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The world is still coming to terms with the shocking execution of Georgia inmate Troy Davis as more details emerge of Davis’ final moments. Davis spoke to the spectators gathered to watch him be put to death on Tuesday night. His final words before the lethal injection took his life were chilling.
Addressing some of his last words to the family of the victim, Mark MacPhail, who were in the viewing gallery, Davis lifted his head as needles were inserted into his arm, and insisted, as he always has done, that he was not responsible for killing the young, off-duty police officer.
“I am innocent. The incident that happened that night was not my fault,” he said, according to the four US media representatives who attended. “I personally did not have a gun. I was not the one who took the life of your father, son, brother.” Davis then turned to prison officials. “For those about to take my life, may God have mercy on your souls. May God bless your souls.”
Outside, the crowd of nearly 700 people cried and held hands as Troy Davis was killed. Over a million people from around the world signed petitions in support of Davis. Riot police and helicopters were dispatched as the execution approached, however there were no incidents of violence. Even though, many protesters were angry.
Davis’ lawyers amounted the execution to a “legal lynching.” “In the state of Georgia 48.4 percent of people on death row this morning were black males, and in Georgia they make up no more than 15 percent of the population,” his lawyers told reporters outside the jail.
Polls show that 57 percent of Americans believe Davis is innocent. This may be, as I have been saying, the catalyst that ends capital punishment in America. The US currently executes more people than any country in the world except China, Iran, North Korea and Yemen.
Although just over 60 percent of the public still support capital punishment, that number appears to have been slowly falling since the 1990s. DNA technology has allowed several death row inmates to be exonerated in recent years, denting faith in the system. Davis released a final message to supporters earlier in the day.
Edward Dubose, a member of the Georgia NAACP, met with Troy before his execution. “Troy wanted me to let you know – keep the faith. The fight is bigger than him … The death penalty in this country needs to end. They call it execution; we call it murder.”