Troy Davis — Words and Reactions

Troy Davis — Words and Reactions


The nation and the world reacted strongly to Georgia’s execution of Troy Davis. Here is some of what is being said.

Troy Davis, hours before his execution Wednesday: “The struggle for justice doesn’t end with me. This struggle is for all the Troy Davises who came before me and all the ones who will come after me. I’m in good spirits and I’m prayerful and at peace. But I will not stop fighting until I’ve taken my last breath. Georgia is prepared to snuff out the life of an innocent man.”

The European Union, the day before Georgia executed Davis: “While we are aware of the suffering of the victims of violent crime and their families, we recall that with capital punishment, any miscarriage of justice, from which no legal system is immune, represents an irreversible loss of human life.  As a result, the European Union reaffirms its principled and longstanding opposition to the use of capital punishment under all circumstances.”

Martina Correia, Davis’s eldest sister: “if you can get millions of people to stand up against this you can end the death penalty. We shouldn’t have to live in a state that executes people when there’s doubt.”

Markus Löning, Germany’s junior minister for human rights: “There are still serious doubts about his guilt. An execution is irreversible — a judicial error can never be repaired.”

Ken Burch, on the website Democratic Underground: “There is only one response this party can make to Troy Davis’ murder that would honor his life. And that is to make ABOLITION of the death penalty a platform and policy commitment. What happened tonight is proof that the death penalty can never be morally acceptable again — and nothing any of our candidates ever did in office after getting elected on a pro-execution platform was ever worth the fact that they took power by pledging to kill people.”

From the Facebook group WE ARE Troy Davis: Stop the Execution, which calls for a Day of Outrage for Troy Davis: “The murder of Troy Davis is about racism because of the case itself and because the death penalty in the United States is about racism. The 3 of us that started this page are part of a group that makes the fight against racism a part of our fight against the death penalty. From slavery, to lynching, to Jim Crow to today’s prison system — the death sentence is the sharpest edge of the whole INjustice system that is used to target poor people and people of color.”

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney: “Dating back to his time in the Illinois State Senate, President Obama has worked to ensure accuracy and fairness in the criminal justice system – especially in capital punishment cases. However, it is not appropriate for the President of the United States to weigh in on specific cases like this one, which is a state prosecution.”

Ben Jealous, president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, outside the prison, as word came the U.S. Supreme Court would not stop the execution: “It’s a moment when your heart breaks, when the justice of a nation has deeply disappointed millions of people in the world.”

Big Boi, a native of Savannah, Georgia, and member of Outkast, as he Twittered from a church near the prison Wednesday night: “I’m trying to bring the word to the young people: There is too much doubt.”

U.S. Rep. John Lewis of Atlanta, after Monday’s decision by Georgia parole board to deny clemency: “We have come a great distance in Georgia, but today we have demonstrated we still have a great distance to go before we build a society based on simple justice that values the dignity and the worth of every human being. We are not there yet. I am deeply saddened and deeply disappointed by this decision, but in light of all I have seen through the years, it does not surprise me.”

Rep. Hank Johnson’s statement on Troy Anthony Davis: “I offer my thoughts, prayers and condolences to the family of Troy Anthony Davis, a man killed by the citizens of Georgia despite a lack of moral certainty as to his guilt.”

Larry Cox, the executive director of Amnesty International USA: “We will not stop fighting until we live in a world where no state thinks it can kill innocent people.”

Anneliese MacPhail, mother of slain police officer Mark MacPhail: “I’m not joyous, I’m feeling a little bit relieved. It has been a long, long battle. I’d like to close the book.”

Thomas Ruffin, of Davis’ legal team, who called the execution racially bigoted: “In the state of Georgia 48.4 percent of people on Death Row this morning were black males, and in Georgia they make up no more than 15 percent of the population.”

The Rev. Al Sharpton, outside the prison moments before the execution: “I feel a mixture of outrage and sadness, sadness because we may lose a life of someone who’s not been proven to be guilty.”

Raphael Warnock, pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta: “This is a tragic moment. We were hoping for a different result.”

The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles: “Monday September 19, 2011, the State Board of Pardons and Paroles met to consider a clemency request from attorneys representing condemned inmate Troy Anthony Davis. After considering the request, the Board has voted to deny clemency.”

Troy Davis, in his final words: “The incident that night was not my fault, I did not have a gun…. I did not personally kill your son, father and brother. I am innocent. Those about to take my life, may God have mercy on your souls. May God bless your souls.”