Tuesday, September 23, 2008
I just received an email from Amnesty International on the planned execution of Troy Davis (left) on Tuesday, September 23, 7:00 PM, in a prison in Jackson, Georgia, "despite the fact that serious questions remain regarding his guilt."
Amnesty International includes the following background statement at its Web site:
Restrictions on Federal appeals have prevented Troy Anthony Davis from having a hearing in federal court on the reliability of the witness testimony used against him, despite the fact that most of the witnesses have since recanted, many alleging they were pressured or coerced by police. Troy Davis remains on Georgia death row, and may be scheduled for execution in the near future.
Troy Davis was sentenced to death for the murder of Police Officer Mark Allen MacPhail at a Burger King in Savannah, Georgia; a murder he maintains he did not commit. There was no physical evidence against him and the weapon used in the crime was never found. The case against him consisted entirely of witness testimony which contained inconsistencies even at the time of the trial. Since then, all but two of the state's non-police witnesses from the trial have recanted or contradicted their testimony. Many of these witnesses have stated in sworn affidavits that they were pressured or coerced by police into testifying or signing statements against Troy Davis.
One of the two witnesses who has not recanted his testimony is Sylvester "Red" Coles – the principle alternative suspect, according to the defense, against whom there is new evidence implicating him as the gunman. Nine individuals have signed affidavits implicating Sylvester Coles.
For more information from Amnesty's site, including relevant links, click here.
Bob Herbert wrote an excellent column on the Troy Davis case, "What's the Rush?" (9/19/08). He also states that seven of the nine witnesses have since recanted their stories and that William Sessions, former F.B.I. director, "said that a closer look at the case is warranted." To read the column, click here.
I implore you right now to click on the following link to send an email to the Georgia State Board of Pardons & Paroles urging clemency for Troy Davis:
Amnesty International USA Online Action Center