I’d like to take a moment to celebrate the release of Ronald McKeithen, an Alabama man sentenced to life without parole for a first-degree robbery – in which no physical harm occurred – 37 years ago. Ronald is one of the many victims of Alabama’s draconian Habitual Felony Offenders Act, mandating life without parole for anyone convicted of a felony if they have three prior felonies on their record, regardless of whether they were nonviolent crimes or how long ago they occurred. This past summer, Alabama Appleseed took on Ronald’s case and, as of December, successfully won his release. They have since been helping him adjust to daily life in the midst of a global pandemic after 37 years inside a correctional facility.
Thanks to the Alabama Appleseed team and his supporters, Ronald says he is “experiencing a rebirth, a second chance at life, and every day has been a blessing.”
However, there are still hundreds of people incarcerated in Alabama because of the Habitual Felony Offenders Act, and many for nonviolent offenses. Three-quarters of them are, like Ronald, Black - a sign of the legacy of Alabama’s historic struggle with white supremacy. Challenging Alabama’s three strikes law could give these folks a chance at a second life too.
Read more about Alabama Appleseed’s work on Ronald McKeithen’s case here, and read Ronald’s story in his own words here. Additionally, you can find more information about Alabama Appleseed’s racial justice priorities and initiatives on their website
Thank you for supporting the Appleseed Network so that our justice centers can continue this critical work.