Today we mourn for the sad loss of Troy Davis who was put to death in the early hours of this morning. His life was taken away by the hypocritical hands of the state of Georgia. His death marks the ends of over 20 years of campaigning for the truth that would surely have seen him found to be innocent. The state of Georgia has taken a calculated decision to execute a man despite not holding a shred of physical evidence to implicate him in the crime they accuse him of. This is wrong on so many levels.
As the reality of his death sinks in we are left to look to the future to ensure that such a miscarriage of justice is never again allowed to occur. In Troy’s death we can draw out the very visual growing support for the abolition of the death penalty. Over a million people signed a petition calling for a stay of execution. The Council of Europe, MP’s and celebrities all got behind his case. There was a clear and loud message that reverberated around a globalised world about the abhorrent nature of both Troy’s death but also the use of the death penalty.
When I was stood outside the US embassy last Friday alongside hundreds of others who had turned out at short notice we were read a message from Troy. This message contained a request, no stronger, a demand to not give up the fight. Yesterday, a day before his execution Troy reiterated his call saying:
“The struggle for justice doesn’t end with me. This struggle is for all the Troy Davises who came before me and all the ones who will come after me.
I’m in good spirits and I’m prayerful and at peace. But I will not stop fighting until I’ve taken my last breath.”
I finish therefore with a promise, a promise to Troy and to all others who have been needlessly put to death at the hands of the state – I will not give up, I will continue this fight until we see the complete world-wide abolition of capital punishment. Troy has had the ability to speak taken from him for the last 20 years, and now we will never hear him speak again. With Troy in mind I urge you to join me in this fight. It is not going to be easy, we will see more innocent men and women put to death – but it is a fight I feel compelled to take on. Please join me.