Too Much Doubt-Please Read This
I don't know the rules about this, per se, but I just wanted to share with you a story I find moving and ask for, maybe, your help.
This story is about a man named Troy Davis who may or may not have shot a police officer named Mark MacPhail in Georgia in 1989.
Perhaps you've heard of him.
In 1991, he was tried and given the death penalty, based on the testimony of 9 witnesses. There isn't much, if any, physical evidence against him. One of those 9 witnesses was the other prime suspect in the case.
In the years that followed, the witnesses began to take back their testimonies. So far, 7 of them have recanted, some of them saying the police coerced them into saying what they said.
Despite this, Troy Davis remained on death row. For another twenty years, in fact.
In 2007, his execution was scheduled, but at the board of paroles stayed the execution at his clemency hearing. It was scheduled twice more, but stayed each time.
Last week, they set a date for a fourth time, Wednesday, September 21st. The Georgia Board of Paroles overheard his clemency hearing yesterday. This morning, they denied him clemency of any sort, meaning the execution is still on for tomorrow at 7 pm.
Now, I'm not saying Troy Davis is innocent, or that we should abolish the death penalty.
I'm not saying either of those things at all.
I am merely wondering how this sentence, where there seems to be so much doubt in the original verdict, could be upheld, in this country. A country where we value life, liberty, and justice an extraordinary amount.
So I will ask you, if you have taken the time to read this far, to consider signing the following petition from Amnesty International. It is to, hopefully, give Troy Davis justice. It is basically our last chance. Here is the link. It is for a very good cause. We only have until 7 tomorrow night.
Thank you so much.
Just a bit more information about my own and my school's involvement.
I joined Amnesty International at my school last year, and they have been focussing on the Troy Davis case since last year's seniors were freshmen. Last year, we made him cards for his birthday, and he handwrote us a thank you note. This morning, our faculty advisor read it to us on the edge of tears. It is one of the most heartfelt and moving letters I have ever read. Today, when we found out he was denied clemency, one of my friends burst into tears. They-we-have put so much dedicaiton into this. I have posted below a message supposedly from Troy Davis- I'm not sure my source is credible, but it has the same style as the note and is very powerful all the same. His eloquence and courage are astonishing.
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!”