ALAA Roots — An Unofficial Site

August 5, 2009

2009.08.05: Death Penalty: Week of Action for Troy Davis

Filed under: Civil Rights,Criminal Justice,Racism,Sentencing — nyclaw01 @ 12:46 pm

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Wednesday, August 05, 2009 12:46 PM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: Death Penalty: Week of Action for Troy Davis

When the U.S. Supreme Court returns from summer recess on September 29th, they will finally decide on the fate of Troy Davis.
Help raise awareness about Troy Davis’ case by organizing a teach-in the week of Sept. 21-27


The last official news on Troy Davis was that the U.S. Supreme Court would wait until after summer recess to review Troy’s habeas petition. That date is fast approaching and it’s time once again to mobilize for Troy Davis!

Despite the fact that hundreds of thousands of activists and human rights leaders, such as former President Jimmy Carter and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, have come to recognize Troy’s case as a symbol of all that is wrong about the death penalty, there are still many people who are unaware that this fight for life is even happening.

Before the U.S. Supreme Court returns on September 29th, we must get our campuses and communities talking about Troy’s case and all it represents.

Organize a teach-in the week of Sept. 21-27 for your community and help keep Troy Davis and his fight for justice alive.

Troy’s case touches so many people because it clearly illustrates all the areas where the death penalty repeatedly fails:


  • Racial bias: A 2007 study of death sentences in Connecticut conducted by Yale University School of Law revealed that African-American defendants receive the death penalty at three times the rate of white defendants in cases where the victims are white.
  • Careless allocation of state funds: It costs far more – by some estimates, 3 times the cost – for a state to carry out a death penalty sentence than a non-death penalty sentence. Yet states like Georgia spend almost nothing on state appeals. When it mattered most, Troy was represented by a Resource Center where only two lawyers supported 80 clients.
  • High risk of executing innocent people: No murder weapon or any physical evidence linking Troy Davis to the murder of Mark MacPhail has been found. In fact, one of the two final witnesses has been implicated in nine sworn statements as the real killer. Across the country, 135 people have been sentenced to death, only later to be found innocent. But Troy Davis still sits on death row.

The first step to fighting back against injustice is education. Your teach-in can play a crucial role in opening up a discussion on how the death penalty violates human rights. This is not just a discussion for those in law enforcement and legal fields, but students, teachers, faith leaders and all members of your community should weigh in.

You only have to look to May 19th, the Global Day of Action for Troy Davis, to grasp just how much more there is to this case than meets the eye. Supporters across the U.S. joined voices with advocates from 14 different countries around the globe to demand real action for Troy.

By organizing a teach-in, you will help us to shine an even brighter light on Troy’s case and the larger system of injustice that created it. You only have to look to May 19th, the Global Day of Action for Troy Davis, to grasp just how much power we have when we join our voices. Supporters across the U.S. and those from 14 different countries stood together to demand real action for Troy. Collective actions, like this, have kept hope alive for Troy Davis and others who face injustice.

In Solidarity,

Laura Moye
Director, Death Penalty Abolition Campaign
Amnesty International USA

P.S. Stay tuned for more information about our rally for Troy Davis in Washington, DC on Sat., Sept. 26.



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