|Rally for Troy Davis in Atlanta May 19|
Davis, who is Black, has been on death row since 1991 for the shooting of off-duty police officer Mark MacPhail in Savannah, Georgia. MacPhail was white.
There never was any physical evidence connecting Davis to MacPhail. Seven of the nine non-police witnesses who testified against Davis have since recanted or contradicted their original statements. Several say the cops coerced them into naming Davis as the killer.
The U.S. Supreme Court issued a highly unusual ruling in August ordering a federal judge in Georgia to review the case and decide whether new evidence exists that could prove Daviss innocence.
An evidentiary hearing in the case will likely be held in November or December, according to Kathryn Hamoudah of Amnesty International in Atlanta.
Although Daviss supporters are no longer organizing a Washington, D.C., rally September 26which had been timed to coincide with the opening of the Supreme Courts sessiona fall schedule of stepped-up activity has begun. Several teach-ins on the Davis case will take place in the Atlanta area, including at Georgia State University and at Emory University School of Law. The latter is sponsored by the Criminal Law Club, Black Law Student Association, and others.
On its Web site, Amnesty International lists events on college campuses, high schools, and other venues in 23 states and the District of Columbia. For a complete list visit: ww.amnestyusa.org/teachin/display.php.
A vanload of canvassers from Atlanta joins Davis supporters in Savannah, Georgia, every couple of weeks. They are now circulating a new petition asking the state of Georgia to grant clemency to Davis. Previously, Davis supporters garnered more than 11,000 signatures in Savannah on petitions asking the district attorney of Chatham County to grant Davis a new trial. The vans are organized by Amnesty International in Atlanta.
Georgians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty have reinstituted Tuesdays for Troy in Atlanta, organizing petitioning teams in three Atlanta-area locations every second Tuesday.
Students and others interested in becoming part of the international defense campaign or in organizing teach-ins can download an activist guide on the case from Amnesty Internationals Web site, Hamoudah explained.
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