Emergency Rally 9/16/2011 NYC: Stop the Execution of Troy Davis

[The Theater of the Oppressed Laboratory (TOPLAB) has endorsed this rally.]

For more information, contact:

* Thenjiwe Tameika McHarris, Amnesty International
(212) 633-4215; tmcharris@aiusa.org

* Kazembe Balagun, The Brecht Forum
(212) 242-4201 ext 11; kazembe@brechtforum.org

* http://www.justicefortroy.org

Emergency Rally: Stop the Execution of Troy Davis

Friday, September 16, 2011 at 5:30 pm

at Union Square Park, New York City

(Lexington Avenue IRT 4, 5 or 6, Broadway BMT N, Q or R, Canarsie BMT
L to 14 Street/Union Square)

Location subject to change. Please go to Facebook event to keep update
with location.


Join us on September 16, 2011 at 5:30 pm in Union Square Park, New
York City (location subject to change–stay tuned) as we demand that
the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles commute Troy?s sentence–a
final chance to prevent Troy Davis from being executed.

The case against Troy Davis, an African American man, for the murder
of a white police officer 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.

Thenjiwe Tameika McHarris


Execution Date Set in Controversial Davis Case

IPS/Inter Press Service
September 9, 2011

Execution Date Set in Controversial Davis Case

by Matthew Cardinale

ATLANTA, Georgia, Sep 9, 2011 (IPS) – Troy Davis, the Georgia man
whose death row case has drawn international attention, has again been
scheduled for execution for Sep. 21, but advocates hope to convince
the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles to grant last-minute

Davis was convicted of shooting a police officer, Mark MacPhail, in
Savannah in 1989, but since then, seven of nine witnesses have
recanted their testimony against him, and two other witnesses have
implicated another individual as the murderer.

This is the fourth time Davis has had an execution date, although at
this point, supporters fear that he has probably exhausted his appeals
– either he will be pardoned or he will be executed.

Most recently, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered an extraordinary hearing
in the trial court as to whether Davis could prove his innocence
claims. But the trial court ruled against Davis, setting him back on a
path where a new execution date was only a matter of time.

"I knew it was coming. I'm not shocked," Martina Correia, Davis's
sister and strongest advocate, told IPS. Correia, who has been
battling cancer for 10 years, has been in the hospital for several
days due to complications from a chemotherapy drug, but granted the
rare interview.

There will be a Global Day of Action for Troy Davis on Sept. 16 in
Atlanta and other cities around the world, and Correia says she will
be there whether someone has to push her in a wheelchair or drive her
in on the back of a truck.

"We're sad, but we've been here before. In the past two years, the
coalition has grown beyond what we could have ever imagined. We're
gonna fight. We believe in Troy's innocence," Correia said.

Correia said she had just spoken with Davis, and that "he is in good spirits".

"He's more concerned about the family than he is about himself," she
said. "He's ready for this fight. We're holding on to our faith and we
believe it's going to be a good outcome."

Meanwhile, advocacy groups like Amnesty International, Georgians for
Alternatives to the Death Penalty, the International Action Center,
and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People are

"We are focused right now on educating people about the doubts that
continue to persist, encouraging people to make concerns heard to the
Board of Pardons and Paroles, who has the ability to weigh in and
prevent the execution and really step in in a situation where the
legal process has failed to alleviate some doubts that Troy Davis is
guilty for a crime for which he could pay with his life," Laura Moye,
death penalty abolition campaign director for Amnesty International
USA, told IPS.

"The Board has very wide discretion at what they can look to to grant
relief, they are not confined by the narrow parametres of the legal
process, this narrow focus on process and procedure that has hampered
Troy's ability to have his innocence claims taken seriously," Moye

"The Parole Board in 2009 said they would not execute when there's
doubt. There's more than minimal doubt in Troy's case," Correia said.
"There's so many unanswered questions."

Despite the fact that the Board previously ruled against Davis, there
are at least two factors which may lead to a different ruling this
time. First, three of the five Board members are new to the Board and
have not heard Davis's case before. And second, there are two new
witnesses who have implicated another man as the culprit, who have not
yet testified before the Board.

