Troy Davis is Dead: Now What?
This Wednesday night, the state of Georgia executed Troy Davis, despite serious doubts surrounding his guilt. Although the hard work and effort by thousands of activists to grant Davis clemency did not succeed this time around, this does not mean the end of the fight to abolish the death penalty.
Many activists and groups who supported Davis are regrouping to fight the death penalty on a larger front, and to encourage more folks to join in the action. Laura Moye of Amnesty International said she expects the Davis execution to be used to rally repeal movements across the country. She plans to meet with activists in Georgia over the next few days to plot an attempt to banish capital punishment there.
"I'm meeting people who didn't really ever speak about the death penalty and now they are. They're hungry about the information and now they know," Moye said in an interview with the San Francisco Gate.
With such strong evidence pointing to the contrary of Davis' guilt, it's likely he'll become a symbol of what's wrong with the death penalty. He'll become the symbol of the possibility that Georgia, and the United States, executed an innocent man. After so much work has gone into Davis' case, only in the last few days of his life has death penalty abolition seen so much momentum. Activists would be stupid to waste that momentum.
There are many more people on death row who are at risk for execution, despite serious doubts of guilt in their cases. One of those individuals is Reggie Clemons, whose case involves serious judicial misconduct, including allegations of police brutality and ineffective counsel. Despite that, Clemons remains on death row, and is currently a focus case for Missouri activists.
To continue to take action against the death penalty, please sign the Not in My Name Pledge, to help fight and to abolish capital punishment in the United States.