More than 650,000 petitions delivered to parole board; from former President Jimmy Carter and Bob Barr to the Indigo Girls and Desmond Tutu to former FBI director William Sessions and Mia Farrow, global voices call for clemency for Davis
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(Atlanta) – Support for clemency for Troy Davis has reached an all-time high, reported Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) today as the human rights organization and its partners continue to mobilize members and activists in a Global Day of Solidarity for Troy Davis to protest the scheduled execution of the Georgia inmate scheduled for Wednesday, September 21.
During today’s Global Day of Solidarity for Troy Davis, about 300 rallies, vigils and other events have and are occurring across the globe from Berlin to Boulder, Paris to San Diego, Oslo to New South Wales, Australia, London to Greensboro, N.C., Knoxville to Orlando to Madrid to New York City and Washington D.C.
This evening, scores are expected to participate in a 6:00 p.m. march from Atlanta’s Woodruff Park, led by death row exonerees and the national leaders of AIUSA and NAACP. The march will end at Ebenezer Baptist Church where there will be an evening program of prayer, songs and speakers including the Rev. Al Sharpton and Ambassador Andrew Young. Georgia’s Indigo Girls are expected to perform as well as two gospel choirs. Eight buses full of supporters will be coming from Savannah, Columbus and North Carolina.
“When there are serious questions about someone’s guilt, it brings people together regardless of religion, race or nationality,” said Larry Cox, executive director of AIUSA. “More than half a million people have taken action to raise their voice to say that the Troy Davis case has too much doubt to conclude with an execution. Georgia simply cannot execute under these circumstances.”
Amnesty International USA, the NAACP and other organizations delivered more than 650,000 petitions to the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles on Thursday, September 15.
Support for Davis has come from all corners of the world. Notable leaders include Archbishop Desmond Tutu; Pope Benedict XVI, former Georgia congressman Bob Barr; the Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Lowery; Ron Hampton, former Executive Director of the National Black Police Association; Stefan Trechsel, International Criminal Court Judge; Bishop Wilton Gregory, Archbishop of Atlanta, Roman Catholic Church; Bishop Bolan, Bishop of Savannah, Roman Catholic Church; and Larry D. Thompson, former Deputy Attorney General of the United States.
Former FBI director William Sessions wrote an opinion piece that appeared in Thursday’s print edition of the Atlanta Journal stating, “In reality, there will always be cases, including capital cases, in which doubts about guilt cannot be erased to an acceptable level of certainty. The Davis case is one of these, and it is for cases like this that executive clemency exists.”
Rep. John Lewis (GA-05) and Rep. Hank Johnson (GA-04) sent a letter signed by more than 50 members of the U.S. Congress to the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles, urging clemency for Davis.
A diverse group of artists have also voiced their support: folk legend Joan Baez, indie rock band State Radio, Cee Lo Green, Russell Simmons, John Legend and singer and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte, as well as actors Mike Farrell, Susan Sarandon, Nazanin Boniadi, Miriam Margolyes, Morgan Fairchild, Tim Roth and Mia Farrow.
AIUSA’s Twitter campaign, #TooMuchDoubt, was launched a week ago and has more than 6000 followers.
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 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.
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.