Week of Witness for Troy Davis

Week of Witness for Troy Davis

Please join Amnesty International and the NAACP for a week of witness for Troy Davis, to be held June 19-26.  Troy Davis was convicted in 1989 for the murder of Police Officer Mark Allen MacPhail in 1989 at a Burger King in Savannah, Georgia.  Mr. Davis maintains he did not commit this murder. There was no physical evidence against him.  The case against him consisted entirely of testimony from nine witnesses.  Since the trial, seven of the witnesses have recanted or contradicted their testimony, many providing sworn affidavits that they were pressured or coerced by police into testifying against Troy Davis. One of the two witnesses who has not recanted his testimony is Sylvester Coles – the principle alternative suspect.  New evidence implicates Mr. Coles as the gunman, and nine witnesses have signed affidavits implicating him. Restrictions on Federal appeals have prevented Troy Anthony Davis from having a hearing in federal court on the reliability of the witness testimony used against him. Troy Davis remains on Georgia death row, and he may be executed very soon.

Troy Davis was sentenced to death for the murder of Police Officer Mark Allen MacPhail in 1989 at a Burger King in Savannah, Georgia.  Mr. Davis maintains he did not commit this murder. There was no physical evidence against him and the weapon used in the crime was never found. 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.  There is new evidence implicating Mr. Coles as the gunman. Nine individuals have signed affidavits implicating Sylvester Coles.

Restrictions on Federal appeals have prevented Troy Anthony Davis from having a hearing in federal court on the reliability of the witness testimony used against him, despite the fact that most of the witnesses have since recanted, many alleging they were pressured or coerced by police. Troy Davis remains on Georgia death row, and may be scheduled for execution in the near future.

Troy Davis currently has a final appeal before the US Supreme Court. If that is rejected, his case returns to Savannah, Georgia, where a new District Attorney will have some life or death decisions to make. DA Larry Chisolm was elected in 2008 and campaigned on a platform to "increase the sense of fairness" in his office. Call on DA Chisolm to do everything in his power to prevent an execution, and urge him to reopen the case against Troy Davis, since most of the witnesses responsible for his conviction have now recanted.


WHAT YOU CAN DO: 

• Make fact sheets available in common places of worship.    http://www.amnestyusa.org/uploads/file/TroyDavisfactsandtimeline_2(1).pdf

• Ask people to sign a petition to prevent an undue execution.  Paper copies of the petition: http://www.amnestyusa.org/uploads/troydavispetition-chisolm.pdf  and electronic copies are also available at http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org/ .

• Review other resources available at http://www.amnestyusa.org/troydavis including a clergy sign-on letter, study group materials, and prayers of concern both for Troy Davis and for Mark MacPhail and their families.  

Section Menu