Estimated reading time: 14 minute(s)
Originally published 9.14.11
This is very disheartening. No, this is sickening. America’s injustice….ahem, justice system has run its course.
For the fourth time, the clock is ticking on the life of Georgia death row inmate Troy Anthony Davis. A Chatham County judge recently signed his death warrant and the Georgia Department of Corrections has set his execution by lethal ejection for the evening of Sept. 21. Yes, in only a few days!
Mr. Davis, 42, and his legal team will have an opportunity to go before the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles to plea for clemency in a hearing set for Sept. 19.
All of his appeals have been exhausted, however, his family and supporters are refusing to go away silently.
â€œTroy is in good spirits. He is prayed up and he says that they will not be able to detour him because he knows whatever happens is Allahâ€™s Will for him,â€ Martina Correia, his sister, told me in a phone conversation for a story I wrote in The Final Call newspaper.
â€œSince they gave the execution date, Troy has been calling home about twice a day. He believes he can never die because his name has touched the lives of so many around the world,â€ said Ms. Correia, who is presently in a wheelchair due to some health challenges.
â€œI have some serious complications right now and havenâ€™t had much time to rest due to my phone constantly ringing. But this will not stop me from continuing to fight for my brotherâ€™s freedom. Georgia and the old South has to go,â€ said Ms. Correia. â€œThere are things legally being discussed that I canâ€™t share but we have a lot of planned mobilizations over the next few weeks across the country and the world.”
Ms. Correia said a global day of action is scheduled for Sept. 16 in Atlanta, wherein they will invite thousands to march in solidarity and to host simultaneous gatherings in many states and across seas. On Sept. 17, a prayer vigil and rally will take place at the Atlanta-based First African Baptist Church.
Additionally, groups such as Amnesty International, the NAACP, and the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty are circulating online petitions, Facebook messages and Twitter action alerts in what could be Mr. Davisâ€™ last chance. Political, religious, and community leaders are being called upon to ask people to make calls, send emails and fax letters daily to Georgia Governor Nathan Deal and the Board of Pardon and Paroles to demand clemency.
Is this clear innocence? Let’s see.
Mr. Davis was convicted and sentenced to death in 1991 for the killing of Savannah police officer Mark MacPhail. Witnesses claimed Mr. Davis, who was then 19-years-old, and two others were harassing a homeless man in 1989 in the parking lot of a restaurant. Off-duty officer Mr. MacPhail arrived to help the man and witnesses testified at trial that Mr. Davis shot the officer twice and fled the scene.
Since Mr. Davis’ conviction, witnesses against him have recanted their testimony and no physical evidence has been presented that links Mr. Davis to the killing. Clear innocence?
This has been a rollercoaster fight.
Since 2007, the state of Georgia has slated Mr. Davis for execution three times only to have the executions delayed. In August 2009, the Supreme Court ordered the federal court in Savannah to hear Mr. Davis’ innocence claim in an evidentiary hearing.
In June of 2010, U.S. District Court Judge William Moore heard two days of testimony and ruled that Mr. Davis’ defense team failed to prove his innocence. Mr. Davis’ attorneys argued the ruling and said that Judge Moore refused to hear from potential witnesses who could testify that another man confessed to taking the life of Mr. MacPhail. The attorneys filed Mr. Davisâ€™ last appeal in January of this year and in March the U.S. Supreme Court justices kept Atlanta’s 11th Circuit Court of Appeals from examining the controversial case.
â€œThey know my brother is innocent but the state is bent on taking his life. Troy is thankful for all of the support. We wonâ€™t stop and we need everyone to keep pushing,â€ said Ms. Correia.
What Can We Do? Here’s a few things from Amesty International:
1. Sign our petition to the Board of Pardons & Paroles urging them to grant clemency! Weâ€™ll deliver your signatures next week.
2. Organize for Troy: Take to the streets with us on Friday, September 16th! Sign up to organize a rally to stop the execution of Troy Davis. And RSVP for the International Day of Solidarity on Facebook.
3. Join our #TooMuchDoubt Twitter campaign: Spread the word about this injustice by tweeting a â€œDoubt a Dayâ€ about Troyâ€™s story. Follow us@amnesty for tweets or use some of these â€˜doubtsâ€™ in your tweets:
Georgia plans to execute #TroyDavis even though 10 witnesses say another man committed the crime http://bit.ly/TroyPetition #TooMuchDoubt
Juror: â€œIf I knew then what I know now #TroyDavis would not be on death row.â€ http://bit.ly/TroyPetition#TooMuchDoubt
9 witnesses have signed affidavits implicating another suspect, not #TroyDavis. http://bit.ly/TroyPetition #TooMuchDoubt
Also, call Georgia Governor Nathan Deal’s office and ask him to grant Troy Clemency (404)656-1776 . Call Georgia Board of Pardon and Paroles ask them to grant Troy Clemency (404) 656-5651.
For more info on the case of Troy Anthony Davis go to http://troyanthonydavis.org
Free Troy Davis!