Despite a lack of evidence, international outrage and a social media campaign, the Georgia superior court has ordered the execution.
(Photo: AP/Georgia Department of Corrections, File)
Death row inmate Troy Davis is scheduled to be executed on Sep. 21, bringing a somber close to Davis' and his supporters’ 20-year fight to establish his innocence.
Davis was convicted of murder in the shooting death of a Georgia police officer in 1991. The case has since caught attention from advocates that say he was unfairly convicted.
Davis’ defense and his supporters have maintained that the court has ignored critical flaws in the case against him. Primary among these is the lack of a murder weapon, DNA evidence or fingerprints linking Davis to the crime. In addition, all but two of the original non-police witnesses have recanted or contradicted their testimony implicating Davis as the shooter. Also, some of the witnesses say that the crime was actually committed by Sylvester Coles, the alternative suspect, who served as one of the state's witnesses who testified against Davis.
The case has been through a litany of appeals, with even the U.S. Supreme Court taking historic action to review the case. The Supreme Court ruled that Davis should be allowed to present evidence that was not available during his 1991 trial, but the hearing held in 2010 where Davis presented the evidence proved unsuccessful and the district court denied him the opportunity for a new trial.
Public response in support of Davis has been overwhelming and consistent drawing the attention and support of high profile advocates such as President Jimmy Carter and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Anti-death penalty advocates have taken up Davis’ cause and protests have been held around the world in efforts to bring awareness to his cause.
The NAACP and Amnesty International have launched a digital campaign, “#TooMuchDoubt.” Via Twitter and Facebook, the NAACP is encouraging supporters of justice to make Davis their profile picture or Twitter avatar to show their belief that he deserves another chance.
The NAACP is encouraging supporters to sign their petition to the Board of Pardons, electronically pass it on to family and friends and spread the word of the #TooMuchDoubt campaign via social media sites. Thus far over 66,600 people have shown their support electronically.
“This is our justice system at its very worst, and we are alive to witness it. There is just too much doubt,” says NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Jealous.
Social media sites aren’t the only way the NAACP is hoping to spread their digital support of Davis however. They also took their argument to the virtual cellphone streets this past weekend at the Washington, D.C.-based Football Classic between Morehouse College and Howard University. By encouraging attendees to text TROY to 62227 the organization received approximately 150 more digital signatures.
An organization known to use marches, sit-ins and protests to show their support could be starting a new historic trend that only requires your fingertips.