9.10.2008

help save anthony davis's life

In the US state of Georgia, Troy Anthony Davis has been on death row for 15 years. Unless his sentence is commuted in the next three days, he will be executed.

Davis was convicted of killing an off-duty police officer. However, there is no physical evidence linking Davis to the murder. No murder weapon has been found.

The conviction was based solely on witness testimony and many of these "eyewitnesses" have recanted their stories.

There are accusations of police intimidation of witnesses. And one of the witnesses may be the murderer!

The Georgia Supreme Court ruled 4-3 against allowing a new trial for Mr. Davis. His execution has been scheduled for September 23, 2008.

Meanwhile, reductions in the state's legal defense resources meant that two lawyers represented close to 160 people on death row, including Davis. Also, in 1996 [note there was a Democrat in the White House], Congress passed the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, which decreased avenues of appeals in capital cases.

No court has heard the witness recantations. Davis was turned down throughout his appeals, including at the US Supreme Court.

Click here to send a letter through the ACLU to urge the State Board of Pardons and Paroles to commute Davis's death sentence.

From the ACLU:
Here are excerpts from the affidavits of witnesses who changed the testimony they had given at Troy's trial:

"[The police] were telling me that I was an accessory to murder and that I would. . . go to jail for a long time and I would be lucky if I ever got out, especially because a police officer got killed…I was only sixteen and was so scared of going to jail."

"After the officers talked to me, they gave me a statement and told me to sign it. I signed it. I did not read it because I cannot read … I was totally unsure whether he was the person who shot the officer. I felt pressured to point at him. . . I have no idea what the person who shot the officer looks like."

"The police came and talked to me and put a lot of pressure on me. . . They wanted me to tell them that Troy confessed to me about killing that officer. The thing is, Troy never told me anything about it. I got tired of them harassing me. . . I told them that Troy did it, but it wasn't true."

"[T]here was and is no doubt in my mind that the person who shot the officer had the gun in and was shooting with his left hand." Davis is right-handed.

Public outcry can make a difference in these cases. It will take only a moment, and a man's life hangs in the balance. Please help.

2 comments:

M. Yass said...

The conviction was based solely on witness testimony and many of these "eyewitnesses" have recanted their stories.

It is well-known that so-called "eyewitness" testimony is notoriously unreliable. Five people will see the same car accident, for example, and will give five different and contradictory explanations. They will, though, all insist (and believe) that they are telling the absolute truth.

This is not acceptable in a chippy little car accident case. It is outrageous in a case like this were a human being is facing execution.

L-girl said...

It is well-known that so-called "eyewitness" testimony is notoriously unreliable.

Right. Can you imagine they are determined to put a man to death without any physical evidence linking him to the crime??

While this is not a federal case, this is happening in the country that Stephen Harper would follow into battle.