and humanitarian crisis taking place inside the Alabama Department of Corrections.
We are being told that a Sgt. Williams cleared CERT team officer Landrum to carry out the assault. As more details emerge, FAM is requesting that supporters please call the Commissioner of ADOC Jefferson Dunn and the Warden at Kilby CF and demand that the violence and harassment against all participants in the boycott stop.
Please contact @ADOCDunn Commissioner Jefferson Dunn 334-353-3883, or email Jefferson.dunn@doc.Alabama.gov and demand that the violent attack and harassment against all participants in the #30dayEconomicBlackout stop. Also demand that Mr. Miller be taken to an outside hospital for an independent evaluation.
Today, December 2, 2020, is International Abolish Slavery Day, and oh my! did it start with a bang. This date is historically important in America because of its historic practices of slavery and due to the fact that the 13th Amendment to the United States continues to have an exception clause that legalizes slavery and Involuntary servitude as punishment for crime.
Over the past several years, many incarcerated organizers, activists, artists and scholars in US prisons have worked to highlight not only the slavery exception clause in the 13th Amendment, but also the institutions this Amendment is responsible for creating (the network of Departments of Corrections around the country.
We’ve also fought the inhumane, barbaric practices that are carried out in these institutions, such police brutality, systemic and institutional racism, human warehousing, human trafficking, selling children to private detention, forced labor, and financial exploitation.
We’ve also fought to build awareness about and bring changes to the laws like the Black Codes, Vagrancy laws, the school-to-prison pipeline, the 1994 Crime Bill, the Prison Litigation Reform Act, and the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, as these are slave laws used to keep the plantations full.
The highpoint to date of this 2020 activism was undoubtedly the October 26-30, 2020, P.L.U.S. Party Initiative #FreeThe13. This four-day virtual panel discussion broke down the history of the institution of slavery and then put it back together for people to understand in its current rendition.
Immediately following the #FreeThe13th event, Free Alabama Movement, in conjunction with Be Frank for Justice, collaborated around hosting an “Abolish Slavery Alabama” day in Alabama on Sunday, December 6, 2020, at a former slave depot in Montgomery, Alabama, to mark not only the exception clause in the 13th Amendment, but also similar slave language in Art. 1, sec. 32 of the Alabama Constitution of 1901. December 6, was chosen because this is the day in 1865, that this Amendment was ratified.
During the course of these conversations around December 6th, Amendment 4 was ratified by Alabama voters on November 4, 2020, which authorizes the Alabama Legislative Reference Service to, among other things, identify for removal all racist language from the Alabama Constitution. The Amendment 4 effort was led by Alabama Citizens for Constitutional Reform and sponsored by State Representative Marika Coleman.
This, of course, opened the door wide open to conversation about Art. 1, sec. 32 of the Alabama Constitution of 1901. The Paul Cuffee Abolitionist Center then stepped up as the sole fiscal sponsor for this event on December 6, 2020, making this event a reality in Alabama.
According to history, there is no language or law in the Alabama Constitution or criminal laws more racist, dehumanizing, debasing or debilitating than Article 1, sec. 32 of the Alabama Constitution:
Plain and simple, this is a slave law. After the Civil War ended, what must be understood is that slavery was never totally abolished. Instead, only a particular form of slavery was abolished — private ownership of slaves by ordinary citizens was banned. In its place, the 13th Amendment transferred slavery to the government under the criminal justice system.
When that was done, Black people went from representing less than appx 15% of people in US prisons prior to 1865, to over 90% less than 15 years later. Human beings in Alabama (just as in Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, and many other places) have been forced back into slavery in the Alabama prison system under the 13th Amendment and Article 1, sec. 32.
Since 2018, four States have removed slave language from their Constitution, with Utah and Nebraska being the most recent in 2020.
Free Alabama Movement has been waging a campaign against slavery and slave Plantation conditions in Alabama for some time now. For the most part, we have been alone in this slave state in this endeavor. None of the so-called human rights orgs. or the other lot have joined FAM’s call. Why? And, where are the Alabama organizations today, now that Art. 1, Sec. 32 and Amendment 4, are staring us all directly in the face?
The changes needed in the Alabama prison system start with the historically racist practice of slavery and involuntary servitude that are enshrined in the Alabama Constitution of 1901 Art. 1, sec. 32. Now is the time to remove not only the language from the the Alabama Constitution, but to also abolish the practice of Slavery, its institutions, and the laws used to uphold it.
Please join the call on Sunday, December 6, 2020, at Montgomery Plaza, from 3-5 pm, Cst to remove this racist language from the Alabama Constitution of 1901.
