by Jen Marlowe
Last Monday, I attended the funeral service of Virginia Davis in Savannah, Ga. Rev. Dr. Warnock delivered a passionate eulogy for Virginia, which ended with a powerful call to action: The best way to honor Virginia’s life, he said, is to fight for her son Troy’s life.
I am writing to ask you to help fight for Troy’s life.
Troy Davis is on death row for the 1989 murder of police officer Mark MacPhail in Savannah, Ga. Troy has always maintained his innocence, and there was never any physical evidence linking him to the crime. Seven out of the nine non-police witnesses have since recanted or changed their testimony. New witnesses have come forth identifying another suspect.
Yet, on March 28, the U.S. Supreme Court denied Troy’s final appeal, clearing the way for Georgia to set the execution date. Troy’s sister, Martina, said her mother “died of a broken heart. I don’t think my mother could have taken another execution date.”
That execution date could be set any day now. Troy’s life will then be in the hands of Georgia’s Board of Pardon and Paroles, who have the power to grant Troy clemency.
What you can do
1. Sign the Amnesty USA petition, asking the Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole to grant Troy clemency, and forward it to others.
2. Collect signatures on a download-able version of the petition.
3. If you are a lawyer or a legal professional, add your name to the legal professional sign-on letter.
4. If you are a member of the clergy, add your name to the clergy sign-on letter.
5. If you have contacts with legal professionals or members of the clergy, forward them the sign-on letters and urge them to sign.
6. If you have contacts in Georgia, urge them to sign the petition or sign-on letters, if they are legal professionals or members of the clergy. It is important that the board know that this issue matters to folks around the country and around the world – but especially that it matters to folks in Georgia.
7. One million tweets for Troy! If you are Twitter user, then please consider tweeting for Troy.
Some sample tweets include:
- When in doubt, don’t execute!! Sign the petition for #TroyDavis! www.tinyurl.com/troyepetition
- Too much doubt! Stop the execution! #TroyDavis needs us! www.tinyurl.com/troyepetition
- No room for doubt! Stop the execution of #TroyDavis . Retweet, sign petition www.tinyurl.com/troyepetition
- Case not “ironclad”, yet Georgia could execute #TroyDavis ! Not on our watch! Petition: www.tinyurl.com/troyepetition
- No murder weapon. No physical evidence. Stop the execution! #TroyDavis petition: www.tinyurl.com/troyepetition
- 7 out of 9 eyewitnesses recanted. No physical evidence. Stop the execution of #TroyDavis www.tinyurl.com/troyepetition
Troy’s case is deeply personal to me. Troy is a friend of mine. I have corresponded with Troy for the last four years, visited him twice in prison and written about his case. I have gotten to know and become close to his incredible family and witnessed first-hand their struggle to bring justice to Troy.
But even if Troy were not my friend, even if I did not know the Davis family – Troy’s case should still be deeply personal to me, deeply personal to all of us. As Laura Moye, the Amnesty USA death penalty abolition coordinator, and I were gathering petition signatures in Savannah last week among union-member day laborers, a young man called out emotionally, “Troy could be your brother, your son! This could be any of us!”
Put another way, as the T-shirt in support of Troy states, “I am Troy Davis.”
I hope you will take the time to learn more about Troy’s case. Thank you in advance for doing all you can to prevent Troy’s execution. As the young man in the union hall reminded me, Troy is all of us.
Jen Marlowe is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, author, playwright, human rights advocate and founder of donkeysaddle projects. Her new book, “The Hour of Sunlight: One Palestinian’s Journey from Prisoner to Peacemaker,” co-written with and about Palestinian peace activist Sami Al Jundi, has just been published by Nation Books. Her previous book was “Darfur Diaries: Stories of Survival.” Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.