Last Saturday, Amnesty International and the Georgia State Conference of the NAACP held a rally on the steps of the Georgia state capitol for Troy Anthony Davis.
Troy was convicted of murdering police officer Mark Allen MacPhail in Savannah in 1989 and has lived on Georgia's Death Row since then. Evidence in the case was scarce, and seven out of nine original witnesses have either recanted their statements. Amnesty International has put out an excellent report that covers these issues deeply: Where is the Justice for Me?
Earlier this year, the Georgia Supreme Court voted 4-3 to deny Davis's appeal for a new trial. Last summer, Troy came within 24 hours of death when the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles granted a stay of execution. I remember that day with horror; there is nothing more chilling to me than a system that allows the state to come so close to taking a person's life with so many doubts left hanging in the air. At the time, the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles stated that if there is any doubt about Troy Davis’ guilt, Georgia cannot proceed with the execution.
This past Saturday, we got to hear eloquent, emotional words from two death row exonerees Shujaa Graham and Daryl Hunt. What stood out to me this time was that both men discussed their own innocence less than I have previously heard, and instead focused more on how important their connection with their families and communities were while they were on death row. This is particularly relevant because of the role Troy's family, in particular his sister Martina Correia, has played in raising up his case to the international level.
Listen to Martina's words on Saturday, prepare to be wowed by her tireless, loving, beautiful spirit:
Here's death row exonoree Shujaa Graham speaking about his experience and family:
We anticipate another execution date being set for Troy. To take action on this case, send a letter through Amnesty to the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles. The Parole Board has the power to commute Troy's sentence to Life, which would keep alive the possibility of a new trial request. Currently, the courts have failed Troy and we have little hope that the judicial branch will stop the madness.
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