Troy Davis' execution, which was scheduled for this Monday, October
27, has been halted, so that attorneys can file a law suit based on the
claim that he is innocent of the murder for which he was sentenced to
Thanks to Amnesty International and NCADP
for their timely updates, and thanks to the law office of the Southern
Center for Human Rights for this wonderful news. Click below for more
information, and check back often for action requests, or contact
As we have reported here, the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles
refused to grant Troy Davis clemency, the Georgia Supreme Court refused
to give him a new trial, and the United States Supreme Court refused to
hear his case. His execution was scheduled for Monday evening at
7:00p.m. Yesterday, on October 23, there were demonstrations in fifty U.S. cities and
in many countries throughout the world. A CPRC member
attended a large rally for Troy Davis at the Georgia State House. Among
others, two Georgia state senators spoke. Both of them indicated that
they would begin a campaign against the death penalty in Georgia when
the legislature reconvenes in January. Troy sent a phone message
telling people to keep fighting, regardless of what happens on Monday.
His sister Martina, one of the speakers, repeated that message
This stay is not an indication that the system is working. Our criminal justice system allows the execution of an innocent person if the necessary procedures have been followed. The stays for Troy Davis would not have been granted without Martina's work and that of Georgians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, the NAACP, Amnesty International,
and many other groups. What worked, for now, has been the national and
international publicity generated by persistent protest actions. It is
important to keep the case in the news. Please check back often for
news and action requests.
The following suggestions were sent before the October 24th stay by Amnesty International:
Help spread the word on Troy's case by forwarding this information to
friends, family and fellow activists, as well as by text messaging TROY
Write a letter to the editor.
Writing a Letter to the Editor (LTE) on the Troy Davis Supreme Court decision
On Tuesday, September 23, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered a temporary
stay of execution for Troy Davis, effective until they have had a
chance to consider his appeal to the Court. On October 14, the Court
declined to consider his petition, and Troy Davis could be re-scheduled
for execution in the next few weeks. Our goal is to discourage Georgia
officials from continuing to pursue this execution, and to encourage
the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles to reconsider its previous
decision and grant clemency to Troy Davis.
This case will continue to generate significant media coverage. This
is where you come in. The opinion page is one of the most widely read
pages in the newspaper. Because so many people, elected and appointed
officials included, read the opinion section of their local newspaper,
letters to the editor (LTEs) are an excellent way to get your voice
Tips for Writing an LTE:
· Make it your own – if you’re using the sample below, be sure
to change or add to it so it’s YOUR letter. Papers are not likely to
publish a letter that has been sent in by multiple people.
· Keep it short – Most papers have a 150 to 250 word limit and
readers are more likely to focus on short, to-the-point LTEs than long
· Pick one angle – You likely have many reasons for believing
what you are advocating for, but you only have 250 words to tell your
side of the story. Pick just one reason and tailor the LTE to fit that
How to Submit an LTE:
Send the LTE to the email address listed on the website or in the
opinion section of your local newspaper. Be sure to include your full
name, address, and phone number. But don’t stop there… follow up. Make
one phone call to the LTE editor and ask if they plan to print your
Possible LTE points (no need to use them all):
1. Name the article that you are responding to by title, author
and date. If there has not been a recent article on Troy Davis in your
local paper, introduce his case in the first sentence.
2. Emphasize that, with the Supreme Court’s declining to hear his
case, Troy Davis may be executed despite that fact that his strong
claims of innocence will never be heard in court.
3. Note that a major problem with the death penalty is that
important evidence sometimes never gets heard, despite years of appeals.
4. Emphasize that executing Troy Davis while doubts about his
guilt remain will undermine public confidence in Georgia’s justice
5. Emphasize that this execution would solve nothing and would only add to the pain of all involved.
6. Call on Georgia officials to prevent the execution of Troy Davis from proceeding.
Sample Letter to the Editor (LTE):
On Tuesday, October 14, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear Troy
Davis’ appeal for a court, any court, to hold a hearing on compelling
evidence that he may be innocent. He was convicted of shooting police
officer Mark Allen MacPhail, but only on the basis of witness
testimony. Most of the witnesses have since recanted, many alleging
that police coerced them into making false statements.
This serious evidence of his innocence will now never be heard in a court of law.
This is what is wrong with the death penalty. Despite years of
appeals, important evidence sometimes never gets a hearing. Mistakes
go uncorrected, and doubts about guilt are not addressed. Executing
someone where such doubts about his guilt remain unresolved undermines
public confidence in our justice system. Responsible public officials
should not allow that.
In the end, the execution of Troy Davis would solve nothing. It would
only add to the pain of everyone involved, and destroy public faith in
Georgia’s ability to administer justice fairly. Georgia officials
should do the right thing and make sure the execution of Troy Davis
does not proceed.