Two days ago, a federal district court in Savannah, Georgia denied Troy Davis’ petition – ruling that Troy didn’t reach the extraordinarily high legal bar to prove his innocence.
But I was in that courtroom in June, along with other Amnesty representatives. We saw the witnesses and heard the facts first-hand, and as Executive Director Larry Cox put it “nobody walking out of that hearing could view this as an open-and-shut case”.
So how is it that Troy has been put back on track for execution?
The courts have been far too comfortable leaving room for doubt, error and bias. There is no physical or scientific evidence linking Troy to the crime. In fact, Troy had to rely on witnesses who the judge didn’t find credible, even though these are the same witnesses on which his conviction hangs!
Because the courts have failed to resolve the doubts in this case, we’re taking Troy’s story back to the court of public opinion. We want every news outlet talking about the disastrous system that would allow a man to be put to death even when doubts persist about his guilt.
Troy’s case is so powerful because it has inspired:
- A majority of witnesses to admit that they lied 19 years ago
- Four witnesses to finally testify against the person who they suspect to be the real killer of police officer Mark MacPhail
- Pope Benedict XVI, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter to all call for clemency
- A movement of human rights supporters to unite and pass Troy’s story along from one person to the next to the next…
There are no do-overs when it comes to death. As long as there’s doubt, there should be no execution. But as long as there’s hope, we’ll continue to fight for Troy Davis.