After twenty years of attempts to prove his innocence, Troy Anthony Davis was put to death by the state of Georgia on Wednesday night.
Shortly before his execution, his sister Martina Davis-Correia made an emotional appeal for an end to "the atrocities" that are happening in jails and prisons. (Davis-Correia wrote about her years of effort to win the release of her brother in the "Beyond Prisons" issue of YES! Magazine.)
Crowds of Davis supporters gathered outside the prison in Jackson, Georgia, where the execution took place, outside the White House, and in other cities from Portland, Ore., to Paris. Hundreds of thousands signed petitions, wrote letters, and made phone calls. President Jimmy Carter, Pope Benedict XVI, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu were among those asking for clemency. The twitter hashtags #TroyDavis, #MrDavis, and others related to the case were trending worldwide on Wednesday night as people from around the world waited to see if a person whose guilt is in doubt would be executed.
Troy Davis was declared dead at 11:08 pm EST.
Thomas Ruffin, attorney and witness to the execution, told Democracy Now! that among Davis' last words was a request was for "an end to the madness of capital punishment."
Colorlines' photo essay from "a wrenching night of global solidarity."
Why real justice means fewer prisons.
Why? The death penalty drains money from strapped state budgets, and police chiefs don't consider it effective in deterring crime.
Inside Sister Helen Prejean's crusade to change the pope's mind on the death penalty.