Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Poster of the Week, Pt. 2

Killing Him Would Not be Right
Amnesty International; Fellowship of Reconciliation; Clearinghouse on Criminal Justice; National Coalition Against the Death Penalty; Southern Coalition on Jails and Prisons
Offset, circa 1984
United States

CSPG’s Poster of the Week* calls our attention to the pending execution of Troy Davis on Wednesday, September 21 in Georgia. Davis has been on Georgia’s death row for close to 20 years after being convicted of killing off-duty police officer Mark MacPhail in Savannah. Since his conviction, seven of the nine non police witnesses have recanted their testimony, alleging police coercion and intimidation in obtaining the testimony. There is no physical evidence linking Davis to the murder.

Last March, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Davis should receive an evidentiary hearing, to make his case for innocence. Several witnesses have identified one of the remaining witnesses who has not recanted, Sylvester “Redd” Coles, as the shooter. People throughout the world are asking for clemency or a new trial for Davis, including former President Jimmy Carter, Pope Benedict XVI, Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Congressmen Hank Johnson and John Lewis, former FBI Director and Judge William Sessions.

One of the jurors, Brenda Forrest, told CNN in 2009, “All of the witnesses — they were able to ID him as the person who actually did it.” Since the seven witnesses recanted, she says: “If I knew then what I know now, Troy Davis would not be on death row. The verdict would be not guilty.”

Troy Davis has three major strikes against him. First, he is an African-American man. Second, he was charged with killing a white police officer. And third, he is in Georgia.

On Tuesday, September 20, Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles announced it rejected clemency for Troy Anthony Davis. Time is running out. There are only 24 hours left to stop the execution and we must act now. Please urge them to reconsider.

Please e-mail the Georgia parole board and Chatham County District Attorney Larry Chisolm and ask them to reconsider their decision. Go to: http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/1265/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=8257

*This poster was originally produced to stop the execution of James Dupree Henry, for the 1974 murder of 81-year-old Orlando civil rights leader Zellie L. Riley. The poster uses a quote from Riley's son arguing for clemency. Henry, whose final words were "I am innocent," was evaluated as mentally retarded before his execution on September 20, 1984. In 2002, the Supreme Court decision in Atkins v. Virginia declared that "executions of mentally retarded criminals are 'cruel and unusual punishments'."


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