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Today we mourn – tomorrow we continue the fight for justice

I am Troy - You are Troy - We are Troy

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.

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Join me outside the US embassy to stop an injustice occurring

The execution date is set. Unless something changes, Troy Davis will be put to death on the 21st September 2011. This is despite a list of doubts surrounding his case.

Troy Anthony Davis was convicted of the murder of Officer Mark Allen MacPhail in 1991. Since 2007, Amnesty international has campaigned alongside Troy’s family and other supporters for a new trial or hearing and clemency.

He was given an opportunity to prove his innocence in 2009 and despite:

  • Four witnesses admitting in court that they lied at trial when they implicated Troy Davis
  • Four witnesses implicating another man as the one who killed Officer MacPhail
  • Three original state witnesses describing police coercion during questioning, including one man who was 16 years old at the time of the murder

Despite this all this, in August 2010 the federal district court judge ruled that although executing an innocent person would be unconstitutional,Troy had not met the extraordinarily high bar for proving his innocence.

You can read more about the doubts surrounding Troy’s case in this Amnesty International briefing.

We have a chance to stop this injustice happening. There is going to be a walk in solidarity for Troy in Georgia (where he is on death row). Our aim in the UK is to illustrate the strength of feeling and international support Troy holds.

This is why I hope you will join me on Friday 16th September 2011 outside the US embassy in London between 5 and 7pm. Troy deserves a fair trial. He does not deserve any punishment, let alone the death penalty while there are such doubts surrounding his case. This is literally a matter of life and death.

Can’t make it but online? Take action here

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