On September 21, the state of Georgia is set to execute Troy Davis in the face of overwhelming evidence that he is innocent, and a number of celebrities are lending him their support through Amnesty USA.
Troy Davis was convicted of murdering a Georgia police officer in 1991. However, the case against him consisted entirely of witness testimony which contained inconsistencies even at the time of the trial. Since then, all but two of the state’s non-police witnesses from the trial have recanted or contradicted their testimony.
Many of these witnesses have stated in sworn affidavits that they were pressured or coerced by police into testifying or signing statements against Troy Davis.
One of the two witnesses who has not recanted his testimony is Sylvester “Red” Coles — the principle alternative suspect, according to the defense, against whom there is new evidence implicating him as the gunman. Nine individuals have signed affidavits implicating Sylvester Coles.
Hundreds of thousands of petitions and letters have been sent asking the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles to grant clemency to Troy Davis. Among them, a growing range of scholars, musicians, world leaders and other prominent figures have also raised their voices for Troy Davis. Among them are Jimmy Carter, Desmond Tutu, Pope Benedict XVI, R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe, Outcast’s Big Boi, The B52s, Joan Baez, Steve Earle, Tim Roth, Cee-Lo Green, John Legend, Russell Simmons, Harry Belafonte, Susan Sarandon and Mia Farrow.
According to Amnesty USA, "An execution is NOT inevitable. This merely sets the clemency process in motion. Before Sept. 21, the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles will rule on whether Troy Davis’ sentence should be commuted, or whether the execution should be carried out as scheduled. Previously, the Board stated that it would not allow an execution unless there was “no doubt” as to guilt."
To find out more about how you can support Troy, click here.