Troy Davis, 1968-2011

As most of you now know, last night the state of Georgia executed Troy Davis. Though the U.S. Supreme Court delayed the execution by issuing a brief stay, Troy Davis was pronounced dead at 11:08 p.m.

Reflecting on the time his family spent with Troy yesterday, his sister, Kimberly Davis, stated, “Our last moments were joyous. My brother was giving us charge as to what he wanted us to do, telling us to hold our heads up, telling my nephew to continue to be all that he could be… My niece was showing him her ballet shoes and telling him to stand on his tippy toes like a ballerina.”  TADP joins so many around the world in offering our deepest condolences to the Davis family who has suffered so much. We also continue to hold the MacPhail family in our prayers as well.   

The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (NCADP) sent an email last night stating: Today the state of Georgia denied the humanity of Troy Anthony Davis. The state of Georgia also denied the humanity of his family, whose grief and loss is real and worthy of recognition. Georgia also denied the humanity of millions of people in Georgia, across the country and the word. This execution being done in the name of the people of Georgia, indeed, in the name of all of us bound by the laws of the U.S. Constitution was done without our agreement and over our vigorous and sustained objection.

The effort to save the life of Troy Davis ends today but the campaign to end the death penalty begins anew, in earnest. If the people cannot control their government, if what is done in our name is done despite our objection, it is our solemn duty to work with the people of Georgia to make it right. Government must be responsible and accountable to the people – all the people equally.

We pledge to follow the example set by the Davis Family and Troy, to continue the fight, upholding the dignity and humanity of every person – if this is not the last execution in Georgia, it will be among the last.

Today, the state of Georgia has demonstrated the extreme degree to which its system of justice is broken. It cannot be sustained. We call on all who have worked so tirelessly in Georgia to prevent this travesty of justice to work equally hard with us to end the death penalty in Georgia, and everywhere so that no family will again have to suffer what Troy Davis’s family has suffered today.

We, at TADP, ask you to renew your commitment to this fight by supporting this work in whatever ways you are able. Until the death penalty is repealed, there will always be more Troy Davises. How can you get more involved? Join a local TADP chapter, contact TADP about your willingness to write letters to the editor for your local papers, invite a speaker from TADP to speak to your community of faith or civic organization, get involved with our spring write-a-thons and Justice Day, or work with TADP to plan an educational event in your community. And please continue to support the work of abolition by donating to TADP as we cannot do this work without you.

Today is an extremely hard day for all of us. But even as we grieve, we also can be inspired by Troy Davis’ own words spoken yesterday, “The struggle for justice does not end with me. This struggle is for all the Troy Davises who came before me. I’m in good spirits and I’m prayerful and at peace. But I will not stop fighting until I’ve taken my last breath. Georgia is prepared to snuff out the life of an innocent man.” And Georgia did, but we will keep on struggling until no state can do it again.

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