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(Atlanta) - Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) today urged the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles to grant clemency to death-row inmate Troy Anthony Davis, whose execution date will be scheduled between September 21st and September 28th. The human rights organization maintains that proceeding with the execution would be unconscionable, especially as doubts about Davis' guilt have never been erased.
"The Board stayed Davis' execution in 2007, stating that capital punishment was not an option when doubts about guilt remained," said Larry Cox, executive director for AIUSA. "Since then two more execution dates have come and gone, and there is still little clarity, much less proof, that Davis committed any crime. Amnesty International respectfully asks the Board to commute Davis' sentence to life and prevent Georgia from making a catastrophic mistake."
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. On April 12th Amnesty International issued an "Urgent Action" to its membership on his behalf. More than 300,000 signatures have been gathered for Davis since the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles last considered clemency. Following Davis' evidentiary hearing last summer, former Congressman Bob Barr and former FBI director William Sessions renewed their support for the inmate, and Nobel laureates President Jimmy Carter, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Jose Ramos Horta have recently appealed to the board for clemency.
"It is because of cases like Troy Davis' that support for the death penalty has dropped significantly in this country," said Laura Moye, director of AIUSA's Death Penalty Abolition Campaign. "The possibility of human error is far too high, and the chances of executing the innocent are far too real."
Since 2007 New Mexico, New Jersey and Illinois have abolished the death penalty. When signing the abolitionist bills into law the three state governors all pointed to the risk of irrevocable error as a reason to support abolition. In the 20-plus years that Davis has been on death row, more than 90 prisoners have been released from death rows across the country on grounds of innocence. Each had been found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom and dignity are denied.
For more information please visit www.amnestyusa.org/troydavis.