Mumia Abu-Jamal on Troy Davis — from death row

Since Mumia wrote this new essay, Troy Davis was granted a temporary stay of execution, after his lawyers filed a new claim based on Davis’ innocence. Take Action via Amnesty International, NCADP, or Troy Davis’ site.

Watch the Democracy Now! show from the morning of Oct. 24 (just hours before the stay was granted), and previous shows from Sept. 23 (parts 1 and 2) and Sept. 12. Read Kenneth Foster Jr.’s message and a letter from Troy Davis.

Time for Troy is Now!

[col. writ. 10/22/08] (c) ’08 Mumia Abu-Jamal

As these words are written, Troy Davis’s life may be measured in hours, if Georgia has its way.

His case is proof positive of how easy it is for a state to send someone to the death house, and how hellishly difficult it is to fight one’s way out.

His case is ripped throughout with false testimony, with 80% of his trial witnesses now admitting as much. Of 9 people who testified at trial, 7 have recanted, saying they were forced by the cops to lie on him.

One, Jeffrey Sapp, swore by affidavit that “The police came and talked to me and put a lot of pressure on me to say ‘Troy said this’ or ‘Troy said that.’ I got tired of them harassing me, and they made it clear that the only way they would leave me alone is if I told them what they wanted to hear. I told them that Troy told me he did it, but it wasn’t true. Troy never said that or anything like that.”

But these recantations have fallen on deaf judicial ears, both in Georgia, and in Washington. Indeed, there has never even been a hearing on these recantations.”

In another era, Davis would’ve had a new trial. But that was before the draconian AEDPA (Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act), of 1996, (signed into law by Bill Clinton, by the way), that makes it increasingly difficult for judges to grant relief — or even to get hearings.

In fact, even the state court judge, Georgia’s Supreme Court Justice Leah Ward Sears, in her dissenting opinion, noted that the bar has been set so high for granting a new trial that no one could meet it.

Not even Troy Davis — an innocent man.

If Troy Davis is to be saved, it will take the People to demand it.

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— (c) ’08 maj