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Troy Davis Story: Death Row Inmate Issues Statement Hours Before Death

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  • Troy Davis
    (Reuters/Georgia Department of Corrections)
    Georgia Department of Corrections handout photo of death row inmate Troy Davis.
  • Troy Davis
    (Reuters/John Amis)
    Chris Brown of Atlanta holds a placard as protesters show their support for death row inmate Troy Davis during a rally at the capitol in Atlanta September 20, 2011. A parole board in Georgia on Tuesday denied a last-ditch clemency appeal by Davis, who is set to be executed on Wednesday for the murder of a police officer in a case that has attracted international attention. His case has became a focus for death penalty opponents because seven of nine trial witnesses have recanted their testimony against him, prompting supporters to say he may be innocent. Davis was convicted of the 1989 killing of police officer Mark MacPhail near a Burger King restaurant in the city of Savannah along the Atlantic coast of the southern U.S. state.
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By Nicola Menzie, Christian Post Reporter
September 21, 2011|1:07 pm

Troy Davis has issued a letter through Amnesty International USA after a Georgia parole board denied his request for clemency. In the letter, the convicted cop killer reminds supporters that the fight against the death penalty is much bigger than his case.

In the statement made public through Amnesty International, Davis, 42, writes:

The struggle for justice doesn't end with me. This struggle is for all the Troy Davises who came before me and all the ones who will come after me. I'm in good spirits and I'm prayerful and at peace. But I will not stop fighting until I've taken my last breath.

Davis, convicted in the 1989 murder of police officer Mark MacPhail, is scheduled to die by lethal injection at 7 p.m. EST Wednesday.

His case has garnered worldwide attention after witnesses who testified in his 1991 case recanted their testimonies and it was revealed that there was no physical evidence tying Davis to the shooting.

Despite public outcry and arguments from Davis' defense team, the Georgia Board of Pardons & Parole on Tuesday denied to grant the inmate clemency.

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The U.S. Supreme Court gave Davis the opportunity to prove his innocence last year, but his attorneys failed to convince a judge he did not commit the murder, reports AP. State and federal courts have repeatedly upheld his conviction.

Prosecutors and McPhail's family are convinced Davis is guilty.

"He has had ample time to prove his innocence," MacPhail's widow, Joan MacPhail-Harris, told the AP. "And he is not innocent."

The religious community has also been vocal in its support of Davis, with People of Faith Against the Death Penalty (PFADP), a non-profit interfaith organization, presenting to the Georgia parole board a signed petition with thousands of faith leaders asking for clemency.

PFADP said in a statement: "As people of faith, we know that the God of all faiths calls us to something more: a high and often difficult standard of love and forgiveness and a justice that is rooted not in retribution but rather in redemption and restoration. We believe that the death penalty denies the sacredness of human life. Spiritually, the death penalty robs us all."

 

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