Tonight the state of Georgia is planning to execute Troy Davis, though there is grave doubt about his guilt in the murder of Mark MacPhail, a Savannah police officer. At the same time, Lawrence Brewer is also scheduled to die in Texas for the race-motivated, horrific dragging death of James Byrd.
James Byrd’s son, Ross, is opposed to the death penalty and recently stated, “You can’t fight murder with murder. Life in prison would have been fine. I know he can’t hurt my daddy anymore. I wish the state would take in mind that this isn’t what we want.”
Both cases are rife with issues of race, class, and violence. Both cases are deeply troubling in different ways and both Troy Davis and Lawrence Brewer are running out of time.
Earlier today, six former wardens who oversaw executions released a statement urging Georgia corrections officials to ask the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles to reconsider their decision in Davis’ case. If the execution does go forward as planned, the letter asks them to allow prison workers to opt out of participation.
If you haven’t yet contacted the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles asking for clemency for Troy Davis, you still have time to email them at Clemency_Information@pap.state.ga.us.
There is still hope for stays in both cases, but the urgency of our work right now is a stark reminder of just how broken this system is and how much we need to end the death penalty once and for all. Particularly in the case of Troy Davis, with so much lingering doubt and with the option of life without parole on the table, why are we executing him? I hope you will all consider becoming involved with us at TADP, supporting us with your time or financial gifts, or with your state organization working to abolish the death penalty. We need you to end this nightmare.
In closing, I will leave you with a statement that Troy made yesterday about his impending execution. My hope and prayer is for a stay, but no matter what happens tonight, Troy’s words will continue to inspire us all as we move forward in this work to end the death penalty.
“The struggle for justice does not end with me. This struggle is for all the Troy Davis’ 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.”
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