US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Clemency for Troy Davis

Meghan Murphy-Gill | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

In exactly one week, Troy Davis is scheduled to be executed by the state of Georgia. As of this morning, according to People of Faith Against the Death Penalty (PFADP), more than 3,300 faith leaders from every  major faith tradition have signed a letter to the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles calling for clemency for Davis. The Catholic bishops of Georgia as well as Pope Benedict XVI have also joined in support of granting clemency for Davis.

PFADP says: “No such letter from religious leaders in modern history--or probably ever--has had nearly as many endorsements. This letter contains thousands more endorsements than any other known similar letter.”

Davis was convicted of killing a Savannah police officer in 1989 and has been on death row for 19 years. But the overwhelming support he’s received has largely to do with the details surrounding his conviction. No material evidence was used, no murder weapon was found, and many witnesses who originally testified against Davis have since recanted.

"This is a case that has resonated with Americans of all stripes. When serious questions about someone's guilt permeate a case, it brings together liberals and conservatives, those who oppose the death penalty and those who are staunch supporters. In the case of Troy Davis, hundreds of thousands are raising their voices to say there is simply too much doubt to execute,” said Larry Cox, executive director of Amnesty International USA.

There’s still time to sign on to PFADP’s letter (although you must do it by 5 p.m. today).