Sunday, April 19, 2009

11th Circuit Court of Appeals Rejects Troy Davis' Bid For a New Trial

Dear Abayomi,

It's not the end of the road for Troy Davis, but the news is not good.

Yesterday, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Troy Davis' bid for a new trial. In a 2-1 vote, the court cited technical reasons to reject Davis' petition for a hearing.

But all hope is not lost. Troy has 30 days to file another petition with the US Supreme Court.

Troy and his lawyers are doing everything they can to fight this decision from the inside. It is up to us to turn up the pressure on the outside. Even if you've taken action before, keep flooding Governor Perdue's office with emails demanding justice for Troy. And pass the action on to everyone you know. There is power in numbers and when you stand behind Troy Davis, you make the fight for justice even stronger!

We can't thank you enough.

In solidarity,
Sue, Brian, Jessie, and the rest of the Death Penalty Campaign team

P.S. Save the date — National Day of Solidarity for Troy Davis coming in May. We'll be in touch soon to let you know how you can support Troy in your own community!

Amnesty International Press Release

Re: Troy Davis
Thursday, April 16, 2009


`Legal technicalities have become a dangerous excuse to undermine justice’

(Atlanta) – Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) condemned in the strongest terms today’s 11th Circuit Court decision to deny Troy Davis a second petition for a writ of habeas corpus in the district court. The human rights organization considers the decision a contrived barrier to justice that could ultimately lead to the execution of a man with a strong claim of innocence.

“Today’s decision is an affront to basic human rights and demonstrates that legal technicalities have become a dangerous excuse to undermine justice,” said Larry Cox, executive director for AIUSA. “Yet again the courts are placing procedural obstacles over the critical issue of innocence, and, by extension, the value of human life. The bar for admitting evidence has been raised to such a level that no one arguing his innocence would be able jump that hurdle.”

Davis’ attorneys filed a November 10 brief in support of the second petition on the grounds that it was the first time Davis was presenting a free-standing innocence claim and that no court has yet held an evidentiary hearing on the new evidence of recanted testimony.

On December 9th, the Court heard oral arguments in the case. However the 11th Circuit Court today denied the petition, with the majority noting several times that they were “constrained” by procedural rules. The Court did mandate a 30-day continuation of Davis’ stay of execution so that he has the opportunity to file a habeas corpus petition with the U.S. Supreme Court.

Davis was convicted in 1991 of killing Savannah police officer Mark Allen MacPhail. Authorities failed to produce a murder weapon or physical evidence tying Davis to the crime. Seven of the nine original state witnesses have recanted or changed their initial testimonies in sworn affidavits. One of the remaining witnesses is alleged to be the actual perpetrator. Since the launch of its February 2007 report, Where Is the Justice for Me?, Amnesty International has campaigned intensively for a new evidentiary hearing or trial, as well as clemency for Davis, collecting hundreds of thousands of clemency petition signatures and letters from prominent individuals around the world.

“It is time for lawmakers in Georgia and across the United States to confront our morally bankrupt and perilously broken death penalty system,” said Jared Feuer, southern regional director for AIUSA. “Troy Davis’ case shows us everything that is wrong with the death penalty system, including its inability to correct its mistakes.”

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots organization with more than 2.2 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries who campaign for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.

For more information about the Troy Davis case, please visit:

NOTE: There is also video of Sis. Martina following the decision

1 comment:

Mac Daddy Tribute Blog said...

This is the post I'm writing tomorrow as a part of the day to blog for Troy Davis. Feel free to use as a guest blog or any way you feel would be helpful. Thanks, MacDaddy

Troy Davis and a fight to hear birds sing and smell flowers
By Mac Walton, aka, The Daddy

This early morning, with dew still all around, The Daddy got out of bed, made coffee, and sipped it out on his patio. Then, with java still in hand, he strolled leisurely around his backyard, walking on fresh green grass, listening to the birds and smelling the flowers.

Then the image of a round, speckled-faced Troy Davis came into his mind--This almost nerdy looking guy who, had he not been arrested and convicted, could have been a smart lawyer defending someone in court, who could have been sitting behind a desk as someone’s community librarian, or who could have been a neighbor walking around his own backyard just before getting ready for work.

This is the same Troy Davis whose life was shot back into ultimate survival mode when the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused to hear his case, pleading technical issues like Troy not filing his appeal papers on time years ago, knowing that the state of Georgia did not provide him a lawyer to make him aware of his rights and to help him to file the papers anyway.

Larry Cox, executive director for the U.S. segment of Amnesty International, put it this way:

"Today's decision is an affront to basic human rights and demonstrates that legal technicalities have become a dangerous excuse to undermine justice. Yet again the courts are placing procedural obstacles over the critical issue of innocence, and, by extension, the value of human life. The bar for admitting evidence has been raised to such a level that no one arguing his innocence would be able jump that hurdle."

This is the same Troy Davis who, if the state of Georgia has its way, will be executed for a crime he probably never committed, an alleged crime where there was no weapon found, no evidence connecting him to the crime, and where 7 of the 9 witnesses who, under intimidation originally said Troy Davis did the crime, have now recanted their stories. Indeed, some have pointed to one of the two remaining so-called eyewitnesses, saying he did the crime.

This is the same Troy Davis who not only has already spent 17 years for a crime he probably didn’t commit, but who will die out of a few state judge’s choice to value state technicalities such as the time he first filed for appeal over a human being’s life and some white Georgians view that some man—no, some black man—must die for the killing of a white off-duty police officer—even if he is innocent.

This is the same Troy Davis who not only can't grab a cup of coffee and walk around his backyard; he can't even leave his cell.

A number of bloggers have been asking that you fight for Troy Davis. Two of the leading bloggers to ask you to do so have been SJP over at Sojourner’s Place and the Villager over at Electronic Village. Along with Amnesty International, they have helped to keep this issue and Troy Davis alive. They made you aware of Troy’s plight and updated you every step of the way in this ever-winding twist of injustice.
Now, The Daddy is joining them and others to blog for Troy, for justice…for an America that does not sanction the killing of human beings.

The Daddy is blogging to say don’t give up; you still have time; and, for your sake as well as his, keep up the fight to keep. And here’s what you can do:

1. E-mail or fax Gov. Perdue’s office. Go to this Amnesty International’s site ( It has an email or fax letter you can use to send to the governor asking him to support clemency for Troy Davis.
2. Phone Georgians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (GADP) at: (404)876-6113. Let them know you are with them all the way in this fight against the death penalty; and
3. E-mail Troy to let him know that, no matter what, you will stay in the fight, that you will continue the fight against the death penalty, and that, through this fight, he will always be remembered. You can reach him at:

Listen, wouldn’t it be a great day if Troy, like The Daddy, wakes up one morning, takes his cup of java out to his backyard and just walks around the yard on green grass, listening to the birds sings and smelling the roses in his garden?

Wouldn’t that be something?