Troy: the waiting game
Today the five members of the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles are meeting to decide whether Troy Davis’ execution, scheduled for 7pm on Wednesday, will go ahead as planned.
We are expecting the Board to announce their decision within the next day. Right now, Troy’s family, members of Amnesty USA and others are holding a vigil by the Board’s office. All we can do is wait.
Troy’s story is a heart-breaking one of justice ill-served: a man who has always claimed innocence, awaiting execution for 20 years despite a plethora of doubts around the credibility of the original trial, including witnesses recanting testimonies and citing police coercion, a lack of physical evidence, and another potential suspect.
Just under two weeks ago, the State Board of Pardons and Paroles declared Troy’s fourth execution date.
Troy’s execution has already been postponed three times, for various reasons; execution even this time round is not certain, and there’s possibility of staying the execution or, ideally, granting Troy clemency, given the doubts around his case.
43,500 thank yous!
An incredible 43,500 of you have emailed the Board appealing for clemency for Troy in the past 10 days.
To have such overwhelming support behind Troy is totally unprecedented in terms of our online campaigning.
We are so grateful for your support: for emailing the Board, for spreading the word about Troy on your social network accounts, for telling your friends and family about Troy’s case, and for stating your solidarity with Troy – online or in person, at our vigil outside the US Embassy in London on Friday, a global day of solidarity for Troy.
You have let Georgia know that there is worldwide support for Troy’s clemency and that 43,000+ people in the UK will be watching and waiting for the outcome of today’s meeting.
We have spoken loudly, and your voices join a diverse bunch in the international campaign for justice for Troy – from Pope Benedict XVI, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former President Jimmy Carter, to former FBI Director William Sessions, to Bianca Jagger and Richard Hughes in the UK.
What happens now?
There are three possible outcomes from today’s Board meeting.
- Troy will be granted clemency and dealt either life without parole or life imprisonment. If life without parole, he will remain in prison for the rest of his life, parole or exoneration not an option. If he’s granted life in prison, the years Troy’s already served could count towards his sentence.
- Troy’s execution will be stayed – suspended temporarily.
- The execution will go ahead as planned.
The Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles alone has the power to grant Troy clemency.
The five members of the Board will hear from Troy Davis’ representatives, and the representatives of Mark MacPhail, the police officer Troy is convicted of murdering. The meeting is closed to the media.
We will email the 43,500 of you who have taken action on behalf of Troy once we know of a decision. If you tweet, follow Laura Moye, Director of Amnesty USA’s Death Penalty Abolition Campaign, for the latest news about this campaign.
Thanks again for your overwhelming support for this campaign. We hope the decision made by the Board is the right one. Until then – we wait.
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.