Tuesday, September 20, 2011


From Campaign to End the Death Penalty

Troy Anthony Davis has been denied clemency by the Georgia Board of Pardons and
Parole. This means that Troy could be executed tomorrow at 7 p.m. if the board does
not reverse its decision, and if no court intervenes.

Members of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty will not idly sit by while a murder
is carried out in the name of the state of Georgia. We will be holding speakouts and
rallies to demand that this execution be stopped and to urge the pardons board to
reverse its decision. We encourage everyone to come out if they can and continue to
phone, fax and e-mail messages to the board.

Over 1 million people have signed petitions in support of clemency for Troy. More
than 3,000 people marched and rallied for Troy just five days ago in Atlanta--the
largest demonstration of support for any death row prisoner since the protests to
stop the execution of Stan Tookie Williams in California in 2005. Global actions of
solidarity were held all over the world, including Germany, Hong Kong, Belgium and
Nigeria, and more than 300 actions that took place across the U.S.

Troy is supported by numerous civil rights leaders, including NAACP president Ben
Jealous, Jesse Jackson of Rainbow Push, and Al Sharpton of the National Action
Network. Other prominent supporters include President Jimmy Carter, Archbishop
Desmond Tutu, former FBI Director William Sessions, and former federal prosecutor
and death penalty supporter Bob Barr.

The question that has to be asked is: Why can't the members of the Georgia Board of
Pardons and Paroles see what over a million people have?

No physical evidence connects Troy to the murder for which he was condemned to
death, and seven of the nine witnesses against him at his original trial have
recanted their original testimony against Troy. Brenda Davis, one of the jurors in
that trial, told CNN in 2009, "If I knew then what I know now, Troy Davis would not
be on death row. The verdict would be 'not guilty.'"

Why isn't this good enough to win clemency for Troy? For that matter, why isn't it
good enough to win him a new trial where the evidence of his innocence could be
heard by a jury?

The answer is simple: It is good enough. People have won reversals in their cases
for far less than what Troy has put forward.

So why are so many politicians and state officials in Georgia determined to kill Troy?

This case is not merely a matter of guilt or innocence. Race and class have
everything to do with why Troy was arrested in the first place, and why he has had
such a hard time getting a hearing in the courts ever since. Troy was a Black man
accused of killing a white police officer in a city of the Deep South, and he was
too poor to afford good legal representation at his first trial.

Now that he does have lawyers who have been able to unravel the case against him,
Troy is required under the law to prove his innocence in a court system that wants
to accept the evidence as it was presented against him nearly 20 years ago. Without
incontrovertible proof of innocence--like DNA testing that excludes him--it is very
difficult to prove innocence in the eyes of the law.

It all comes down to this terrible truth, as Troy himself put it in an interview in
the New Abolitionist: "Georgia feels it's better to kill me than admit I'm

If Georgia goes forward and executes Troy Davis, it will be very definition of a
modern-day lynching.

When Blacks were lynched in this country, it was often based on a lie--that they
were guilty of some crime and deserved their fate. And there was no recourse for
them in the court system or wider power structure. The perpetrators of lynchings
were almost never punished--only 1 percent of such cases ever went trial, and far
fewer were ever convicted.

Troy Davis has been convicted and sentenced to death based on a series of lies--and
he, too, has found no recourse. Because "Georgia feels it's better to kill me than
admit I'm innocent."


For more information on Troy's case and to keep posted on what you can do today and
tomorrow, visit the CEDP website at http://nodeathpenalty.org. Send your messages
urging reversal to the Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole--Call 404-656-5651,
e-mail webmaster@pap.state.ga.us <mailto:webmaster@pap.state.ga.us> and fax

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