660,000 say ‘Free Troy Davis!’
Yesterday, the NAACP and other organizations advocating freedom for Troy Davis delivered more than 660,000 petition signatures to the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles in support of halting Troy’s execution and granting him clemency. It was a powerful moment for those who took part, and one that we hope will have a profound impact on the members of the board when they meet to decide Troy’s fate on Monday.
Letter from Troy Davis
Written to Marlene Martin of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty
I received your letter. However they took all of my mail, address book and the only property I have is my eyeglasses. I’m writing with the filter of a pen because I’m not allowed the entire pen. With all these security rules they only allowed me to write down your address. I don’t remember everything you said in your letter but I wanted to thank you, your family and CEDP for everything.
It is time for action so please encourage everyone to reach out to politicians, ministers and grassroots organizations to contact the Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole and the governor to grant me relief and stop this scheduled execution.
Get involved in this movement to put an end to the death penalty. Come to Georgia and take a stand for Justice. Let them know I’m blessed and my faith in God is stronger than ever. Now we have a chance to join together and be heard loud and clear that Georgia needs to stop this execution of an innocent man and end the death penalty altogether.
Excuse my writing but it’s hard using the funnel only.
God bless you and keep up the great work you’re doing.
Forwarded by Marlene Martin, Campaign to End the Death Penalty (CEDP). For more information on Troy Davis and on the Global Day of Action, go to www.nodeathpenalty.org.
All out for Troy Davis
by Marlene Martin
After many long years of fighting, we are now down to the last few days to save the life of Georgia death row prisoner Troy Davis, who is scheduled to be executed on Sept. 21. These nail-biting moments are all that is left to try to convince three of the five members of the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles to grant clemency for Troy, who has run out of his legal appeals.
If the board does grant clemency, Troy will receive either a life sentence or life without the possibility of parole sentence. This “good” outcome has its own cruelties that we will continue to fight against as soon as we win it – but first we have to win it!
The way the system works in Georgia is that the parole board makes decisions on clemency, not the governor – while he appoints the members of the parole board, the governor has no clemency authorization and can’t override the board’s decisions. President Barack Obama doesn’t have powers here either – he can’t grant a pardon in a state criminal case. Of course, if he were to weigh in with vocal support for Troy, that would have a tremendous impact. But Troy’s supporters fear that isn’t likely.
The board will hold a clemency hearing in Troy’s case on Monday, Sept. 19, in Atlanta. This could last for hours – one previous clemency hearing for Troy lasted 10 hours. The board will likely make its decision at the end of that day. Activists will hold a vigil outside the hearing all day long.
We don’t know how this struggle will go, but as Darby Tillis, a former death row prisoner from Illinois, told me yesterday, “We must continue to be strong, remain vigilant and fight to the bitter end.”
A strong show of support for Troy, both for the Global Day of Action, called for Sept. 16 in Atlanta and other cities around the world, and for the vigil outside the clemency hearing on Sept. 19, will be extremely important. These could be the very things that tip the balance.
So far, the response to this threat to Troy’s life has been amazing. By all accounts, there will be thousands of people marching in the streets of Atlanta for Troy on Sept. 16 and then attending a rally afterward in the famous Ebenezer Baptist Church, the church where Martin Luther King Jr. was a pastor.
Rev. Jesse Jackson will make the trip down to Atlanta with his son; Troy’s family will be attending; former prisoners will be there, including Lawrence Hayes, Darby Tillis and Mark Clements of the campaign; and so will members of Amnesty International, the NAACP (which says 2,500 of its members will march) and many other social justice and campus groups. A contingent of Campaign to End the Death Penalty activists will travel to Atlanta to march, too.
Banner drops in support of Troy will take place on college campuses in the lead-up to the march, as well as continuous petitioning and flyering in Georgia and around the country to get the word out to everyone to come out and show their support for Troy on Sept. 16.
The other day, I called Troy’s sister, Martina Correia, hoping to get a few words with her. Martina has been the heart and soul of the struggle to save Troy over many years, even while she was suffering terribly with breast cancer.
When I called, her son answered the phone and explained that she was too ill to talk – that she was, in fact, on her way back into the hospital. I asked him to pass a message of love and support along to Martina and assure her we were doing all we could to mobilize people to defend Troy.
Her son then told me he had the phone on speaker, and I heard Martina say in a weak voice, “Hello Marlene – thank you.” I burst into tears hearing her voice. This strong woman is the reason the struggle for Troy is as big as it is – because of her tireless work for years on end, speaking at meetings large and small and traveling every week to visit Troy. Her brother has been on death row for 19 years – do the math, that’s a lot of visits, and death row is hours away from her home.
I thought about how Martina was always ready to speak to anyone and tell the truth about Troy. She always answered her phone, even one time she did so with laryngitis. Even now, she was making sure her son was taking the calls.
I thought about Martina’s son, who is now in college – what he has had to go through seeing his mother going back in the hospital, being too sick to visit her brother, and having to deal with the threat of the execution of his cherished uncle Troy.
But when Martina heard me, she had nothing but determination in her weak voice, telling me I shouldn’t cry and that everything was good.
Someone who visited Troy recently said he was in good spirits and thankful for everything everyone was doing for him – and that he urged everyone to keep up the pressure. But Troy had one weak moment, and that’s when he spoke about his sister Martina – that’s when the tears came to his eyes.
