The following message, from Ben Jealous, was sent to members of the NAACP:
We've just received terrible news: The state of Georgia has set Troy Davis's execution date for midnight on September 21st, just two weeks from today.
This is our justice system at its very worst, and we are alive to witness it. There is just too much doubt.
Even though seven out of nine witnesses have recanted their statements, a judge labeled his own ruling as "not ironclad" and the original prosecutor has voiced reservations about Davis's guilt, the state of Georgia is set to execute Troy anyway.
Time is running out, and this is truly Troy's last chance for life.
But through the frustration and the tears, there is one thing to remain focused on: We are now Troy Davis's only hope. And I know we won't let him down.
There are three steps you can take to help Troy:
1. Send a message of support to Troy as he fights for justice on what may be the final days of his life:
2. Sign the name wall, if you haven't already. And if you have, send it to your friends and family. Each name means a more united front for justice:
3. Make sure everyone knows about this injustice. Spread the word on Facebook and Twitter (using the hashtag #TooMuchDoubt) so that Troy Davis's story can be heard. We still have a chance to save his life, but only if people are willing to speak out against injustice.
Today, the state of Georgia has declared their intention to execute a man even though the majority of the people who put him on the row now say he is innocent and many implicate one of the other witnesses as the actual killer. Now that a date has been set, we cannot relent. We must redouble our efforts.
Thank you. Please act quickly and forward this message to all who believe the justice system defeats itself when it allows a man to be executed amid so much doubt.
Benjamin Todd Jealous
President and CEO
Amnesty International, who has been working on behalf of Troy Davis for many years, urged the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles to grant clemency. The Nobel Prize winning human rights organization has been championing Troy Davis's case gathering over 300,000 signatures in support of clemency. The story of Troy Anthony Davis has touched the hearts and minds of former president Jimmy Carter, Bishop Desmond Tutu, former FBI Director William Sessions and countless others.
Amnesty International says this execution would be unconscionable, especially as doubts about Davis’ guilt have never been erased.
Please pass this story on using the "share" feature on this site or linking it to Facebook. We need your support. Regardless of the position you take on capital punishment, any reasonable person would agree that we should do whatever we can to avoid executing an innocent person. But somehow the Supreme Court does not take that position.
In his most recent book, "The Conservative Assault on the Constitution", quoting Chief Justice William Rehnquist, noted Constitutional scholar Erwin Chemerinsky wrote, "Claims of actual innocence based on newly discovered evidence have never been held to state a ground for federal habeas relief absent an independent constitutional violation occurring in the underlying state criminal proceeding." So convicting and even executing an innocent person is not a constitutional violation according to Rehnquist and several other justices.
The Supreme Court issued a temporary stay of execution on the Troy Davis case in order to grant the court enough time to determine if they would hear his case. They decided not to hear the case. Justices Scalia and Thomas dissented from a stay of a death sentence in 2009 declaring: "This Court has never held that the Constitution forbids the execution of a convicted defendant who has had a full and fair trial but is later able to convince a habeas court that he is 'actually' innocent."
According to Erwin Chemerinsky, these justices are willing to accept the risk of executing an innocent person to avoid the costs of a large number of petitions coming from those on death row.
You can call the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles. I called to urge clemency for Troy Davis. This takes about 5 minutes out of your life. They'll ask why you're calling. You can answer that you are calling to urge the board to grant clemency in the case of Troy Anthony Davis. They will then ask your name -- and that's it. PLEASE CALL or write today:
The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles
2 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, SE
Suite 458, Balcony Level, East Tower
Atlanta, Georgia 30334-4909
Telephone: (404) 656-5651