There was no physical evidence against Davis. No murder weapon was ever found. Seven of nine nonpolice eyewitnesses recanted or changed their testimony, saying they were pressured by police to finger Davis, who is Black.
Witness Dorothy Ferrell revealed in a sworn affidavit the intimidating methods cops used to collect their evidence. Ferrell said she felt she had to cooperate since she was on parole. I told the detective that Troy Davis was the shooter, even though the truth was that I didnt see who shot the officer, Ferrell said.
Despite mounting evidence of a frame-up, Georgia courts turned down every appeal Davis filed. They used the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, enacted by President William Clinton, to justify their refusal to reopen the case.
Three times the state of Georgia ordered Daviss execution but had to back down in face of a public outcry. In 2009 the Supreme Court reviewed the case and ordered a lower court to reexamine the facts and rule whether there was enough new evidence that could prove his innocence.
Justice Antonin Scalia dissented, arguing Davis should be executed even if it turned out he was innocent. This Court has never held that the Constitution forbids the execution of a convicted defendant who had a full and fair trial but is later able to convince a habeas court that he is actually innocent, Scalia wrote.
The U.S. district judge who reviewed the case in 2010 upheld Daviss conviction, giving the green light to the state of Georgia to proceed with his legal murder.
In Atlanta there will be a September 16 march from Woodruff Park to the Ebenezer Baptist Church. An evening service there will hear Amnesty International Executive Director Larry Cox; NAACP President Ben Jealous; Rev. Raphael Warnock of Ebenezer Baptist Church; Martina Correia, Daviss sister; former death row prisoners who were later exonerated; and others. Other September 16 actions have been set for cities from New York and Oakland, Calif., to Berlin, London, and beyond.
Tens of thousands of letters and petitions will be delivered to the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles September 15. The parole board will hold a clemency hearing September 19. A vigil will take place outside the hearing at the James H. Floyd Building at 2 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. To send a letter to the board, go to www.justicefortroy.org or fax your message to the parole board at (404) 651-8502.
For more information, see www.justicefortroy.org; www.iamtroy.com; www.gfadp.org; or email email@example.com.
Attica to Troy Davis - US justice
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