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By the time you read this, Troy Davis may know his fate. On Monday, Troy Davis and supporters pleaded for clemency in front of the Georgia Board of Paroles and Pardons amid unprecedented support for his imminent death sentence to be commuted. The hearing and decision is expected on Tuesday.
Georgia legal system sentenced Davis 20 years ago for the murder of an off-duty police officer. Since that time, Davis and family members have maintained his innocence. With no physical evidence linking Davis to the crime, he was convicted on eyewitnesses’ testimony. The majority of witnesses have since recanted.
In fact, one witness has come forward stating that another man confessed to killing the officer at a party. Despite this, the execution has been scheduled for Wednesday.
A trending topic on Twitter, more and more people are convinced that Georgia may be taking the life of an innocent man. Nearly one million signatures have been collected on a petition requesting clemency for Davis. Three hundred demonstrations and vigils have been held around the globe in the past few days, with protesters holding signs stating “I am Troy Davis” and “Justice for Troy Davis.”
The parole board heard from one of the jurors who originally recommended the death penalty for Davis. Brenda Forrest told the panel that she no longer trusted the verdict or sentence: “I feel, emphatically, that Mr. Davis cannot be executed under these circumstances,” she said, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The board also heard from Quiana Glover, who testified that she had heard Sylvester Coles, one of the witnesses that fingered Davis, confess in June 2009 to having been the killer, at a party where he had been drinking heavily. Members of the murdered officer’s family still believe Davis is the killer and ask that the execution go forward.
We are at an important point in our legal history. If Georgia decides to go forward with the execution, as they have in the past, the death penalty will no longer be sustainable in the United States. Yes, it may take awhile to pitter out, especially in pro-death states like Texas. But, the majority opinion in the U.S. will change. The tides are already changing and executing Troy Davis will be the final push.
Whether he is guilty or innocent is not the point. There is simply too much doubt to kill someone. Even if the witnesses had not recanted and pointed their finger at Troy, eyewitness testimony is not enough. Study after study has proved that. How in the hell did the jury ever sentence this man based on no physical evidence?
And how has court after court upheld this freaking travesty of a conviction? And how can the country be so blind to these injustices? The West Memphis Three, an equally horrendous case, received more media attention because the media could get to them. The Georgia Board of Paroles and Pardon has never allowed media to interview Davis. Why???
Because they know they royally screwed this up. And this is your chance, Georgia, to make amends. Grant Davis clemency once and for all. Allow him a new trial. If you were right, you have nothing to lose. And if you were wrong, that is the very least you can do for Davis.
Image Courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/javacolleen/