Sachiniti

September 15, 2008

Save Troy Davis From Execution ( Updated)

Filed under: Random,This Gets To Me — Kaveeta Oberoi Kaul @ 11:01 am
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Update 21st Sept 2008: Kavita Chhibber speaks with Troy just days before his scheduled execution. Guys its just too traumatic for words.. Please act now!! Click on link at Kavitas site.. Thanks!!

Kavita Chhibber sent me this piece pasted below, written passionately elaborating how an innocent man is doomed to execution on 23rd September. Troy Davis’s case and his subsequent plea for clemency has taken Georgia by storm, with various organisations, citizen groups even songs being dedicated to espouse the cause of saving his life.Time is running short.

Troy Davis..In his own words. .painful!!

Read on and write to the parole board..link provided in the article. Thanks.

Between Life and Execution: The Troy Davis Story

His name is Troy Anthony Davis and he is a Black man from Savannah Georgia on death row for close to 20 years. I’m neither pro nor anti-death penalty. I believe it should be decided on the case by case basis. And this is one case where I believe that this man does not deserve to die.

This is a story of what can possibly happen to you and me if we were to end up in the wrong place, at the wrong time. Add a screwed up legal system, and a dash of racism, and it could be a life in a maximum security prison, with years of no redemption.

But, don’t go by his name and the color of the skin. Read this story also because it could be that one time, your activism may be the difference between life and death.

Before their life began to unravel in 1989, the Davis family lived their American dream in a middle class neighborhood, in Savannah Georgia. Troy was a good student, a caring brother who nursed a paralyzed sister back to health after dropping out of day school but graduating with Honors after attending night school.

Troy was always the peace maker, says Martina his sister, the problem solver in a conflict when people were fighting.

19 August 1989-Bill Clinton was celebrating a birthday but that night, in Savannah, near the Greyhound Bus station, events were unfolding that would forever change the lives of two families.

The sequence of events remain murky and sticky like that night, and stories have changed several times since then, as years and continuous media reports add to new twists and turns. But what has not changed is the fact that a young 27 year old Police Officer, Mark Allen MacPhail, lost his life in a senseless, brutal murder and Troy Davis was the young man who supposedly did it.

Macphail’s senseless murder angered the police officers to such an extent that they had “Shoot to kill” orders as pictures of Troy, now rechristened the cop killer, and already condemned to being guilty even before he had been questioned flashed across the airwaves.

No murder weapon was found and there is no DNA or any other physical evidence linking Troy Davis to the murder or to an earlier shoot out that night which injured another young man Michael Cooper. Davis’s conviction came because of the testimony of nine so called eye witnesses. Leading the eye witness Parade was Sylvester “Redd” Coles. Coles has been described by many who know him as a fearsome neighborhood thug. Other eye witnesses were either those who claimed to be present at the shooting or near the crime scene and those who claimed Troy had confessed to them that he had killed Mark Macphail. What came to light soon after was the fact that Sylvester Coles supposedly had a similar .38 caliber gun, which had killed the police officer. Affidavits submitted much later from 3 people who did not testify at the Davis trial also claim that Coles, confessed to killing the officer after Davis was convicted.

Martina says she is convinced that the Police knew Troy was innocent, “but they had already turned the wheels in motion. Our family was never allowed inside the courtroom during the trial. They were able to be there only on the day he had been convicted and the prosecutors said they would seek the death penalty.” She also believes Coles is the one the Police should be questioning. “I talked to some body who knows Coles and who calls me to tell me where he is and I was told that when he is drunk he brags about the murder and no body does anything about it.”

Seven of the 9 eye witnesses have recanted their testimony since then citing police coercion. Several members of the jury who had sentenced Troy to death, have sent sworn statements saying the jury’s decision was based on incomplete and unreliable evidence. The murky timeline of the events of that night, the recanted eye witness statements, have ensured there is nothing black and white about this case. Add to that accusations of Police being blind sided by the intense pressure to find the killer of a fellow officer, and police coercion, and the plot thickens even more.

Martina says that there is no reason for these eye witnesses to come forward now. They are not related to each other, they don’t cross paths, and they don’t work together. Why would they stick their necks out now and deal with all the hassles that go with it?

By now most people would think that there was enough in the case for it to be granted a retrial, but Troy Davis’s life is caught up in legal knots that has many wondering about an urgent need for reforming Georgia’s judicial system.

