What You Can Do to Stop the Execution of Troy Davis

In two weeks, Georgia plans to execute a man whose guilt is in doubt, but there is still hope for clemency.
Troy Davis crowd by World Coalition

An execution warrant for Georgia death-row inmate Troy Davis was announced on Tuesday. His execution is now scheduled to take place on September 21 at 7pm.

Davis has been on death row for 20 years for the 1989 murder of police officer Mark MacPhail. Since his conviction, however, the case against him has completely fallen apart. There is no physical evidence linking Davis to the murder; 7 of 9 eyewitnesses have recanted or contradicted their testimony; and one of the remaining witnesses has been implicated as the actual shooter. Despite a lengthy appeals process and an evidentiary hearing ordered by the US Supreme Court, there remain scores of unresolved questions about what actually happened the night of the murder. Only one thing in Davis’s case is crystal clear: there is overwhelming doubt. And, in the words of GSU law professor Anne Emmanuel, “A verdict that is not ironclad is not good enough to support a death penalty.”

Once the US Supreme Court denied Davis’s final appeal on March 28, an execution date became inevitable. An execution, however, is not.

As GSU Law Professor Russ Covey said, “The state of Georgia does not have to execute Troy Davis, and it should not execute Troy Davis.”

Davis is scheduled for a clemency hearing before the Georgia Board of Pardons & Parole on September 19, two days before his scheduled execution. Immediate action is needed to let the Board know that people all over the world are greatly concerned about putting a possibly innocent man to death.

What you can do:

  1. Sign the petition to the Georgia Board of Pardons & Parole asking them to grant Troy Davis clemency and encourage others to do the same.
  2. Attorneys, law professors: endorse a sign-on letter from legal professionals to the GA Board of Pardons & Parole (non-lawyers: encourage friends who are legal professionals to endorse).
  3. Members of the clergy (all faiths): endorse a clergy sign-on letter to the GA Board of Pardons & Parole (non-clergy: encourage friends in the clergy to endorse.)
  4. Work on organizing an event for Friday, September 16th’s Global Day of Solidarity for Troy Davis.
  5. Watch the Amnesty International video series about the Troy Davis case, explaining in depth exactly what is meant by “too much doubt.”

  • Troy Davis' sister on defending her brother's innocence.

  • Patrice Gaines: We can keep our streets safe without throwing people away.

  • Why real justice means fewer prisons.

  • The American problem with mass incarceration is less about crime than it is about how—and who—we lock up.