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Friday, 23 September 2011

Troy Davis campaigners vow to fight ‘inhumane and inflexible’ death penalty

Tippa Naphtali 
Justice for Troy originally by: The Guardian
22 September 2011

In statistical terms, it may have been just another execution, a convicted murderer dispatched by prison medics with clinical efficiency.
But, on the morning after the death by lethal injection of Troy Davis, there was no sign that the controversy over the case would be buried with him.
Davis was sent to his death despite a mass of evidence casting his 1991 conviction in doubt, including recantations from seven of the nine key witnesses at his trial for the murder of a police officer.
The execution has provoked an extraordinary outpouring of protest in Georgia, at the supreme court and White House in Washington, and in cities around the world.
Davis’s case has become even more charged by the manner of his death: he was reprieved three times before Wednesday night and an intervention by the supreme court delayed the execution by four hours. Relatives of Davis and civil rights leaders across the south vowed to fight on with the campaign to have the death penalty abolished.
Richard Dieter, the director of the Death Penalty Information Center, said it was a clear wake-up call to politicians across the US.
He said: “They weren’t expecting such passion from people in opposition to the death penalty. There’s a widely-held perception that all Americans are united in favour of executions, but this message came across loud and clear that many people are not happy with it.”
Brian Evans of Amnesty, which led the campaign to spare Davis’s life, said that there was a groundswell in America of people “who are tired of a justice system that is inhumane and inflexible and allows executions where there is clear doubts about guilt”. He predicted the debate would now be conducted with renewed energy.
Martina Correia, Davis’s sister, who kept vigil at the prison until the end, said that a movement had been formed that would transcend her brother’s death.
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