This lack of diligence combined with the anti terrorism and death penalty act signed by Clinton in 1996, and the Georgia Resource center, (that provides lawyers to death row inmates) crumbling under massive budget cuts resulted in the inability to investigate Troy’s case until after the expiration of the statute of limitations on new evidence.

Most people who have followed the case, or researched it say the evidence, the way the case was handled, the recanting, and the legal jargon, makes it all very confusing and unclear

One thing however stands out very clearly for most people aware of the case. If Troy Davis is executed, the justice system would have failed.

Troy Davis will die on the 23rd of September if the Georgia State Parole Board does not change its mind and commute his sentence. They are the sole body vested with the powers to deny or decide to execute a death row inmate.

Martina thinks that the internet, the international interest and the intervention of Amnesty International has managed to make everyone take a second look at the case, or Troy would have been put to death long ago.

What has been interesting to see is that many prominent personalities who are pro death penalty have pleaded on Troy’s behalf. The reason for that is the question that every one has begun to ask-is the justice system in Georgia functioning as it should? This case has raised issues that affect far more people than Troy Davis.

The execution date has again been set for September 23rd.

Update: 9/13/2008

In an exclusive interview Martina Correia said that the rally held to show support for Troy Davis on 9/11/2008 was a huge success. Sahil Khatod says that this was in spite of the fact that this rally had been planned a day after the US Supreme court was to look at the case, on the 29th of this month. The fact that the execution date was suddenly announced to be the 23rd was to upset the preparations, but every one chipped in and hundreds of people showed up for the rally in spite of only a few days available to get it organized. Sahil who went to several events to raise awareness and distribute thousands of flyers for the event that was to have thousands of supporters, says this was still an amazing event.

Martina adds “We had representatives from many organizations present-from Amnesty International, NAACP, ACLU and others, and we had people honking their cars asking that we put posters on their windows. We ran out of T-shirts for Troy.” Troy spoke about his innocence on Martina’s cell phone, during the rally.

The next morning when Martina, her lawyers and witnesses appeared before the Parole Board, she says the only thing she found a bit strange was the fact that the new Chair person Gale Buckner was being nice unlike the last time when she came across as hostile. Witness after witness came forward to talk about police and prosecutorial coercion and misconduct. At one point when one of the witnesses said how she was asked not to change her story then by the Prosecutors for fear of perjury, Martina says Gale Buckner got very agitated and said to the witness, are you telling me you lied then?” The witness said, “Yes I was lying and I told the prosecutors it wasn’t Troy.

Martina adds, “The Board had enough information the first time to know that this case was full of inconsistencies and this time around compounded with all that they heard, it was more than enough not just to commute his sentence but to pardon Troy. Buckner also told me that the Board will not be making any decision for the next 3-4 days because they have so much information to go through. It was shocking for me then to be called in barely 30 minutes after the Prosecutors had come out after presenting their case, to find out that they had a typed statement ready and had called a press conference to say that they were denying clemency to Troy.

My lawyers told me it was obviously a premeditated decision and the statement had already been typed in advance. So they just went through this fake motion of having a clemency hearing. I think they cut some backdoor deal with the Prosecutors before hand and since the Board is not accountable for its decisions they can do whatever they want. This is the election year and they want this case out of the way, but they don’t realize what they have done. They have lit the fire under themselves. All the organizations are in conference this weekend and we are also requesting all the people to please write letters/emails and faxes to the US Supreme Court, the Attorney General’s office and the President, to ask for this case to be reopened and re-tried. We want to shame Georgia and the Parole Board into realizing this kind of ingrained racism cannot go on. Even if they thought Troy was guilty before, they have enough evidence to know this is not a case beyond a reasonable doubt to execute him. It is unprecedented, ever in criminal history that 7 out of the 9 witnesses would recant their testimony, and they still think that is not enough to give him clemency? We want to bring to light how the Parole Board works. They have to explain how they arrived at this decision. I want the grass roots community and the national press to give their support. We are not giving up. So far the justice system has failed us and we cannot let this go unnoticed.”

