6 Things You Can Do To Keep Troy Davis' Legacy Alive

September 21, 2012

troy davis
At 11:08 pm, at the exact minute that Troy Davis died, Troy’s sister Martina Correia looks toward the prison while Amnesty’s Laura Moye collects the contact info of a young student who wants to get more involved. © Scott Langley

On this day one year ago, Georgia killed Troy Davis.  Join with us today to remember Troy Davis and how he and his story impacted you.  Scroll down to the comments section and share your experience.

At dinner yesterday, a friend from the NAACP passionately recounted to me and Kim Davis how she felt on September 21, 2011.  I thought about the power of collective memory and the enormous well of energy it represents.  The execution of Troy Davis was deeply personal to countless people.  Whether they were outside death row in Georgia, at the Supreme Court in Washington, marching in Harlem, gathered outside the US embassy in London or glued to the media coverage, countless people have recounted to me where they were and what they felt that night.

From the prison grounds in Jackson, Georgia, where I was that night, I remember various feelings including adrenal rushes and fatigue from our tireless campaign to prevent what was about to happen.  I also remember my anger.  How could this state that I had lived in for 16 years see neither a moral nor pragmatic reason to take death off the table for Troy?

Despite our herculean efforts, we had not broken through.  Adding insult to injury, I could not believe the unprecedented show of force.  An army of armored and armed men lined the highway near our gathering point.  A helicopter flew overhead and squad cars made occasional runs up and down the highway, sirens blasting.  On some level, though, this meant that we had effectively demonstrated our movement’s power since our cell phones and posters were hardly a fair match against riffles.

Execution day: At 6:30 pm, a protester is arrested as police and SWAT teams push back a surging crowd across from the prison grounds. © Scott Langley

As we approached 11:08pm, the time we later learned was when Troy’s life ended, we gathered around the dignified Davis family.  By that point, the Supreme Court issued its denial of a last ditch appeal.  We all knew what was coming next and we could only wait for the official announcement that the homicide had been carried out.

Martina modeled for us what to do.  She wasn’t crying.  She wasn’t shouting.  She was organizing, even from her wheelchair on the grassy grounds at death row.  She never stopped organizing people in the struggle to help her brother and to end the death penalty.  She introduced me to a law student from California who was going to school in North Carolina.  This woman had driven a great distance to stand in solidarity with the family that day and to protest Troy’s scheduled execution.  Martina wanted to make sure the young woman got connected to our network and could get involved in the work.

Keep up the fight

Troy asked us to “keep up the fight” and Martina showed us what that looked like.  There are so many things you can do to honor them.

  1. Tell us how Troy impacted you below and join us by redoubling our resolve to end the death penalty.
  2. Demand an investigation of the Troy Davis case
  3. Follow us on twitter (@amnesty) and retweet our #IamTroy tweets.
  4. Share the image below on facebook.
  5. If you live in California, pledge to support Prop 34 in the November 6 general election.
  6. Help us bring light to another death row prisoner whose case is riddled with problems.

There is no shortage of activities for our collective power to end the death penalty.

We are still Troy Davis and we will succeed!

troy davis anniverary