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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Global Day of Action for Troy Davis

A big hat tip and shout out to Sojourner's Place, Villager at Electronic Village and so many afrospear bloggers who have joined with Amnesty International in it's Global Day of Action for Troy Davis. Get this, even the NAACP is getting involved.

They write: Despite a strong claim of innocence, Troy Davis, an African-American man from Georgia, faces execution for purportedly killing a police officer.

Seven out of nine witnesses have recanted or contradicted their testimony, no murder weapon was found, and no physical evidence links Davis to the crime. The Georgia Board of Pardon and Paroles has voted to deny clemency, yet Governor Sonny Perdue can still exercise leadership to ensure that Troy Davis's death sentence is commuted.

Please sign the petition asking him to support clemency for Davis. The Georgia State Conference of the NAACP, which has been a leader in the fight for Troy Davis, will deliver the petition to the governor to ensure your voice is heard.

The case of Troy Davis highlights the need for criminal justice reform in the United States. The NAACP, with its long and accomplished history of promoting civil rights, is on the forefront of a movement to revolutionize the criminal justice system.

More than 60% of the people in prison are people of color. For Black males in their twenties, 1 in every 8 is in prison or jail on any given day. These trends have been intensified by the disproportionate impact of the "war on drugs," in which three-fourths of all persons in prison for drug offenses are people of color. The most extreme end of the criminal justice system, the implementation of the death penalty, is no exception: currently, more than 41% of those on death row are Black. We must fight for change.

Please help us fight for the rights -- and life -- of Troy Davis today.

Here are some facts about Davis's case:

Davis was sentenced to death for the murder of Police Officer Mark Allen MacPhail at a Burger King in Savannah, Georgia, a murder he maintains he did not commit. There was no physical evidence against him and the weapon used in the crime was never found. The case against him consisted entirely of witness testimony which contained inconsistencies even at the time of the trial. Since then, all but two of the state's non-police witnesses from the trial have recanted or contradicted their testimony. Many of these witnesses have stated in sworn affidavits that they were pressured or coerced by police into testifying or signing statements against Troy Davis.

One of the two witnesses who has not recanted his testimony is Sylvester "Red" Coles -- the principle alternative suspect, according to the defense, against whom there is new evidence implicating him as the gunman. Nine individuals have signed affidavits implicating Sylvester Coles.

I agree with the NAACP: Please urge Georgia Gov. Perdue to commute Davis's sentence and bring justice to this case by signing our petition today.

I also agree with Villager. when he said, "It's important for each of us to take other actions" such as:
  1. Urge Georgia Governor Perdue to exercise leadership on behalf of Troy Davis
  2. Visit GFADP to see what activists are doing in Georgia.
  3. Clergy and Religious Leaders can add their name to sign-on letter created by Amnesty International.
  4. Write a letter to the editor of your local paper. It's quick and easy using the ACLU's website.
  5. Text "TROY" to 90999 to help spread the word with your cell phone.

Please do not contact the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles directly right now, as doing so could be detrimental to Troy's case. Instead, you are encouraged to contact Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue.

Other Available Resources:
If you have a blog, blog about this situation today.

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