Many of the clients of the Alabama Post Conviction Relief Project experienced horrific physical abuse at home. Some have permanent brain injuries from physical abuse, experienced as they tried to protect other family members. One client was hit in the head by his father, using a baseball bat. Another was so clearly being abused at home that a teacher wrote seeking help for him, while he was a child. The teacher said he was "headed for trouble unless someone lovingly intervenes in his life." Unfortunately, that help never came.
In some many of these cases, jurors were not told about these horrific childhoods. Instead, when the jury was called on to determine whether a man they did not know should live or die, they were not presented with full information about the conditions of his life.
In the past few years, the Project's volunteer attorneys have conducted evidentiary hearings in state circuit courts. The Project has had oral arguments in state appellate courts. Project clients have won remands to state circuit courts for new evidentiary hearings. And we continue our work for other clients.
To continue our work, we need help from people who care about representation being provided to the poorest, most desperate of defendants, who would not otherwise have counsel.