This will be a quick and dirty post because I’m swamped, but there are two important action items that you really must act upon.
First, the Senate Appropriations Committee is voting on the Agricultural Appropriations Bill this afternoon. I’m not sure when. It looks like the Senate is recessed until 2:15 p.m so that’s 45 minutes from now. I can’t find anything about when the vote is going to be held, but if you have not yet done so, please contact your Senator (if he or she is on the Appropriations Committee). All contact info (including telephone and fax numbers) are included, as well as a sample template letter. It will literally take you 3 minutes. CLICK HERE.
Second, Troy Davis has been given an execution date of September 21. What follows is a post about Troy Davis by Emily L. Hauser. This case is just APPALLING:
I repeat: Mr. Davis is almost certainly innocent of the crime for which the state of Georgia wants to kill him.
There is no physical evidence connecting him to the crime, seven out of the nine eyewitnesses have recanted, stating that they had been pressured, coerced or frightened into testifying, and jury members have said flat out: “If I knew then what I know now, Troy Davis would not be on death row.”
The police officer that Mr. Davis was convicted of murdering deserves that justice be done — but killing a man who had nothing to do with Officer MacPhail’s death will only compound the injustice horribly.
- If you haven’t signed the Amnesty petition yet, please do so by clicking here.
- If you are a member of the legal profession or clergy, please join the sign-on letters being circulated in support of Mr. Davis’s request for clemency. Legal professionals click here; clergy, click here.
- Write a letter to Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles (address and sample letter below): Here again, it is important to focus on the holes in the case — the fact that anything less than an ironclad verdict cannot be the basis for the death penalty.
- Watch the following video, regarding clemency for Troy, and pass it on– “The State of Georgia does not have to execute Troy Davis and it should not execute Troy Davis,” in the words of Prof Russell Covey, Criminal Law Expert, Georgia State University. “There is one fail-safe built into the system that still exists, and that’s the clemency process.”
- ASK OTHERS TO DO LIKEWISE, particularly citizens of Georgia. Send a link to this post, or to any of the above information, and ask your friends and loved ones to take action. Twitter and Facebook are great ways to spread news far and wide — if you are on either, please use them in support of Troy.
There is no other way to put this: There is a very real possibility that Troy Davis will be dead before the month is out, killed for a crime that he didn’t commit. Please do whatever you can to save his life.
Sample letter to the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles (if you are a member of the legal profession or clergy, please say so in your letter):
Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles
2 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, SE
Suite 458, Balcony Level, East Tower
Atlanta, Georgia 30334-4909.
To the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles,
In the interest of justice, I appeal to you to grant clemency to Troy Davis, who is currently scheduled to be executed on September 21. He was sentenced to death in 1991 for the murder of Police Officer Mark MacPhail.
I am deeply concerned that Mr. Davis may be executed despite serious doubts regarding his guilt, and the fact that the case against him has steadily unraveled over the years. There is no physical evidence linking Mr. Davis to the crime, seven out of nine eyewitnesses have recanted, and many witnesses have implicated another man all together, someone reported to have boasted of the crime to friends — one of the original witnesses. There are scores of unresolved questions about what happened the night of the murder, and only one thing is clear: There is overwhelming doubt.
The murder of Officer MacPhail was tragic, and I in no way seek to deny or diminish the pain and suffering the MacPhail family has endured, but executing Troy Davis will not bring them justice. Please act quickly to grant Mr. Davis clemency.
From what I can tell, Arnold & Porter has provided assistance to Mr. Davis in some capacity. An A&P lawyer signed one of the appeals. I don’t know how involved they are. I am going to try to get a friend of mine who does death penalty pro bono work to get involved. If anyone knows ANYTHING about this case, or about his legal representation, please email me at email@example.com. Yes, at this point I’m grasping at straws.
In any event, if you are a legal professional, a member of the clergy, or a resident of Georgia, please send a letter to the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles. The info is listed above.
UPDATE: This quote from the federal judge handling Mr. Davis’s case is chilling:
Moore answered one question posed to him by the U.S. Supreme Court. He found that executing an innocent person would violate the Eighth Amendment’s ban against cruel and unusual punishment.
(Big Daddy DougJ, I’m front-loading this post so it appears first on the front page for a while. I’m fairly certain you won’t mind. -ABL)
UPDATE: Edited to remove an action step that has since been deemed counter-productive.