The International Council for Urban Peace, Justice and Empowerment: Letter of Support for Troy Davis
Empowerment in conjunction with Peace in the Hood
Mr. James E. Donald
Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles
2 Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr., SE
Suite 458, Balcony Level, East Tower
Atlanta, Georgia 30334-4909
September 17, 2011
Re: Troy Davis
On behalf of The International Council for Urban Peace, Justice and Empowerment, we
are asking you to have the courage to stop the execution of an innocent man, Troy
Davis. The International Council for Urban Peace, Justice and Empowerment is the
largest National Network of grassroots, faith and community based organizations
dedicated to Urban Peace, Justice and Empowerment in the United States. The Council
serves as an umbrella organization with over 35 affiliates throughout the United
States and globally. For over 17 years, the Council has sponsored several National
Urban Peace (Street Organization) and Justice Summits. The Council has initiated
prevention, intervention and transformation work all over the U.S. and globally to
affect change in the lives of youth impacted by racism, poverty, inequality and
Rarely has a case attracted the international attention and support as this case.
The facts are undeniable: 1) seven of the original nine witnesses recanted their
testimony stating they were coerced by strong arm tactics of the police who were
investigating the murder of one of their own; 2) one of the remaining two witnesses,
Redd Coles was himself a suspect at one time; 3) three witness stated that the same
Redd Coles confessed to them that he murdered the off duty officer; and 4) there was
no physical evidence connecting Mr. Davis to the crime.
Consider the words of U. S. Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun:
"Twenty years have passed since this Court declared that the death penalty must be
imposed fairly, and with reasonable consistency, or not at all, and, despite the
effort of the states and courts to devise legal formulas and procedural rules to
meet this daunting challenge, the death penalty remains fraught with arbitrariness,
discrimination, caprice, and mistake."– U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry A.
Blackmun, February 22, 1994
Now consider these facts on the death penalty from the Death Penalty Fact Sheet on
the Death Penalty in the United States:
• Studies by such organizations as the United States General Accounting Office, the
American Bar Association, and The Yale University School of Law have all concluded
that the most reliable indicator of whether or not the death penalty will be sought
is the race of the victim. Prosecutors are more likely to seek the death penalty if
the victim is white and the perpetrator if African American or a person of color.
• The death penalty is not enforced on any geographically consistent basis. Almost
80% of the executions are in the south, yet the South had the highest murder rate in
the United States according to the F.B.I. Uniform Crime Statistics in 2008. The
Northeast, which had the lowest rate of executions (less than 1%), had the lowest
murder rate. (Death Penalty Fact Sheet)
• Of the death row inmates, 42% are Black. In death penalty states, 98% of the chief
prosecutors are white.
• In death penalty cases, 75% of murder victims were white. Nationally, only 59% of
murder victims were white.
• Execution is more expensive than lifelong incarceration and in some cases, can
cost tax payers as much as $250 million dollars per case (California).
The standard for convictions and death penalty cases is clean and convincing
evidence. This was clearly not met in the case. Clear and convincing evidence is not
the word of two people (one of whom was a suspect). In appeals, the state has argued
procedural issues-not the guilt or innocence.
The standard for a civilized society is not what someone has a right to do, but
having the moral courage to do the right thing. In this case, we stand as a united
organization and say that the right thing to do is to commute the death sentence of
an innocent man. Killing people to teach people that killing people is wrong does
not make moral sense. The evidence is not there, but the racism and the notorious
police blue line of protecting their own and revenging their own is there. We ask
you to look within your own conscious and have the courage to do what is right. Do
not execute an innocent man. Do not participate in a legal homicide.
Amir Khalid Samad, T. Rashad Byrdsong, Jitu Sadiki, Minister Kuratibish Rashid
Spokesman Spokesman Spokesman Spokesman