The world will remember Troy Davis’ name

Published on Pambazuka News (first on The Nation), by Dave Zirin /NAACP, Sept. 22, 2011.

‘Tonight the State of Georgia killed an innocent man,’ writes the NAACP, following the death of Troy Davis on 21 September. ‘Troy’s execution, the exceptional unfairness of it, will only hasten the end of the death penalty in the United States. The world will remember the name of Troy Anthony Davis. In death he will live on as a symbol of a broken justice system that kills an innocent man while a murderer walks free.’

Tonight the State of Georgia has killed an innocent man. 

In recent weeks, we fought hard for the commutation of Troy Davis’ sentence. More than one million of your petitions were delivered. Protests, rallies and vigils were organized around the globe. Tonight, we fasted and prayed together as a community.

I have spent the past week with Troy’s family. He wanted the world to know that he understood that this struggle goes beyond just one man. Troy was prepared to die tonight. As he said again and again, the state of Georgia only held the power to take his physical body. They could not take his spirit, because he gave his life to God.

Let’s remember and heed Troy’s words:

  • We must not let them kill our spirit, either.
  • Troy’s execution, the exceptional unfairness of it, will only hasten the end of the death penalty in the United States. The world will remember the name of Troy Anthony Davis. In death he will live on as a symbol of a broken justice system that kills an innocent man while a murderer walks free.
  • The world will remember Troy’s name, as the death penalty supporters who expressed doubt in this case begin to doubt an entire system that can execute a man amidst so many unanswered questions.
  • The world will remember Troy’s name, as death penalty opponents who remained silent in the past realize that their silence is no longer an option.
  • The world will remember Troy’s name because we will commemorate September 21st each year as both a solemn anniversary and a call to action. The night they put Troy Davis to death will become an annual reminder that justice will not be achieved until we end this brutal practice of capital punishment.
  • “This movement,” Troy said, “started before I was born.” After tonight, our movement will grow stronger until we succeed in destroying the death penalty in the United States once and for all.

I know you will join me. Together we will secure his legacy, and the world will remember the name Troy Anthony Davis … //

… It’s with rage that I report that the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles on Tuesday denied clemency for Troy Anthony Davis. The 42-year-old Davis is now due to be executed TODAY, Wednesday September 21, at 7 pm. For those unfamiliar with the case, let’s be clear: Davis’s execution is little more than a legal lynching. As the New York Times wrote this morning in a featured editorial, the Georgia pardon and parole board’s refusal to grant him clemency is appalling in light of developments after his conviction.”

The facts speak for themselves. Back in 1989, nine people testified that they saw Troy Davis kill Officer Mark MacPhail. Since that time, seven have recanted their testimony. Please allow me to repeat: of the nine people who testified that Troy killed Officer Mark MacPhail, seven have recanted their testimony. Beyond the eyewitnesses, there was no physical evidence linking Troy to Officer MacPhail’s murder. None. Three jurors have signed affidavits saying that if they had all the information about Troy, they would not have voted to convict. One juror even arrived in person to the Board of Pardons and Paroles to say to their faces that she would not have voted to convict if she’d had the facts. Another woman has even come forward to say that a different man on the scene that night, Sylvester “Redd” Coles, bragged afterward about doing the shooting. Of the two witnesses who still maintain that Troy was the triggerman, one is Sylvester “Redd” Coles … (full text).

Links:

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People NAACP.

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