United States: Amnesty International Mobilizes Worldwide Membership on Behalf of Troy Davis

Press Release
April 13, 2011

United States: Amnesty International Mobilizes Worldwide Membership on Behalf of Troy Davis

Amnesty International Press Release
For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Contact: Wende Gozan Brown at 212-633-4247, wgozan@aiusa.org.

Amnesty International today issued an “Urgent Action” to mobilize its three million members in Georgia, the United States and around the world to write the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles to advocate for clemency for death row inmate Troy Anthony Davis. It is the fourth urgent action that the human rights organization has issued on behalf of Davis in as many years.

“Since Davis has been on death row, more than 90 prisoners have been released from death rows across the country on grounds of innocence, and each had been found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt at trial,” said Laura Moye, director of Amnesty International USA’s Death Penalty Abolition Campaign. “What more do we need to demonstrate that capital punishment is a flawed and error-prone system? We respectfully ask the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles to consider this, as well as the lack of physical evidence linking Mr. Davis to this crime, when the time comes to assign a new execution date.”

On March 28, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to take the Davis case, clearing the way for Georgia to set an execution date. Troy Davis was less than 24 hours from execution in 2007 when the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles issued a stay. The Board said in 2007 that it would not allow an execution to go ahead “unless and until its members are convinced that there is no doubt as to the guilt of the accused.” Since then Troy Davis has faced two more execution dates, both in 2008, which were stayed by the courts.

In 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered a federal evidentiary hearing to review Davis’ innocence claim. Following the June 2010 hearing, U.S. District Court Judge William Moore, Jr., wrote: “Mr. Davis is not innocent.” Elsewhere in his ruling, however, he acknowledged that the state’s case was not “ironclad.”

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.

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, truth and dignity are denied.

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For more information please visit www.amnestyusa.org/troydavis