For Immediate Release
Groundswell of Support For Try Davis In Days Leading Up To Clemency Hearing, Reports Amnesty International
200 Religious Leaders Sign Clemency Letter from Concerned Clergy; Petition Signatures, Letters to Parole Board Top 200,000
ATLANTA - On the eve of his clemency
hearing at the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles, support for Troy Davis
has reached an all-time high, reported Amnesty International today. The
human rights organization, which engaged its international membership and
other supporters via an online petition, letters to the Parole Board and
a recent text message campaign, said that signatures seeking clemency for
Davis now top 200,000.
An Amnesty International delegation, including
executive director Larry Cox, Martina Correia (sister of Davis), State
Sen. Vincent Fort and death-row exonerees Shujaa Graham and Darby Tillis,
delivered more than 21,000 new letters to the Georgia Board of Pardons
and Paroles today.
"The public is understandably outraged
that Troy Davis never had favorable evidence heard in a court of law,"
said Larry Cox, executive director for Amnesty International USA (AIUSA).
"When the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles granted Davis' stay
of execution, it stated that its members ‘will not allow an execution
to proceed in this state unless and until its members are convinced that
there is no doubt as to the guilt of the accused.' The letters are an
indisputable reminder that questions of innocence have never been erased.
Georgia simply cannot execute under these circumstances."
In recent days, 200 religious leaders signed
the human rights organization's letter from concerned clergy. The 118
Georgia signatories include noted civil rights leader the Rev. Dr. Joseph
E. Lowery, Rev. Dr. Raphael G. Warnock of Ebenezer Baptist Church,
Rt. Rev. J. Neil Alexander, Bishop
of the Episcopal Diocese and
Rev. Darrell D. Elligan, president of the Concerned Black Clergy.
The letter was also signed by 56 U.S.-based clergy and 26 religious
leaders from abroad, including France, Nigeria and Germany.
"As leaders of our respective faith communities,
we all find within our teachings a divine directive to support justice
in the world and to uphold the sacredness of life. As such, we are
united in our support of clemency for Mr. Troy Anthony Davis," they said.
"Our hearts remain broken for the family of Officer MacPhail...at
the same time, we must not allow the injustice of his death to be compounded
by the death of one who may well be innocent."
Noted figures such as Archbishop Desmond
Tutu have renewed their calls of support for Davis, and organizations
ranging from the NAACP to the European Parliament have passed national
and multi-national resolutions on Davis' case. "It is deeply troubling
to me that Georgia might proceed with this execution given the strong claims
of innocence in this case," said Tutu. "It has been repeatedly
demonstrated that...the system of capital punishment is fallible, given
that it is administered by fallible human beings."
Since the launch of its February 2007 report,
"Where Is the Justice for Me? The Case of Troy Davis, Facing Execution
in Georgia," Amnesty International has campaigned intensively
for clemency for Davis. Davis was convicted in 1991 of killing an
off-duty Savannah police officer, despite the fact that police never produced
a murder weapon and no physical evidence linked Davis to the crime. Following
his conviction, seven of the nine original witnesses have either recanted
or changed their testimony in sworn affidavits; one of the remaining two
is alleged to be the actual killer.
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For more information, please visit www.amnestyusa.org/troydavis.