By James, Gabriel, William, Dani, Matt, Natasha and the rest of the Color of Change team
Troy Davis on Georgia's Death Row
In 1991, Troy Davis was convicted of murdering a white police officer. Though there's major evidence that Davis didn't commit the crime, Georgia is prepared to put him to death. We have a good chance of stopping this -- but only if we speak up now.
The fact is, no physical evidence connected Davis to the murder. Seven of the original nine witnesses have recanted, with many saying their testimony was a result of law enforcement pressure. Of the remaining witnesses, one is highly suspect and the other could be the actual culprit in the officer's murder.
Now, despite these and other facts, the state of Georgia has taken the first steps toward Davis' execution -- and only the Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole stands between Davis and the lethal injection chamber.
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.
Since Troy Davis' 1991 conviction, numerous facts have emerged that introduce significant doubt as to his guilt. These facts include:
- All but two of the original witnesses against Troy Davis have signed affidavits recanting their earlier testimony. Most claim that their testimony was coerced by police officers.1
- Multiple witnesses say that another man -- one of the original witnesses against Davis -- has claimed to have slain the fallen officer.2
- The weapon used in the murder was never found. The only physical evidence connecting Davis to the crime was indirect, circumstantial -- and new testimony disputes Davis's connection to that evidence.3
In light of this evidence, 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.
Thanks and Peace,
James, Gabriel, William, Dani, Matt, Natasha and the rest of the ColorOfChange.org team
April 20th, 2011
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1. “Troy Davis – Finality over Fairness,” Amnesty International USA
2. See Reference 1
3. See Reference 1