Next Wednesday, Georgia death row inmate Troy Davis is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection. Davis’ case has drawn wide protests because seven out of the nine witnesses that testified against him have recanted their stories, and there is “no physical or scientific evidence” tying him to the death of the Savannah police officer he was convicted of killing.
Now, civil rights hero Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) has joined with 50 members of Congress to write an open letter to the Georgia State Board of Pardon & Paroles asking it to grant clemency to Troy Davis because of the “cloud of doubt” that exists over his case:
It is clear now that the doubts plaguing Davis’s case can never be adequately addressed; the lack of scientific or relevant physical evidence has made it impossible to resolve with any degree of certainty. Over the last four years, the inability of our courts to resolve these uncertainties has shaken public confidence in our judicial system, and an execution under such a cloud of doubt would do nothing but further undermine that confidence. Public faith in the integrity of justice in Georgia is at stake and it is for this reason that we urge you to grant clemency to Troy Davis.
The 51 members of Congress join a growing chorus of voices calling for Davis to not be executed under such circumstances. Individuals and organizations ranging from former president Jimmy Carter to the Vatican to former Republican Rep. Bob Barr (GA) have made similar pleas.
The NAACP and Amnesty International are both running campaigns to stop the execution, and Troy Davis’s sister started a petition on Change.org calling for the execution to be halted that has gained more than 200,000 signatures in five days. Amnesty International is organizing a global day of solidarity with Troy Davis today with scores of rallies planned across the United States and internationally. Find a rally here.