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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Appeals for Clemency and Reprieve from Execution for Troy Anthony Davis

You may have recently heard the news:

Today, the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles co-signed on the decision to execute Troy Davis.
Despite overwhelming evidence pointing to his innocence -- evidence that prompted former FBI Director William Sessions and more than a million others to write in support of clemency -- Troy's execution is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, September 21.

In moments of immense sadness, moments that shake the foundation of our faith in the justice system and mankind, adequate words are scarce. But there are still a few hours left, and I need your help to save Troy Davis' life.

Chatham County District Attorney Larry Chisolm is the man who originally issued the death warrant against Troy Davis, and he is in a unique position to
petition the judge to withdraw that death warrant against Troy.

Since Troy Davis' conviction, the facts of the case have changed dramatically. The evidence in the Troy Davis case has always been circumstantial due to
a lack of relevant physical evidence and no murder weapon. The conviction was based almost wholly on witness testimony, and seven of the nine witnesses
have recanted their testimony or changed their stories.

In light of this knowledge, the evidence used to convict Troy Davis appears even weaker.

Here's what you can do to help:
Sign the following petitions:

Sign the petition to District Attorney Larry Chisolm. Ask him to petition the judge to withdraw the death warrant, and support clemency for Troy Davis:

An innocent life hangs in the balance. Tell DA Chisolm that he has your support in preventing Troy Davis' execution.
Amnesty international has a last minute petition as well
please go here to sign it

And then there's one at

You can also help by sending the following letters, which I obtained from

Letter 1

September [DATE], 2011

By Fax: (404) 651-8502

Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles

Atlanta, GA

Dear Board Members:

For the past several weeks, as pressure has mounted on both your agency and District Attorney Larry Chisolm to find a way to both serve justice for the community of Savannah and, especially, the family of officer Mark MacPhail, as well as correct what can only be described as the massive failures of the state of Georgia's judiciary to find, indict and try Officer MacPhail's actual, self-confessed murderer, I have worked and prayed that said self-confessed murderer would see reason and step forward to accept responsibility for the crime he committed - for which you have now ordered Troy Davis to die. This seemed to me to be the only way for the DA's office to save face, in light of the fact that the former DA, Spencer Lawton, and his office has been openly ridiculed by the US Attorney General for his handling of the case he concocted against Troy Davis. No one, I believe, envies the position you all have been in.

I write to you today not as a critic, nor an anti-death penalty advocate, nor even as merely a supporter of Troy Davis' but as a person who believes in the existence of immutable human ideals such as truth, freedom, and justice and our innate capacity to manifest as near as we may the closest representation of those ideals. I am neither an anachronism nor a renegade. Citizens all over the world have expressed in their support of Troy their belief in the core principle of "beyond a reasonable doubt" which sits at the heart of the American justice system and at the heart of their pleas to you for justice for Troy Davis. You all may feel as though you, alone, have been unfairly saddled with the burden of correcting the many injustices that have accumulated in the case against Troy Davis, but in reality (and notwithstanding the fact that each and every one of you signed up to be in just such a position, the last option to correct injustices such as that done to Mr. Davis), your work is but one part of that which is done by human rights activists the world over - the work of courageously (and sometimes at peril to ourselves) defending the ideal of justice.

We can do know finer work than this today, and today, it is the duty of you, in particular, to actively manifest justice for all those with a vested interest in this case because ideals never materialize except through our actions. I'm not asking you to set Troy Davis free - at least, not yet. But I am asking that you vacate the warrant for his execution and commute his sentence to life with the possibility of parole.

I am not going to stop pressuring those people who have the power to do so to try to get Sylvester Coles to turn himself in, and I am asking you to think about what you will do in the event that happens. If Troy Davis is martyred for the misguided notion that his death will be any type of justice for Officer MacPhail's murder, when so much doubt exists about his guilt, what are you going to say to the MacPhail and Davis families after Coles' turns himself in? 'Sorry' won't be enough, and instead of standing as what may well be the lone beacon of justice in Georgia, the Board of Pardons and Paroles will be seen as just another common bureau of incompetence and bias.

Please rethink your decision not to grant clemency to Troy Davis. Please act courageously to restore justice - and honor - to the state of Georgia's government and to all the parties involved in this tragic case.

Thank you for your thoughtful consideration.



Letter 2:

September [DATE], 2011

By Fax: (404) 651-8502

Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles

Atlanta, GA

Dear Board Members:

By Fax: (404) 331-0283, (404) 420-5169

Mr. and Mrs. Jimmy Carter

The Carter Center

One Copenhill

453 Freedom Parkway

Atlanta, GA 30307


Dear Mr. and Mrs. Carter:

As you may know, a final Warrant for Execution for Georgia native, Troy Anthony Davis, was signed last week. He is scheduled to be executed September 21st. Until the people of prominence who've gotten involved with Davis intercede with the DA on behalf of the actual murderer of Officer Mark MacPhail, Redd Coles, to set up a plea deal for him for life in prison instead of the death penalty, he has no incentive to turn himself in, which is the last, best hope for Troy’s release and the only way the DA's office can save face. To my knowledge, this has not been tried by the ministers involved in this case, who are several (one of whom, a UCC minister, Rev. Marvin Morgan, even offered to die in Troy’s place, as you may know). I thought it was one of the main jobs of a Christian minister to help those who've done wrong learn the power of forgiveness by accepting responsibility for their actions. Why can't those ministers who've been involved with Troy act as a delegation and go talk to Coles and DA Larry Chisolm?

Please - will you contact Jesse Jackson, or Al Sharpton, or the afore-mentioned UCC minister and ask them to do these things? Coles' cousin (whose husband testified against him at Troy's ludicrous evidentiary hearing last June) has been trying to get Coles to turn himself in for a long time; I'm sure she would appreciate some help, and I know Troy would.

Thank you (for all you do).

Yours most sincerely,


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