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Saving Death Row Inmate Troy Davis's Life Is AlterNet's Top Take Action Campaign of the Week

Troy Davis faces execution for murdering a police officer, despite that 7 out of 9 witnesses have recanted or contradicted their testimony.

Troy Davis was sentenced to death in 1991 for the 1989 murder of off-duty police officer Mark MacPhail in Georgia. Davis was convicted despite that the murder weapon was never found and that there was no physical evidence linking him to the crime. Since the original trial, 7 out of the 9 eyewitnesses have recanted or contradicted their original testimony. This new evidence has never been heard in a court of law.

For 18 years Davis has maintained his innocence. Davis claims he went to aid a homeless man who was being beaten in a parking lot, but that he fled the scene upon seeing the assailant had a gun. MacPhail, who was working security at a nearby Greyhound bus station, intervened and was shot to death. Another man has been implicated in the shooting, who also happens to be the one of two witnesses who have not recanted their testimony.

On September 23rd, 2008 Troy Davis came within two hours of being put to death by the State of Georgia via lethal injection. The U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay of execution. This was not a first for Davis though, who has now come close to being executed three times, which is inhuman and highly unusual. Davis has written on his website “I want you to know that the trauma placed on me and my family as I have now faced execution and the death chamber three times is more punishment that most can bear."

Recently, on April 16th, 2009, a federal court rejected Troy Davis's most recent -- and likely final -- appeal 2 to 1. The dissenting judge, Judge Rosemary Barkett, wrote, “To execute Davis, in the face of a significant amount of proffered evidence that may establish his actual innocence, is unconscionable and unconstitutional.”

We here at AlterNet agree, which is why we’re highlighting Amnesty International’s campaign to urge Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue to exercise leadership and ensure that Troy Davis’s death sentence is commuted.

Join the numerous people who support Troy Davis in his fight for justice, including President Jimmy Carter, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Pope Benedict XVI, and Georgia Congressman and Civil Rights icon John Lewis. Please visit Amnesty International’s website to find out the many ways you can help Troy Davis, from encouraging Perdue to demonstrate respect for fairness and justice by supporting clemency to participating in the Global Day of Action for Troy Davis on May 19th. Your help is needed, this is an unfair trial and an innocent man’s life may hang in the balance.


After you lend your support to Amnesty, please take a look at the rest of the campaigns we are highlighting this week:

II – Hold Shell Oil Accountable for Its Environmental and Human Rights Crimes

Shell Oil will stand trial on May 26 on charges that it was complicit in the murders of Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other Nigerian activists. is a collective of environmental and human rights groups who have formed a global campaign to hold Shell accountable and demand that it stop gas flaring in Nigeria.

Call for Shell to come clean about its corporate irresponsibility, human rights abuses, and record of environmental devastation. To learn more about how you can help, go to

III – This Mother’s Day, Support Mothers for Peace

This Mother's Day CODEPINK will hold their  24-hour vigil in front of the White House in honor of all mothers and women who live where war is happening. CODEPINK’s action is both a call for troops to be brought home from Afghanistan and Iraq “so that no more mothers will suffer the unbearable grief of losing a child to these wars” as well as direct message of “sorrow, friendship and peace” directed at “women suffering in occupation and their families.”