Martina went to see Troy today and said he was reading his Bible and said he will pray harder and not let anything deter him from his faith in God. “ He does not want to be a martyr, he does not want to die for something he didn’t do, but he knows there is a possibility they will go ahead and he said-what can they do? They can only take my physical body away from me-nothing beyond that. He was more concerned about us, and the people all over the world who have supported him.”

Troy’s lawyers are looking at all options at this time. The Parole Board can re open this case and re review their decision. It is really important for everyone to continue writing to the Board condemning this decision. Please support this effort. Contact your local political and social organizations and leaders. Injustice is color blind and the more apathy we show, the more we make ourselves vulnerable to something similar happening to us, if we happened to be in the wrong place-at the wrong time.

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL’S EMAIL PLEA TO PAROLE BOARD>>CLICK NOW AND SAVE HIM

Please go to http://www.kavitachhibber.com/main/main.jsp?id=troy_davis_storyand read the whole story. Please send emails to the Parole board. The information is given in the article.

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4 Comments »

  1. Thanks Kaveetaa,
    for posting this and the link to my conversation with Troy. 90 minutes before he was to be executed, the US Supreme Court stopped his execution, while they decide to look at the appeal for retrial on the 29th. Miracles do happen and I hope he gets it.

    Comment by Kavita Chhibber — September 24, 2008 @ 6:18 am | Reply

  2. His execution has been stayed! Thank God..that is comforting news. Just as 23rd dawned yesterday my first thought was for Troy.All I could possibly do was send up a silent prayer. Miracles do happen and will in this case too. So many fervent prayers by such a huge mass of people cannot go unanswered. You have done a commendable job Kavita by highighting the issue.

    Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — September 24, 2008 @ 8:52 am | Reply

  3. Troy Davis turns 40 today – and he still waits for some reason to celebrate this day.

    As a kid he loved G.I. Joe and got many of those figurines for his birthday, recalls sister Martina Correia. Birthdays were fun events in the family backyard with cake, ice cream and hot dogs and some nice gifts. Martina was not around when Troy turned 16, a special birthday for any teenager but sent him gifts while training in the Military. Little would she know that his 21st birthday would be behind bars and on death row.

    A maximum security prison is hardly the perfect haven to celebrate a special occasion. That too of inmates whose spirit is being broken through isolation, bad nutrition, and a non productive life style.
    The only exceptions are July 4th when they get Hamburgers and Hot dogs to celebrated Independence day, or when a convict is executed. Then the guards get a special barbecue meal. When an inmate receives a lot of cards they may just acknowledge the birthday briefly as the guards read the mail. Once a month they rent a DVD and the inmates can watch a movie. There is a TV which is controlled by the guards and the inmates can watch that.

    They were allowed unlimited books-not any more. Now its seven, the number of visitors too has been cut down drastically and there are not many activities except for a short outing in an enclosed area with a basketball hoop where they can shoot baskets on concrete floors.

    “Many inmates have diabetes and hypertension because of the food they get to eat,” says Martina. “There are many inmates with HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis, and don’t get medical treatment. The inmates have to pay 5 dollars each time they visit the doctor and if there is no family to finance them, then they remain untreated unless they are dying.”

    Last year a death row inmate died of cancer and a major news paper reported it as-death row inmate escapes execution-dies of cancer.”

    The winter months are harsh. The inmates sleep with 4-5 thin military style blankets, the heating is inadequate. “Last year to conserve energy, they cut off the hot water daily from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. and so many people fell sick taking cold baths. If someone sends you money, they charge you a dollar per month as tax in he prison. The inmate has to buy everything from the prison store, so that the prison can make some money.”

    Martina says her family has never been far away from Troy. They used to send Troy 3-4 boxes of things that he could use, but now its been cut to one 15 pound box once a year. Martina and her family has visited Troy for every birthday, and every holiday they could. They have sent individual cards from each family member and friend. Cards that said-even though he is across the miles, he is with them. “We have a present under the Christmas tree for Troy each year. The pile is waiting for him, when he comes back. My mother still wakes up at 6 a.m. every Sunday to cook an elaborate Sunday dinner as if she is still cooking for a houseful of growing kids. Troy used to love her cooking and ate everything!”

    Martina helped organize an event last weekend on a 2 day notice for leading members of the NAACP. There is great support from the state and national NAACP. Music and wonderful speeches, shared stories of atrocities on young black men in the late 80s by those who experienced it, walking to the crime scene where it all happened, made it a memorable event.”

