RIP, Troy Davis.

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.
Mahatma Gandhi.

RIP Troy Davis

Hours before his execution, Troy Davis issued a letter to the public. Here it is, in entirety – letter and photo via News One.

I want to thank all of you for your efforts and dedication to Human Rights and Human Kindness, in the past year I have experienced such emotion, joy, sadness and never ending faith. It is because of all of you that I am alive today, as I look at my sister Martina I am marveled by the love she has for me and of course I worry about her and her health, but as she tells me she is the eldest and she will not back down from this fight to save my life and prove to the world that I am innocent of this terrible crime.

As I look at my mail from across the globe, from places I have never ever dreamed I would know about and people speaking languages and expressing cultures and religions I could only hope to one day see first hand. I am humbled by the emotion that fills my heart with overwhelming, overflowing Joy. I can’t even explain the insurgence of emotion I feel when I try to express the strength I draw from you all, it compounds my faith and it shows me yet again that this is not a case about the death penalty, this is not a case about Troy Davis, this is a case about Justice and the Human Spirit to see Justice prevail.

I cannot answer all of your letters but I do read them all, I cannot see you all but I can imagine your faces, I cannot hear you speak but your letters take me to the far reaches of the world, I cannot touch you physically but I feel your warmth everyday I exist.

So Thank you and remember I am in a place where execution can only destroy your physical form but because of my faith in God, my family and all of you I have been spiritually free for some time and no matter what happens in the days, weeks to come, this Movement to end the death penalty, to seek true justice, to expose a system that fails to protect the innocent must be accelerated. There are so many more Troy Davis’. This fight to end the death penalty is not won or lost through me but through our strength to move forward and save every innocent person in captivity around the globe. We need to dismantle this Unjust system city by city, state by state and country by country.

I can’t wait to Stand with you, no matter if that is in physical or spiritual form, I will one day be announcing,

“I AM TROY DAVIS, and I AM FREE!”

I’m not here to rehash the facts of the Troy Davis case or to analyze the details of the social media outcry or the last minute attempts to save his life. I just know I’m not the only one left with an overwhelming feeling of sorrow. I’m not the only one left with lingering and disturbing feelings of doubt. I’m not the only one who feels powerless and jaded now. Because of what happened on Aug. 19, 1989 and on Sept. 22, 2011, millions in the United States and around the world, found cause to question the true meaning of justice.

My heart goes out to the family of Troy Davis, and to the family of Mark MacPhail. Both families have suffered loss, both families have endured heartbreak.

To support the work of Amnesty International, click here. To support the Fraternal Order of Police, click here. And to support the Innocence Project, click here.

Please feel free to share your feelings below in an intellectual and respectful manner, free from profanity. I am out of words.

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Comments

  1. I <3 you, you know that?!

    You have simply – yet beautifully – expressed the feelings of so many people without passing judgment or fanning the flames of an already hot situation.

    I also really love how you included links to causes – all of them worthy – that support all sides of this issue. Very, very well done.

    :)

  2. Man… :-(. The system failed. The world was watching and we failed so epically.

    That’s all I got.

    • :(

      It’s so heavy it’s hard to wrap my head around it.

      I personally won’t go so far as saying the system failed. Well, not at the Supreme Court level anyway. Troy Davis’ case was heard by the SCOTUS; that is extremely rare. We were able to see the full judicial process play out. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the outcome so many of us hoped for.

      The system is broken and has been for some time and the breaks begin at the very local level. The fact that the accused has to prove his innocence – when witnesses recanted their story – blows my mind. How, I ask, is he supposed to prove his innocence? Clearly, saying ‘I didn’t do it’ and ‘They admitted they lied/were wrong’ is not enough. State courts put too huge a burden on defendants when they should place it on the prosecutors to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the accused is, in fact, guilty.

      Ugh. I’m writing two pieces about this for work so my mind is racing with research and the like. Sorry for the rant.

  3. You are the only blogger I have read who has objectively addressed this ‘story’. Maybe it is because you have a journalism background, maybe it is your intellect, maybe it is your humanity, whatever it is I so hope that this is shared widely on tumblr, twitter, facebook, etc… I often cringe at the simplicity and lack of logic I see in social networks. Just maybe this will trend and we will think a little more about the complexity of this issue.

    For example, thinking about the victim is as important as the rights of the unjustly convicted. I remember when the memorial for the Virginia Tech Murders was televised and I was amazed that the priest/minister did not include the victim in his prayers. Not many see to agree with me and I was baffled. Thank you for expressing your thoughts with which I totally agree.

  4. Barbara Sanders says:

    Thank you Afrobella.

    The more I read of Troy Davis’ words, the more I realize what an awesome man he was throughout this ordeal. He was a changed man from 1989 and that speaks volumes about his character.

    We all can say the same: we have grown over the years. Matured. As evidenced in this case by the witnesses who recanted their testimonies; even Mr. Davis himself admitted to shooting another man onthat fateful night.

    There just was too much doubt America. I’m ashamed and heartbroken as I’ve never been before.

    We must keep the momentum going as Troy Davis requested. Please continue to write about capital punishment and spotlight others in similar situations. There are plenty of cases out there to keep us fighting for justice.

    I’m all in. In memory of Troy Davis.

  5. Thank you for such a beautiful post. I said to my Facebook friends last night, “Theoretically, it is now 11:09. What will we do?” We need to register to, and then make sure we VOTE We need to answer our jury duty notices. We must stand firm in our convictions and continue to fight. We must NEVER forget Troy Davis.

  6. I am sad but hopeful this situation shakes us from our complacency. Become active and participate because at any time one of our loved ones or even ourselves could become Troy Davis.

  7. This just got me so sad. I can’t believe that they’d kill a man despite there being too much doubt as to whether he murdered to police officer! I pray for his family and friends.

  8. Thank you for this we were watching and waiting.. watching and waiting.. I am saddened and enraged at the same time..This can happen to any of us..

  9. woodsprite.fawn says:

    Sista, thank you for this post. I am stirred, moved to tears, and inspired by Troy Davis’s letter.

    Let us reaffirm our commitment to the true PRACTICE of justice. For the innocent, for the guilty and spiritually wounded…we’re all in this together. Thank you for bringing us together around this, and encouraging our activism. Bless you, sister.

  10. I felt that this needed reposting, the most salient point being the part that encourages activism and involvement. The people who have already left comments clearly get it but there are so many ill-informed who don’t…

    ‘In anticipation of 2012 — please be advised that the President of the United States cannot grant clemency for a state conviction and it is inappropriate for him to comment on state matters — i.e. states fiercely protect their rights to govern themselves THUS the importance of engaging in your local politics — that includes voting, attending council meetings, mentoring the kids in your neighborhoods, knowing who your representatives are, knowing who your judges are…the harsh reality is that WE killed Troy Davis and those like him with our lack of engagement’ – A Hadiya Staley

  11. Your take on the issue shows your level of compassion and leve-headedness. Thanks for sharing the letter. This is my first time seeing it. I am deeply saddened too because hope failed us all. I was hoping for a different outcome, but God is all-knowing and only He knows why things turned out the way they did. I continue to pray for the souls of all those hurting from these traggic events.

  12. And YET Charles Manson still as crazy and unrepentant as ever lives on and a drain on the taxpapers! In Satan’s world, there is no justice!!

  13. V3ronicavida says:
  14. Stories like these make me understand more of why my cousin supports Amnesty International.

    My views are simple. God does not differentiate between legal and illegal killing. death penalty always results in innocent lost lives. revenge or justice mmmm.

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