One witness, Benjamin Gordon, implicated his relative, Sylvester
Coles, as the killer. Meanwhile, another woman says she witnessed
Coles admitting to her that he shot MacPhail.

When the Supreme Court granted Davis a hearing in the trial court on
his innocence claims, Justice Antonin Scalia dissented, calling the
new hearing a "fool's errand". In retrospect, it appears to some
extent, he was right.

"The problem with the legal system is it has been so focused on
procedure, it hasn't been asking a more fundamental question, which
is, can we rely on the conviction?" Moye said.

"Troy Davis was given an enormous task of proving innocence at the
evidentiary hearing in Savannah last summer. He was given a task that
was almost impossible to achieve without physical evidence, and with
witnesses that the judge didn't want to believe," Moye said.

Davis first faced execution in July 2007, but the Board granted a 90-
day stay on July 16 so it could review Davis's case further. In the
meantime, the Supreme Court of Georgia granted a review of Davis's
case, which Davis later lost. The Board later also ruled against

Davis faced execution a second time in September 2008, but the Supreme
Court granted a stay on Sept. 23, to allow time to consider an appeal
on the question of whether to grant a new trial, which was later

Davis then faced execution again a third time in October 2008, but the
11th federal circuit court stayed the execution on Oct. 24 on grounds
connected to Davis's innocence claims, which were legally different
than his appeals or requests for a new trial.

"Psychologically, it must be a torturous process to
have someone
repeatedly come close to their death. Most murders aren't even like
that," Moye said.


Angela Davis: Stop the Execution of Troy Davis, Set for September 21

San Francisco Bay View
September 12, 2011

[Use the URL above to watch a video featuring Troy Davis' sister,
Martina Davis-Correia.]

Stop the Execution of Troy Davis, Set for September 21

by Angela Davis

I urgently appeal to Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and to the members of
the Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole–L. Gale Buckner, Robert E.
Keller, James E. Donald, Albert Murray and Terry Barnard–to spare
the life of Troy Davis, a young African American citizen of your

I hope everyone within sight or sound of my words or my voice will
likewise urgently call and fax Gov. Neal and the members of the board.
Under Georgia law, only they can stop the execution of Troy Davis.

First of all, there is very compelling evidence that Troy Davis may be
innocent of the murder of Police Officer Mark MacPhail in 1989 in
Savannah. The case against Davis has all but collapsed: Seven of nine
witnesses against him have recanted their testimony and said that they
were pressured by police to lie, and nine other witnesses have
implicated one of the remaining two as the actual killer. No weapon or
physical evidence linking Davis to the murder was ever found. No jury
has ever heard this new information, and four of the jurors who
originally found him guilty have signed statements in support of Mr.

More importantly, the planned execution of a likely innocent young
Black man in the state of Georgia has become a terrible blot on the
status of the United States in the international community of nations.
All modern industrial and democratic nations and 16 states within the
United States have abolished capital punishment. The fact that the
overwhelming majority of the men and women on death rows across the
country are Black and other people of color–and are universally poor
–severely undermines our country's standing in the eyes of the people
of the world.

Most importantly, the execution of Troy Davis will contribute to an
atmosphere of violence and racism and a devaluation of life itself
within our country. If we can execute anyone, especially a man who may
be innocent of any crime, it fosters disrespect for the law and life
itself. This exacerbates every social problem at a time when the
people of our country face some of the most difficult challenges
regarding our economic security and future.

I urge everyone to join with me in urging Gov. Neal and the Georgia
Board of Pardons and Parole to stay the execution of Troy Davis and
commute his death sentence. Give this young man a life and an
opportunity to prove his innocence.

Please, call, fax or email today. Stop the execution of Troy Davis!

* Gov. Nathan Deal: phone (404) 651-1776, fax (404) 657-7332, email
georgia.governor@gov.state.ga.us, web contact form

* Georgia Board of Parsons and Parole: phone (404) 656-5651, fax (404) 651-8502