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Thursday, September 15, 2011

I Am Still Troy Davis! ... Are You?

September 21, 2011 Update 
Rest in Peace Troy Davis... 
God bless everyone who tried to see that justice prevailed. God help everyone who knew better, but did nothing...

September 20, 2011 Update!!!

Troy Davis's clemency was denied by the Georgia Board of Pardons & Paroles, and he is set to be executed on Wednesday @ 7PM. Please sign the petition to DA Larry Chisolm.

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A date has been set for Troy Davis' execution: September 23, 2011.  A clemency hearing has also been set - for Monday, September 19, 2011.  This is Troy Davis' last chance.  Read further for more facts, but the short version is this:
  • Seven of nine witnesses against him have recanted their testimony,
  • The judge called his own ruling “not ironclad,”
  • There has never been any DNA evidence to connect Troy Davis to the crime,
  • Other witnesses have come forward since the original trial and singled out another suspect.
  • If nothing changes, Troy Davis will die on September 23, 2011 for a crime he most likely did not commit.
The following is updated from my April 30, 2011 blog:

People often ask me who Troy Davis is, if I know him and why I am wearing a shirt that says I am him. Now that Mr. Davis again in imminent threat of a wrongful death, I will answer those questions.  Troy Davis is a Black man born and raised in Savannah, GA.  There was nothing spectacularly interesting about his life from his birth until August of 1989.  The son of a hospital worker and a veteran, Davis was neither a hoodlum nor a saint. He struggled through school, helped younger people in his neighborhood, was likable, but had trouble on his job as manufacturing plant drill technician.

Take Action On This IssueIn August of 1989, based on the testimony of nine witnesses and despite his constant claims of innocence, Troy Davis was convicted of White police officer Mark MacPhail's murder and for shooting Micheal Cooper.  MacPhail apparently was killed when trying to stop the assault of a homeless man.  Cooper was shot in an earlier incident.  No forensic evidence linked Davis to the crimes.  
Since Troy Davis' conviction, seven of those nine witnesses recanted their testimony, saying it was coerced.  The eighth witness testified that Davis confessed to MacPhail's murder so police wouldn't connect him to Cooper's shooting.  In addition to that not making sense, Cooper denied having been shot by Davis.  The ninth witness, Redd Coles, who first reported Davis to the police, admitted in court to fighting with the homeless man that night.  Many witnesses say Coles also later confessed to murdering MacPhail himself...

I have never met Troy Davis.  What I know of him and his story, I've gathered from social action letters sent to me and from the internet.  The logo for this blog is of me wearing a shirt that says, "I am Troy Davis" because l know I could be.  I know I could be at the wrong place at the wrong time hanging out with the wrong people and end up on death row.  
Our justice system is supposed to have checks and balances that prevent innocent people from going to prison and from being killed (murdered) because of a wrongful conviction.  I am wearing that shirt because I pray that should circumstances ever find me in an incomprehensibly unjust situation, people who know me and people who don't would gather in a tireless fight for my freedom.  Join Color of Change, Amnesty International, the NAACP , Harry Belafonte, Pope Benedict XVI, and me in helping to see that justice prevails for both Troy Davis and for Officer Mark MacPhail.  

The NAACP says:
"Innocent until proven guilty.

These four words helped establish our criminal justice system. But in a nation that prides itself on our belief in liberty and justice for all, why is Troy Davis -- with an overwhelming body of evidence pointing to his innocence -- facing execution?

Twenty years ago, Troy Davis was convicted of murdering a white police officer.
Since then, seven of the nine witnesses recanted their statements, new witnesses have come forward identifying another man as the murderer, and the alleged murder weapon has still not been found.
Despite these new developments, the state of Georgia is putting Davis on track to be executed -- perhaps as early as next month.

You can help save Troy Davis' life today by standing up, adding your voice to our "name wall" and asking the Georgia Parole Board to commute his sentence:"

Amnesty International says:

"Oppose the Death Penalty for Troy Davis

Troy Davis has faced execution three times for a crime he may not have committed. In an unprecedented evidentiary hearing held in a federal district court in Savannah, Georgia in June, 2010, he was able to present evidence supporting his innocence claim. However, the standard for proving his innocence was “extraordinarily high”, especially given the lack of physical and scientific evidence in his case. 
The federal judge ruled that he did not meet the high standard, despite the fact that doubts about his guilt remain unresolved. While this ruling may be appealed, it is more important than ever that we continue to let Georgia authorities know that we oppose any effort to execute Troy Davis. Sign the petition today!"

Color of change says:
"Georgia may be about to kill an innocent man. That's not justice. Please ask the Georgia Parole Board to spare Troy Davis' life, before it's too late -- and it's critical that you ask others to do the same:
...the Supreme Court granted Davis another chance. But instead of an actual new trial before a jury, which would mean the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt is on the prosecutor, he got an evidentiary hearing before a single federal judge where Davis' lawyers had the burden to meet an impossibly high and undefined legal standard.
In light of this, it was sad -- but no surprise -- when the judge rejected the new evidence and cleared the way for Davis' execution. However, even he acknowledged lingering doubt, noting that the case against Davis was not "ironclad."
But "ironclad" is exactly what the evidence should be in order to put someone to death. If the Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole doesn't act to stop Davis' execution, they'll run a serious risk of putting an innocent man to death. That is not acceptable.
Please join us, along with our partners at Amnesty International and the NAACP, in asking the Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole to save Troy Davis' life by commuting his sentence to life in prison. And when you do, please ask your friends and family to do the same"

If you believe in justice, if you believe in freedom, if you would not want what is happening to you to happen to you, if like me, you are troy Davis, Please Click one of these Links!

PS - I have never met Troy Davis, but I hope to do so. 

Thank you for reading my blog today. Please be kind to yourself and to others. Share your visions of peace and justice with the world. Strive always to leave each place you visit the better for your having been there! - TCK

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