As Darby Tillis told me, “This man has faced three previous execution dates. Three times he has been through this torture – they just can’t kill him.”
But we know they can. If Martina and all the people who rallied for Troy, whether in the courtroom or in the streets, had not been steadfast in standing for him over these years, he would already be dead.
Now we all have to step up and do what we can – to stand up for Troy, to be Martina’s legs, and to demand clemency and an end to the death penalty.
ALL OUT FOR TROY!
Marlene Martin is national director of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty. To learn more, go to www.nodeathpenalty.org.
What they say: a message of support from California’s death row to Troy Davis
by Kevin Cooper
They say that they are the most trustworthy and justice-seeking people in the world today. They say that they are the most civilized people that there ever has been. They say that they have evolved from the dark ages and have become the most enlightened people that God has ever produced.
They say that they are the “good” in the good vs. evil mentality that is often spoken about, and that they are the very best human beings that have ever inhabited this earth that we all share.
In truth, there can be no doubt that these people are untrustworthy, they are unjust, they are not civilized nor have they evolved or become more enlightened. They aren’t good, and in many cases they act inhuman. These so-called good people do more things of an evil nature than the people who they claim they are better than!
I have to believe, if not stopped they will continue to commit these crimes against humanity in the future, just as they have always done. Our world history is full of people who have been unjustly executed by people and by governments, and on Sept. 21, 2011, Mr. Troy Davis may be the next human being to suffer this fate.
We must stand together as a people to oppose this torture and murder of our fellow human being. Who will it be next? You? Me? Everyone but the rich and powerful have their lives at stake in this unjust and broken legal system that continues to kill poor people no matter what.
End the death penalty and all that it represents!
Send our brother some love and light: Kevin Cooper, C-65304, 4-EB-82, San Quentin State Prison, San Quentin CA 94974.
How you can help stop the execution of Troy Davis
Take action on the Global Day of Solidarity for Troy Davis, Friday, Sept. 16: On Friday, Sept. 16, everyone is urged to pour out onto the streets to demand justice for Troy Davis. Post pictures, local news stories, Facebook posts, videos, blogs, tweets and re-tweets on Twitter and any other visible signs of solidarity for Troy.
This date was chosen because the following Monday, the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles will hold Troy’s final clemency hearing – our final chance to prevent Troy Davis from being executed. All Troy’s supporters need you there. Troy needs you there. To find the event nearest you – hundreds are scheduled around the world – go to Amnesty International.
- Oakland: Outreach and Rally Friday, Sept. 16, 4-6 p.m., Oakland Federal Building, 1301 Clay St., near 12th Street-City Center BART. For more information, call (510) 589-6820 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- San Francisco: Signature gathering with Amnesty International on petitions to send to the Georgia Parole Board Friday, Sept. 16, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Union Square, Geary and Powell Street. Bring signs and banners.
- Los Angeles: Protest Friday, Sept. 16, 5 p.m., Westwood Federal Building, 11000 Wilshire Blvd at Veteran. For more information, call John Parker (323) 899-2003 or Dedon Kamathi (323) 646-4814.
- Atlanta: March Friday, Sept. 16, 6 p.m., assembling at Woodruff Park, Peachtree and Edgewood, and concluding at Ebenezer Baptist Church, 407 Auburn Ave., with a service featuring national civil rights, community and religious leaders, Martina Correia and other family members of Troy Davis, and exonerated prisoners
- New York City: Emergency Demonstration Friday, Sept. 16, 4:30-6 p.m., Times Square, 43rd Street and Seventh Avenue.
Sign all the petitions:
- Sign the NAACP petition
- Sign the NEW NAACP petition to District Attorney Larry Chisolm, asking him to withdraw his death warrant against Troy Davis
- Sign the Color of Change petition, also to DA Larry Chisolm
- Sign the Amnesty International petition
- Sign the International Action Center petition
- Sign the Change.org petition
- Sign the ACLU petition
- Sign the Faithful America petition
The growing range of scholars, world leaders and prominent figures who are also demanding justice – including former President Jimmy Carter, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, John Legend, R.E.M., Russell Simmons, Mia Farrow, Indigo Girls, a former governor of Texas and a former member of Congress from Georgia – is simply awe-inspiring.
The outpouring of support you’ve shown for Troy Davis so far has been phenomenal – more than 660,000 of you have signed the petition for clemency and nearly 500 events have popped up in small towns and big cities alike all over the United States. Supporters from the U.K., France, Denmark, Brazil, Hong Kong, Australia and other countries have also joined in to lend their voices.
Find many more ways to help stop the execution of Troy Davis and to learn more about his case by visiting
- Troy Anthony Davis, his family’s website
- NAACP Too Much Doubt Campaign
- Amnesty International Too Much Doubt Campaign
- International Action Center Stop the Execution Campaign
- Educators for Troy ‘Teach Troy Davis’ Emergency Curriculum for Educators
- Georgians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty
- National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty
- Campaign to End the Death Penalty
Write to Troy: Send our brother Troy some love and light. Troy Anthony Davis, 41, has been on death row in Georgia for more than 19 years: Troy A. Davis, 657378, GDCP G-3-79, P.O. Box 3877, Jackson GA 30233.
Innocence matters. Justice matters to everyone. Act now. To make the biggest impact, we all need to join together.