    The US Supreme Court asked for more time to look at the information before it hears arguments about the case on Friday and expects to give its decision on Tuesday, the 14th of October.
    There are millions across the world praying for Troy Davis and that he finally finds justice. Troy himself is praying along with his family, for justice not just for himself but also for the MacPhail family.

    As we wait and the world watches, all eyes are on the US Supreme Court. We hope they do the right thing and give Troy Davis the justice he deserves.

    Comment by kavita chhibber — October 9, 2008 @ 4:20 pm | Reply

  4. TROY DAVIS,PLEASE REMEMBER THAT AMERICA IS NOT THE OLD SOUTH ~ AFRICA !!!

    A $TATE ECONOMIC BOYCOTT OF GEORGIA INTERNATIONALLY WILL OBVIOU$LY BE THE END RE$ULT OF GEORGIA DECIDING TO MURDER A PO$$IBLE INNOCENT TROY DAVI$ WITHOUT A NEW AND FAIR TRIAL ?

    US CONGRESSIONAL MEMBERS WHO ARE ALSO LAWYERS BY TRADE, CONTINUE TO DENY poorer AMERICAN’S PROPER LEGAL REPRESENTATION !!!

    THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY NEEDS TO BEGIN A FORMAL INVESTIGATION INTO THESE US CONGRESSIONAL CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY, AND HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS BEING INFLICTED ON poorer AMERICAN’S LIKE MR.TROY DAVIS OF GEORGIA !!!

    HAVING BEEN DENIED APPEAL LAWYERS FOR THREE YEARS ON DEATH ROW IN GEORGIA MR. TROY DAVIS IS NOW BEING EXECUTED FOR A CRIME HE MIGHT NOT HAVE EVEN BEEN INVOLVED WITH !!!

    SENATOR OBAMA PLEASE LET THIS COUNTRIES VOTERS KNOW YOUR FEELINGS AND THOUGHTS ABOUT A NEEDED FUTURE REPAIR AND RENOVATION OF OUR BROKEN JUDICIAL SYSTEM THAT CONTINUES TO ALLOW THE EXECUTION’S OF EVEN POSSIBLE INNOCENT AMERICAN’S LIKE TROY DAVIS OF GEORGIA ?????

    BEING THE WEALTHIEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD SENATOR OBAMA, DON’T WE NEED AS THE LEADERS OF THE FREE WORLD TO BEGIN ONCE AGAIN TO RE-INVEST THE PROPER MONIE$ IN OUR OWN US JUDICIAL SYSTEM, ASSURING ALL OF OUR CITIZENS THEIR RIGHTS TO FAIR TRIALS WITH PROPER LEGAL REPRESENTATION ???

    DOES GOD NEED TO LOBBY OUR US CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS OF THE FREE WORLD ON BEHALF OF OUR poorer american’s SENATOR OBAMA,OR ARE YOU WATCHING OUT FOR THEM ??

    ***OUR US CONGRESS CONTINUES TO DENY MIDDLE CLASS AND WORKING POOR AMERICANS PROPER LEGAL REPRESENTATION EVEN THOUGH WRONGFUL EXECUTIONS & FALSE INCARCERATIONS CONTINUE ALL ACROSS AMERICA ???

    *** 700 BILLION $$$ AVAILABLE FOR US BAILOUT, & NO $$$ FOR ALL POORER AMERICANS PROPER LEGAL REPRESENTATION ? SENATOR OBAMA, THIS JUDICIAL INJUSTICE HAS BECOME AN AMERICAN ART FORM, AND NO LONGER CAN BE KEPT HIDDEN OR SECRET FROM THE AMERICAN PEOPLE EVEN IF CERTAIN (501c3) U$ RELIGIOU$ LEADER$ HAVE BEEN $ILENCED ??

    LETS ALL HOPE OUR MEDIA FRIENDS CONTINUE TO SHOW AN INTEREST IN REPORTING ON THIS AMERICAN HORROR FACING THESE (TENS OF THOUSANDS) FORGOTTEN AND TRAPPED POORER AMERICANS, AND HOW THIS PRESIDENTIAL CONTENDER HANDLES THIS VERY SERIOUS ISSUE FACING AMERICA’S LATINO AND BLACK AMERICAN COMMUNITIES ????

