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From Amnesty International USA:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
GEORGIA ATTORNEY GENERAL’S DECISION TO ISSUE DAVIS DEATH WARRANT ‘AN APPALLING DISPLAY OF INJUSTICE,’ SAYS AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
Human Rights Organization Demands Stay of Execution
Contact: Wende Gozan, 212-633-4247, firstname.lastname@example.org
or Jared Feuer, 404-876-5661 x14, email@example.com
(Atlanta, GA) – Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) is shocked that the State Attorney General’s office today has issued a death warrant for Troy Anthony Davis. Given that Mr. Davis has not been able to see justice served, the human rights organization maintains that the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles must prevent the execution.
“The Attorney General’s decision to issue the death warrant is an appalling display of injustice,” said Larry Cox, executive director for AIUSA. “Given the Georgia Supreme Court’s failure to order an evidentiary hearing for Mr. Davis, it is all the more essential that the Georgia Board step in. We are disappointed by the Attorney General’s decision to short-circuit justice.”
The death warrant is dated for September 23, signifying that his execution could occur anywhere from the 23rd to the 30th of this month.
“Last year the Georgia Board stated that they will not carry out this execution unless there is no doubt as to Mr. Davis’ guilt,” said Jared Feuer, Southern regional director for AIUSA. “Throughout his legal appeals, the courts have relied on technicalities to ignore essential evidence as to Mr. Davis’ guilt. Not only do doubts remain, but they are pervasive. Letting this execution go forward simply should not be an option.”
Mr. Davis was convicted in 1991 of killing off-duty police officer Mark Allen MacPhail. His conviction came despite police failing to produce a murder weapon or any physical evidence linking Mr. Davis to the crime. Since his conviction, seven of nine state witnesses have recanted or changed their testimony in sworn affidavits, during a time in which convictions relying solely on eyewitness testimony have come under scrutiny. One of the remaining two state witnesses is alleged to be the actual killer, but this lead was not investigated by police.
Support for Mr. Davis has been far-reaching. To date Amnesty International has collected more than 100,000 letters and petition signatures for Mr. Davis from Georgians as well as concerned citizens across the United States and around the world. Groups ranging from the NAACP and European Parliament have passed resolutions calling for Mr. Davis’ sentence to be commuted.