Monday, November 5, 2007

Support Troy Davis

Troy Davis came within 24 hours of execution by the state of Georgia last July. He was granted a 90-day stay. The Georgia Supreme Court this month will decide if Davis gets a new trial.

I interviewed Davis last May (you can read the interview on www. He was found guilty in 1991 of murdering two persons, including a police officer, and sentenced to death. There was no physical evidence or a weapon found -- the prosecution's case entirely depended on witness testimony.

After his conviction, seven of the nine witnesses later recanted or contradicted their testimony. Many of them said they were pressured or coerced by the police. One of the witnesses, however, who has not recanted, is an individual many believe, including several witnesses who heard him admitted to the crime. Furthermore, nine individuals have signed affidavits, implicating this suspect as the actual shooter.

All along, Davis has maintained his position: He was not the shooter. In my interview, the young man reiterated this over and over again.

All his appeals have been exhausted, mainly because a federal death penalty appeal law that President Bill Clinton signed, which states that an appeal must be based on procedural issues that took place during the trial, not afterwards.

Amnesty International USA are among many organizations who have championed Davis' case. They have a petition on their web site, urging the Georgia's high court to seriously consider the case and rule in favor of a new trial for Davis.

That state's supreme court recently ruled that the young man who was sentenced to prison for having oral sex with a fellow high school student -- both individuals were underage at the time, be released. If they saw a miscarriage of justice in that case, surely the justices will see the same in Davis' verdict.

Troy Davis' life was temporary spared but if he isn't granted a new hearing or trial, his life again will be at the executioner's door.

Amnesty International urges all to sign the petition today. "Together we'll send a strong message to the Georgia authorities that when it comes to the death penalty, fairness matters," concludes executive director Larry Cox.

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