Global Protests Held in Troy
By Ray Glier
September 16, 2011
Some 300 protest rallies were held worldwide Friday
ahead of a last-ditch parole board hearing for death
row inmate Troy Davis, whose planned execution sparked
an international movement.
shooting death of a police officer in
Georgia, but his supporters say there is strong
evidence supporting his claim of innocence.
On Thursday, petitions with 663,000 names were handed
to the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles urging
clemency. The board convenes Monday to consider the case.
Laura Moye, the Death Penalty Abolition campaign
director for Amnesty International
was planned in downtown
followed by a service at
spiritual center of the civil rights movement in the
1960s under Martin Luther King.
She said rallies for
and carried on throughout the day in the
Latin America, Europe and
Another 10 events were held in
Davis, who is scheduled to die by lethal injection next
week at a prison in
The parole board is made up of five members and it
takes a simple majority to decide a case.
"We hope the message they hear is that there is too
much doubt in this case," Moye said. "Can we even rely
on the conviction of Troy
not going to execute someone who is innocent?"
In the more than two decades that he has been in jail
for the murder of white police officer Mark Allen
MacPhail, Davis, who is African-American, has
maintained his innocence.
And seven out of nine witnesses who gave evidence at
his trial in 1991 have recanted or changed their testimony.
No murder weapon was ever found, no DNA evidence or
witnesses have since said the murder was committed by
another man -- a witness who testified against him.
The case has became internationally famous as the face
of what critics call a corrupted justice system in the
US deep South, with a black man wrongly and hastily
convicted of killing a white officer.
American Civil Liberties Union attorney Tanya Greene
said the events will carry on over the weekend, saying
there were busloads of people arriving from the suburbs.
"There is a great mobilization, this is more than I
have known in recent history... because it's so clear
that he was railroaded, the witnesses lied. We have all
the evidence now," she said.
"It has energized people, there are a lot of
organizations all across the
world, not necessarily focused on death penalty
regularly, because they say that this is an injustice
that we all should pay attention to. Because if it can
happen to him, it can happen to anyone."
The petitions delivered to the
included signatures from 26 former death row prisoners
who were exonerated of their crimes.
ordered a federal judge in
hearing to consider new evidence.
In August 2010, however, a US District Court in
denied him a new trial. The top