In light of the disappointing and disheartening news about Troy Davis, I wrote this letter to the editor of the Augusta (GA) Chronicle:
I am shocked that Georgia’s Pardons and Paroles Board has voted to allow Troy Davis’s execution to proceed when world attention has been called to the doubts about his guilt. Seven of nine witnesses at the original trial have recanted their testimony, and no physical evidence links Davis to the crime. Some 200,000 signatures were collected on petitions for clemency or commutation of sentence.
Organizations opposing Davis’s execution included Amnesty International, the NAACP, National Action Network, Color of Change, People of Faith Against the Death Penalty, Georgians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, the ACLU and others. Former Deputy U.S. Attorney General Larry Thompson wrote to the Board: “… it is clear now that the doubts plaguing his case can never be adequately addressed. On this basis, I urge you to … grant clemency.”
Even supporters of capital punishment know that their issue is not served by executing someone where such doubts have been lifted concerning their guilt or innocence.
The NAACP, among other groups, is not giving up the fight for saving Davis’ life and seeking true justice in the courts for him. Here is part of their email, and an action link:
In moments of immense sadness, moments that shake the foundation of our faith in the justice system and mankind, adequate words are scarce.
Today, the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles co-signed on the decision to execute Troy Davis.
Despite overwhelming evidence pointing to his innocence — evidence that prompted former FBI Director William Sessions and more than a million others to write in support of clemency — Troy’s execution is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, September 21.
His family has been moved by the efforts of the NAACP and supporters around the world. They have asked us to express their thanks to you personally.
They also asked us to tell you that this is not the hour to give up.
For the past two decades that Troy has been on death row, miracles have interceded at crucial moments. Can you help us make a miracle happen now?
Please stand with Troy and his family. Tell District Attorney Larry Chisolm that he has to intercede:
Chatham County District Attorney Larry Chisolm is the man who requested the death warrant against Troy Davis. He’s the glue that holds the case together and, even after today’s news, he remains in a unique position to petition the judge to withdraw the death warrant against Troy. It’s a long shot, but it’s Troy’s best hope.
Here is Amnesty’s action page on Troy Davis.