Guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. It’s the foundation of our justice system, built to serve and protect the wrongly accused. But in the case of Troy Davis, it’s a principle that has been defied, ignored and trampled on. Davis has captured considerable attention because of the doubt raised over whether he killed Mark MacPhail in Savannah in 1989.
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The U.S. Supreme Court even granted Davis a hearing to prove his innocence. It was the first time it had done so for a death row inmate in at least 50 years but he couldn’t convince a judge to grant him a new trial. The officer’s family believes there is no doubt that Davis killed MacPhail and prosecutors say the right man was convicted.
Troy’s execution is scheduled for next week, and there is simply too much doubt in his case for us to allow this to happen. On Monday, September 19th, Troy has his final hearing in front of the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles. They have the power to halt the scheduled execution and commute Troy’s sentence, permanently preventing what could be a wrongful execution.
It is now up to us to make sure the Board hears our voices loud and clear. Send a letter to the Board asking them to grant clemency for Troy Davis.
It is hard to fathom that our justice system would sentence a man to death when there is so much doubt.
Consider these items:
– Seven of the nine original witnesses in Troy’s case have recanted or changed their story;
– One eyewitness testified for the first time in 2010 that he saw his relative, not Davis, shoot Officer MacPhail
– At least 10 individuals have implicated the alternative suspect as the actual perpetrator.
William S. Sessions, a former FBI director under presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush, argued in the Journal-Constitution on Thursday that “serious questions about Davis’ guilt” remained. The case, Sessions said, was “highlighted by witness recantations, allegations of police coercion and a lack of relevant physical evidence.”
This week, Amnesty International said it delivered more than 500,000 signatures to the state Board of Pardons and Paroles, which will hold a clemency hearing for Davis on Monday. Former President Carter and Archbishop Desmond Tutu are among those who have raised questions about his guilt. The Atlanta march is one of 300 rallies, vigils and other events organized worldwide by Amnesty International in what it is billing as a “Global Day of Amnesty for Troy Davis.”
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Simply put , pro lifers believe that every person is sacred, every life is precious – even the life of one who has violated or possibly violated the rights of others by taking a life. Human dignity is not qualified by what we do. It cannot be earned or forfeited. Human dignity is an irrevocable character of each and every person.