Angela Davis: Stop the execution of Troy Davis, set for Sept. 21

I urgently appeal to Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and to the members of the Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole – L. Gale Buckner, Robert E. Keller, James E. Donald, Albert Murray and Terry Barnard – to spare the life of Troy Davis, a young African American citizen of your state.

I hope everyone within sight or sound of my words or my voice will likewise urgently call and fax Gov. Neal and the members of the board. Under Georgia law, only they can stop the execution of Troy Davis.

First of all, there is very compelling evidence that Troy Davis may be innocent of the murder of Police Officer Mark MacPhail in 1989 in Savannah. The case against Davis has all but collapsed: Seven of nine witnesses against him have recanted their testimony and said that they were pressured by police to lie, and nine other witnesses have implicated one of the remaining two as the actual killer. No weapon or physical evidence linking Davis to the murder was ever found. No jury has ever heard this new information, and four of the jurors who originally found him guilty have signed statements in support of Mr. Davis.

More importantly, the planned execution of a likely innocent young Black man in the state of Georgia has become a terrible blot on the status of the United States in the international community of nations. All modern industrial and democratic nations and 16 states within the United States have abolished capital punishment. The fact that the overwhelming majority of the men and women on death rows across the country are Black and other people of color – and are universally poor – severely undermines our country’s standing in the eyes of the people of the world.

Most importantly, the execution of Troy Davis will contribute to an atmosphere of violence and racism and a devaluation of life itself within our country. If we can execute anyone, especially a man who may be innocent of any crime, it fosters disrespect for the law and life itself. This exacerbates every social problem at a time when the people of our country face some of the most difficult challenges regarding our economic security and future.

I urge everyone to join with me in urging Gov. Neal and the Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole to stay the execution of Troy Davis and commute his death sentence. Give this young man a life and an opportunity to prove his innocence.

Please, call, fax or email today. Stop the execution of Troy Davis!

Gov. Nathan Deal: phone (404) 651-1776, fax (404) 657-7332, email georgia.governor@gov.state.ga.us, web contact form http://gov.state.ga.us/contact.shtml
Georgia Board of Parsons and Parole: phone (404) 656-5651, fax (404) 651-8502

Legendary freedom fighter Angela Y. Davis, now retired from the U.C. Santa Cruz faculty, is the founder of Critical Resistance, which can be reached at 1904 Franklin St., Suite 504, Oakland, CA 94612, phone (510) 444-0484, fax (510) 444-2177, email crnational@criticalresistance.org.

San Francisco Bay View, Sept. 12, 2011

Amnesty International's petition to stop the execution of Troy Davis

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