[Ppnews] Troy Davis Denied Clemency
Political Prisoner News
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Sep 20 10:38:48 EDT 2011
From Campaign to End the Death Penalty
A TRAVESTY OF JUSTICE: TROY HAS BEEN DENIED CLEMENCY
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
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 innocent."
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."
WE MUST STAND UP AGAINST THIS MODERN-DAY LYNCHING AND SAY NO TO THE
EXECUTION OF TROY DAVIS AND NO TO THE RACIST DEATH PENALTY.
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./>http://nodeathpenalty.org. Send your
messages urging reversal to the Georgia Board of Pardons and
Parole--Call 404-656-5651, e-mail webmaster at pap.state.ga.us
<mailto:webmaster at pap.state.ga.us> and fax 404-651-8502.
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
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