- (Reuters/Georgia Department of Corrections)
Religious leaders and people of faith across the nation have expressed disappointment that Troy Davis lost a final plea for clemency from the Georgia Board of Pardons & Parole on Tuesday, but have vowed to keep praying for the convicted cop killer's life to be spared.
Davis, who was convicted of the murder of police officer Mark MacPhail in 1991, is scheduled to die by lethal injection at 7 p.m. EST Wednesday, despite the recanting of witness testimonies.
Also, reports have surfaced that Davis is now offering to take a polygraph test to prove his innocence.
People of Faith Against the Death Penalty (PFADP), a nonprofit interfaith organization, had presented to the Georgia parole board a signed petition with thousands of faith leaders asking for clemency in Davis' case.
PFADP also issued a statement Tuesday, saying, "We are incredulous that the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles denied clemency to Troy Davis today. But the fight for Troy's life is not over."
The Washington Post noted other members of the faith community who weighed in on the decision.
Frank Reid III, senior pastor of Bethel A.M. E Church in Baltimore, tweeted: "The pending execution of Troy Davis is ungodly. What can we do to stop it?"
And the Rev. Dr. Jamal-Harrison Bryant, senior pastor of Baltimore’s Empowerment Temple A.M.E. Church, tweeted: "This generation has been rebellious without a cause. Well, Troy Davis is now our cause, let’s rebel!"
Davis' case has captured worldwide attention with numerous groups and prominent people including the NAACP, Amnesty International, former President Jimmy Carter and even Pope Benedict XVI, all of whom asked the Georgia parole board to grant Davis clemency.
Monsignor Martin Krebs, U.S. envoy for Pope Benedict XVI, sent a letter urging state officials to consider the special circumstances in the case, saying, "The pope continually exhorts all people, and especially those men and women who serve in government, to recognize the sacredness of all human life."
Religious leaders and people of faith have spoken out forcefully in this case, which has left many now committed to the fight to eradicate the death penalty.
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."