    WITH 80% OF THE BLACK AMERICAN VOTERS SAYING THEY SUPPORT SENATOR OBAMA IN THIS PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, IT IS ONLY FAIR FOR EVERYONE TO KNOW PRIOR BEING ELECTED OUR NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES HOW THIS DEMOCRATIC SENATOR TRULY FEELS ABOUT THIS AMERICAN JUDICIAL INJUSTICE CONTINUING TO INFLICT GRAVE HARM ON THE BLACK & LATINO AMERICAN FAMILIES AND THEIR COMMUNITIES NATIONWIDE ??????

    *** WHEN GOD’S FACE BECAME VERY RED *** THE US SUPREME COURT GAVE ENEMY COMBATANTS FEDERAL APPEAL HC RIGHTS LAWYERS AND PROPER ACCESS TO US FEDERAL COURTS,AND POORER AMERICANS (MANY EVEN ON DEATH ROW) ARE DENIED PROPER FEDERAL APPEAL LEGAL REPRESENTATION TO OUR US FEDERAL COURTS OF APPEAL, AND ROTTING IN AMERICAN PRISONS NATIONWIDE ?????????

    **** INNOCENT AMERICANS ARE DENIED REAL HC RIGHTS WITH THEIR FEDERAL APPEALS ! THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE $LOWLY FINDING OUT HOW EA$Y IT I$ FOR MIDDLE CLA$$ AND WORKING POOR AMERICAN$ TO FALL VICTIM TO OUR U$ MONETARY JUDICIAL $Y$TEM.

    ****WHEN THE US INNOCENT WERE ABANDONED BY THE GUILTY **** The prison experts have reported that there are 100,000 innocent Americans currently being falsely imprisoned along with the 2,300,000 total US prison population nationwide.

    ***WHERE ARE AMERICA’S RELIGIOUS LEADERS ??????? Since our US Congress has never afforded poor prison inmates federal appeal legal counsel for their federal retrials,they have effectively closed the doors on these tens of thousands of innocent citizens ever being capable of possibly exonerating themselves to regain their freedom through being granted new retrials.

    This same exact unjust situation was happening in our Southern States when poor and mostly uneducated Black Americans were being falsely imprisoned for endless decades without the needed educational skills to properly submit their own written federal trial appeals.

    This devious and deceptive judicial process of making our poor and innocent prison inmates formulate and write their own federal appeal legal cases for possible retrials on their state criminal cases,is still in effect today even though everyone in our US judicial system knows that without proper legal representation, these tens of thousands of innocent prison inmates will be denied their rightful opportunities of ever being granted new trials from our federal appeal judges!!

    Sadly, the true US *legal* Federal Appeal situation that occurs when any of our uneducated American prison inmates are forced to attempt to submit their own written Federal Appeals (from our prisons nationwide) without the assistance of proper legal counsel, is that they all are in reality being denied their legitimate rights for Habeas Corpus with our US FEDERAL COURTS and will win any future Supreme Court Case concerning this injustice!

    For our judicial system and our US Congressional Leaders Of The Free World to continue to pretend that this is a real and fair opportunity for our American Middle Class and Working Poor Citizens, only delays the very needed future change of Federal Financing of all these Federal appeals becoming a normal formula of Our American judicial system.

    It was not so very long ago that Public Defenders became a Reality in this country.Prior that legal reality taking place, their were also some who thought giving anyone charged with a crime a free lawyer was a waste of taxpayers $$.

    This FACADE and HORROR of our Federal Appeal proce$$ is not worthy of the Greatest Country In The World! ***GREAT SOCIETIES THAT DO NOT PROTECT EVEN THEIR INNOCENT, BECOME THE GUILTY !

    A MUST READ ABOUT AMERICAN INJUSTICE:
    1) YAHOO 2) GOOGLE
    (MANNY GONZALES THE KID THAT EVERYONE FORGOT IN THE CA PRISON SYSTEM.)
    ** A JUDICIAL RIDE OF ONES LIFE !

    ***Someone please tell our US Congress that the GED degree that Manny Gonzales acquired in prison is not a LAW DEGREE !!!!!!

    lawyersforpooramericans@yahoo.com (424-247-2013)

    Comment by DOUGLAS FIELD — October 30, 2008 @ 4:34 am | Reply


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