Saving Death Row Inmate Troy Davis's Life Is AlterNet's Top Take Action Campaign of the Week
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. ShellGuilty.com 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 http://www.shellguilty.com/
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.”
Learn how you can help CODEPINK’s Mother’s Day message of peace and hope:
IV – Tell FOX News: Stop the Swift-Boating of Healthcare
Recently, former hospital CEO Rick Scott bought ads for his group "Conservatives for Patients' Rights" on CNN and FOX News networks. Scott's ad contains blatantly false statements, and misleading excerpts of interviews with health care professionals.
Join SEIU.org in calling on cable news networks to adhere to their own 'truth-in-advertising' policies and pull these ads:
While you’re at it, let SEIU know that you’re willing to fight to “Keep Healthcare on the Map.” We must keep on Obama to carry out his campaign promises about fixing our broken Healthcare system: http://img.seiu.org/healthcaremap-200904/index.php
V - Demand Accountability for Bush-Era Torture
MoveOn.org is gathering signatures to demand Attorney General Eric Holder hold those leaders who broke our laws accountable. Let Holder know that you think "it's time to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate and prosecute the architects of the Bush-era torture program." It's time to tell Washington that no one is above the law. To learn how to help, click here: http://pol.moveon.org/notorture/index.html?rc=homepage
VI - Help Get the Employee Free Choice Act Passed
The Employee Free Choice Act is the most important labor legislation in almost 40 years, but it is facing huge, well financed, opposition from greedy corporations. Help cut through the corporate propaganda and show that this bill is about helping WORKERS who are the backbone of our economy. Take action now: http://action.americanrightsatwork.org/campaign/efcacampaign/
VII - It Is Time to Rethink Afghanistan
Before we commit more troops and taxpayer dollars to Afghanistan, don't you think we should have a national conversation to address the many questions surrounding this war? Urge the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee to hold oversight hearings in order to rethink our policy toward Afghanistan and uphold the nation's system of checks and balances. Make your voice heard, before it's too late: http://rethinkafghanistan.com/
VIII – Stop the Slaughter of America's Threatened Wolf Population
On March 6th, 2009, U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar approved the Bush Administration's discredited plan to eliminate Endangered Species Act protections for wolves in Idaho and Montana -- a decision that could lead to the deaths of more than 1,000 wolves!
Urge President Obama to stop Salazar's plan and maintain Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in Idaho and Montana. To do your part click here: https://secure.defenders.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=1393
IX - Help ACORN, Become a Home Defender
ACORN is launching a Homesteading effort as part of their comprehensive foreclosure campaign. ACORN is working with its membership and activists around the country to build "Home Defender Teams." These teams will be prepared to mobilize on short notice to peacefully help defend a family's right to stay in their home.
ACORN is recruiting allies to support their efforts and call for a full and comprehensive solution to this crisis. Will you help them by becoming a "Home Defender" or showing your support for the ACORN Homesteaders? Click here to learn more: http://salsa.wiredforchange.com/o/2749/t/3071/signUp.jsp?key=2134
X - Stand Up Against Wall Street and Demand Economic Change
12 million unemployed. Foreclosures up 81%. Wall Street has taken over. Enough is enough. A New Way Forward is a grassroots movement pushing back, demanding that we break up the banks and never again let them get so big that they distort our politics and take down the economy.
If it's too big to fail, it's too big to exist. Dismantle the power of the financial elite and make policies that keep a new crop from springing up. To learn how you can take action go to: http://www.anewwayforward.org/the_idea/