on death row: troy davis

from my friend jen & a glimpse into what “justice” looks like in amrika…

dear friends and colleagues,

some of you may be aware of the case of troy davis, but, for those who are not, i’ll recap briefly:

troy davis is on death row in georgia; the date of his execution has been set for september 23rd. he was sentenced to death for the murder of police officer mark macphail. the case against him comprised ONLY of witness testimony–there was no “hard” evidence. the fact that he was sentenced to death based only on witness testimony–much of which was inconsistent during the trial–is hard to believe in and of itself. add to that the fact that since the trial, 7 of the 9 police witnesses have since recanted their testimony, many stating that they gave their testimony under police coercion–and that troy davis still faces impending execution with his appeals for a re-trial being denied. and then add to that the fact that out of the 2 witnesses who have not since recanted their testimony–one is the other chief suspect in the murder of the police officer–it becomes pretty clear that this is a complete travesty of justice.

i first learned of troy’s case on “democracy now” about a year ago and have followed it closely since then. for the last six months or so, i have been corresponding with troy directly, through letters. i haven’t met him or his family personally, but through following his case and through corresponding with him, troy has become someone i have grown to care about personally.

i will not make any claims about troy’s innocence. but what i will state, strongly, is that the case against him is full of holes–full of discrepencies–full of doubt that by any reasonable standard exceeds “reasonable doubt”. and yet–all appeals to re-try his case have been thrown out–and his execution date is looming. if troy davis is executed, this will be an egregious, abhorrent travesty of justice.

i urge you to take the following actions recommended by amnesty international and click on this link for more information:

http://www.amnestyusa.org/death-penalty/troy-davis-finality-over-fairness/page.do?id=1011343&n1=3&n2=28&n3=1412

and to forward this letter and link, and the letter from amnesty international, pasted below, to everyone you know for whom justice matters.

i also urge you, if you are in atlanta, to go to the rally being planned on thursday, september 11th at the georgia state capitol from 6-8pm to protest troy davis’s imminent execution and/or to encourage anyone you know in atlanta to do the same. the rally is being organized by amnesty international, usa.

below is more information about troy’s case from amnesty international with links for action. please forward widely and join the struggle to save troy davis.

in solidarity,
jen

FROM AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

Dear Jen,

Troy Davis is scheduled to be executed by the state of Georgia on September 23, even though his serious claims of innocence have never been heard in court.

Take action right now to stop this execution!

Troy Davis was convicted of murder solely on the basis of witness testimony, and seven of the nine non-police witnesses have since recanted or changed their testimony, several citing police coercion. Others have signed affidavits implicating one of the remaining two witnesses as the actual killer. But due to an increasingly restrictive appeals process, none of this new evidence has ever been heard in court.

Take action and then forward this action to ten friends!

On July 16, 2007, the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles stayed Troy Davis’ execution, stating that it would “not allow an execution to proceed in this State unless and until its members are convinced that there is no doubt as to the guilt of the accused” (emphasis added). The failure of courts to hear the compelling evidence of innocence in this case means that massive doubts about Troy Davis’ guilt will remain unresolved.

Urge the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles to be true to its words and prevent this execution from proceeding!

In solidarity,

Sue Gunawardena-Vaughn
Director, Death Penalty Abolition Campaign
Amnesty International USA

Justice Matters: Rally to Save Troy Davis
Thursday, September 11, 2008
6 – 8 p.m.
Georgia State Capitol
(front steps on Washington St.)
Atlanta, GA
troy[at]aiusa.org / 404-876-5661 ext. 13

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