Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Troy Davis

I had plans to post many things that I like today, because everyday my life is filled with joy and many blessings. There are joys and blessings in all of our lives, but I need to acknowledge that many of my joys are due to my innumerable privileges. There are many people in our country that do not share these privileges, for whom something as basic as their race can lead to wrongful imprisonment and execution.
It's hard for me to think of much else today other than Troy Davis. Today I go about my joyful life and at 7pm, Troy Davis' life, which has been spent in prison for the past 22 years, will be ended using American tax dollars. Davis will be executed for a crime for which he was wrongfully convicted, as seven out of the nine witnesses that testified against him have now recanted, and there is no physical evidence for his presence at the crime scene.
The only way to frame this horrendous injustice on this blog where I'm supposed to stay positive is this: I like that we live in a country where I am free to blog about this without fear of persecution. I like that hundreds of thousands of people have exercised their freedom of speech to speak out about this case. I am hopeful that this will be the catalyst for a movement to address injustice and prejudice in our legal system, and to put an end to the death penalty in all states.
Davis said in a letter to his supporters earlier this month:
"Remember I am in a place where execution can only destroy your physical form but because of my faith in God, my family and all of you I have been spiritually free for some time and no matter what happens in the days, weeks to come, this Movement to end the death penalty, to seek true justice, to expose a system that fails to protect the innocent must be accelerated."

Learn more about Troy Davis:
- NY Times article about his being denied clemency.
- Interactive site with information about all of the parts involved in the case.
- Amnesty International has links to a lot of resources with more information.

Learn about how to get involved in the movement to end the death penalty:
- State by state database of death penalty information, see where your state stands.
Acting locally is a powerful first step. If you are involved with a religious group, try to find out if they are already involved in anti-death penalty work. Google your home town or the nearest big city with "anti-death penalty" and see what comes up. Specifically look for a "Peace Action Committee." These often are named for the place they're located + PAC (where I grew up, it was WesPAC, for Westchester Peace Action Committee).
- Campaign to End the Death Penalty
- Amnesty International has information amount international movements to end the death penalty.

If you have any more resources that you've found helpful, regarding either Troy Davis for the anti-death penalty movement, please post them in the comments.

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