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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Troy Davis

That Justice is a blind goddess
Is a thing to which we black are wise:
Her bandage hides two festering sores
That once perhaps were eyes.
                             --Langston Hughes

Unless there is a last-minute intervention, Troy Davis will be put to death tonight at 7:00 EDT by the State of Georgia. In 1991 Davis was found guilty of the first degree murder of police officer Mark McPhail. Two years earlier McPhail was shot in a parking lot while working as a security guard at a Burger King. Since then, seven of nine eye-witnesses have recanted their testimony. There is no physical evidence -- fingerprints, weapons, or DNA -- linking Davis to the crime. Three of the jurors who voted for the death penalty now believe they were mistaken. Witnesses claim to have heard Davis's original accuser, Sylvester "Redd" Coles, confess to the murder.

Amnesty International and other human rights groups have made appeals on behalf of Davis. So have former President Jimmy Carter, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and former FBI Director William Sessions. Yesterday, NAACP National President Ben Jealous issued this statement urging supporters to fast and gather this evening.

Click here for petition information, email addresses and phone numbers to contact, or for the most current information check Twitter or Facebook using the hashtags #TooMuchDoubt or #TroyDavis. 

Below is a message Troy Davis wrote to his supporters on September 10.
 To All:
I want to thank all of you for your efforts and dedication to Human Rights and Human Kindness, in the past year I have experienced such emotion, joy, sadness and never ending faith. It is because of all of you that I am alive today, as I look at my sister Martina I am marveled by the love she has for me and of course I worry about her and her health, but as she tells me she is the eldest and she will not back down from this fight to save my life and prove to the world that I am innocent of this terrible crime. 
As I look at my mail from across the globe, from places I have never ever dreamed I would know about and people speaking languages and expressing cultures and religions I could only hope to one day see first hand. I am humbled by the emotion that fills my heart with overwhelming, overflowing Joy. I can’t even explain the insurgence of emotion I feel when I try to express the strength I draw from you all, it compounds my faith and it shows me yet again that this is not a case about the death penalty, this is not a case about Troy Davis, this is a case about Justice and the Human Spirit to see Justice prevail. 
I cannot answer all of your letters but I do read them all, I cannot see you all but I can imagine your faces, I cannot hear you speak but your letters take me to the far reaches of the world, I cannot touch you physically but I feel your warmth everyday I exist. 
So Thank you and remember I am in a place where execution can only destroy your physical form but because of my faith in God, my family and all of you I have been spiritually free for some time and no matter what happens in the days, weeks to come, this Movement to end the death penalty, to seek true justice, to expose a system that fails to protect the innocent must be accelerated. There are so many more Troy Davis’. This fight to end the death penalty is not won or lost through me but through our strength to move forward and save every innocent person in captivity around the globe. We need to dismantle this Unjust system city by city, state by state and country by country. 
I can’t wait to Stand with you, no matter if that is in physical or spiritual form, I will one day be announcing, 
“I AM TROY DAVIS, and I AM FREE!” 
Never Stop Fighting for Justice and We will Win!  

Update: Troy Davis died at 11:08 PM EDT. His last words were to his executioners, "May God bless your souls." NAACP President Ben Jealous had this reaction.


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