Can you imagine to be in prison for over 18 years, for a crime you didn’t commit? Facing a definitive date of execution not once, but three times, only to be granted a last-minute stay allowing your lawyers to file yet another appeal?
Davis was sentenced to death for the 1989 murder of a police officer at a Burger King in Savannah, Georgia. There was no physical evidence against him, the murder weapon was never found, most of the witnesses who had incriminated him at his trial have since then recanted their testimony, and yet, he has been consistently denied the chance for a new appeal.
Finally, a federal judge in Savannah granted a hearing where Davis and his lawyers will be able to bring new testimony and evidence into a court of law. Whether he’ll be able to clearly demonstrate his innocence remains to be seen; the prejudice he’s facing is formidable. But so is the international outpouring of solidarity for Troy.
Amnesty International is creating a giant photo mosaic of Troy’s face, consisting of the faces of thousands of his supporters from all over the world. You can order T-shirts with the slogan “I AM TROY”. A Global Day of Solidarity is tentatively set for June 29, the day before the hearing. Vigils, teach-ins and gatherings highlight the fact that the justice system will finally provide a fair process where testimony that has not yet been examined in a court of law will be properly heard.
Also today, the Innocence Project managed to free a man who was wrongfully convicted of a 1988 murder. DNA evidence finally exonerated him. It leaves a bitter taste to say this man was lucky, and yet, one hopes that Troy Davis will meet a similar “good fortune”.