When will it end? When will Black people be allowed to live in this country in peace and free from any form of slavery? 400 years and there are still laws and constitutional amendments on record that people have been enslaved under. Over 1 million Black Families have a loved one in a prison. This shit is getting to a point where we are going to have to put morals to the side and go down and meet them on a savage level just to see our humanity respected. Slavery must end in this country. Those who profit off prisons must be held accountable. We can’t keep masking this shit in terms that deliberately evade addressing the problem.
We don’t know what the future holds for those who demand freedom, but we do know that the slave’s future will be whatever his master decrees by the whip or nightstick. Our Movement has to unite once again and we must take decisive action. These prisons are turning into mass graves. Don’t wait for death. Take steps to deliver death to the system.
Chaos is brewing in ADOC as COVID-19 continues to spread and claim lives. Testing of some positive individuals at atleast two State prisons are being redone as the number of positive results continues to rise to crisis levels.
Also, it appears that the entire population at Bibb County CF has been tested. With additional testing, Bibb CF saw a spike in positive results. BIBB CF is one of the institutions where retesting is underway, while residents feel that ADOC is attempting to skew results. ADOC is not saying why testing is being redone.
ADOC’s medical contractors and healthcare professionals are also facing scrutiny. There are serious questions and widespread allegations being made about tampering and discarding testing kits. Meanwhile, no explanation is being provided as to why retesting is being done? Why the need for secrecy over the reason for retesting? Questions also remain about oversight regulations and audit processes regarding tests? There is much to unpack in Alabama DOC.
As infection rates and death tolls continue to mount while testing continues to lag behind, the call and need for more people to be released is growing louder. Alabama remains an outlier amongst other states who are already releasing people in an effort to save lives. With inhumane conditions and a lack of adequate cleaning supplies and PPEs already an intractable problem, COVID-19 remains a serious threat to everyone incarcerated in ADOC and the entire State of Alabama.
Re-post, originally posted by American Litigation Consultant, LLC
November 13, 2020
The new death penalty: COVID has now killed more US prisoners than capital punishment over last three decades.
I am sad to report that we have passed yet another milestone in COVID prisoner deaths, which prompts another one of my series of “new death penalty” posts. The Marshall Project continues the critical job of counting via this webpage of deaths from coronavirus reported among prisoners, and as of Thursday, November 12, this accounting had tabulated “at least 1412 deaths from coronavirus reported among prisoners.”
As I have said in other posts, this considerable and ever-growing number is sad and disconcerting on its own terms, but it is even more remarkable given that it now amounts to more than the total number of prisoner deaths resulting from carrying out formal death sentences in the United States for the entire period from 1990 to 2020. According to DPIC data, there were a total of 1406 executions from the start of 1990 through today.
Of course, as I have mentioned before, comparing capital punishment and COVID incarceration carnage is problematic in many ways. All persons executed in the US in recent times have been convicted of the most aggravated forms of murder. The vast majority of prisoners to die of COVID were not criminally responsible for a death (although, as noted here, some persons on California’s death row are part of the COVID prisoner death count). In a few older posts here and here, I noted that nearly half of the early reported deaths of federal prisoners involved individuals serving time for drug crimes.
Another problem with comparing capital punishment and COVID incarceration carnage relates to that correctional staff do not die from administering capital punishment, but many have died from COVID. The Marshall Project reports “at least 93 deaths from coronavirus reported among prison staff.” I am still pleasantly surprised that this too-big number is not even larger, but I will be ever troubled by the thought that all these COVID casualty numbers could have been lower if more aggressive depopulation efforts were taken to move the most vulnerable and least risky persons out of the super-spreader environment that prisons represent.
A few of many prior related posts:
The new death penalty: COVID has now killed as many US prisoners as has a quarter century of capital punishment (from October 2020) The new death penalty: COVID has now killed more US prisoners in months than the US death penalty has in the last two decades (from August 2020) The new death penalty: COVID has now killed more US prisoners in weeks than the US death penalty has in over a decade (from May 2020) The new death penalty: COVID has now killed more than 500 US prisoners and prison staff according to UCLA Law data (from May 2020) The new death penalty: COVID now a leading modern killer of California inmates on death row From drug sentences to death sentences: documenting arbitrary and capricious drug war casualties Memorializing more drug war casualties: updating the federal drug sentences that COVID-19 turned into death sentences.
While the BOP is doing its best to address this pandemic, Congress and the Senate need to do more to ensure that people convicted of victimless crimes like non-violent drug offenders need to be sent home where they can be monitored via GPS. This will reduce the prison population dramatically and save lives. We encourage everyone involved from inmates, to BOP staff members to write your representatives and place the foregoing facts before them. Stay Safe.