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Global day of action

Stop the execution of Troy Davis

Published May 14, 2009 8:27 PM

On May 19, from Alaska to West Virginia and from Argentina to Uganda, high school and college students, faith-based groups and progressive community organizations are organizing vigils, rallies and petition drives as well as the vital means of communication to bring worldwide pressure on Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue and the Pardons and Parole Board to stop the execution of Troy Anthony Davis.

Davis was convicted as a teenager of the 1991 killing of an off-duty Savannah policeman, solely on the basis of inconsistent eyewitness testimony, and sentenced to death.

Despite recantations by seven of the nine trial witnesses and the exculpatory statements of additional witnesses pointing to another man as the shooter, U.S. courts have refused to allow Davis a hearing to present the new evidence. Many of the witnesses cite police intimidation and threats as the reason for their false statements at the highly-charged trial.

Without those tainted testimonies and lacking any physical evidence at all linking Davis to the murder, the prosecution’s case would have consisted of two witnesses—the man now alleged to have committed the killing and a member of the U.S. military who on the night of the incident told police he was unable to identify the shooter. Yet two years later in court, he pointed to Troy Davis.

Davis has always maintained his innocence.

Hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. and around the world are outraged by the obvious injustices of this case. Davis has twice come within days and even hours of being executed when in the midst of grassroots mobilization, state and federal authorities have intervened.

On April 16, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 against Davis’ appeal, essentially denying possible innocence as a sufficient reason to overturn the trial verdict.

While Davis’ lawyers mount an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, which has previously failed to hear his case, organizations such as Georgians for an Alternative to the Death Penalty, Amnesty International and the NAACP are calling on people to flood the governor’s office and the Pardons and Parole Board with letters, e-mails, faxes and phone calls.

For information on the locations of actions in support of Troy Davis on May 19, go to www.gfadp.org. This site also has downloadable flyers, the addresses of Georgia officials, the text of an online letter and background information on the case.