Thursday, September 22, 2011

in his own words: troy davis

the execution of troy davis and the lengthy proceedings that resulted in him being on death row for 20 years are a perfect example of when the quest for justice results in a gross miscarriage of justice. my heart goes out to the family of the slain police officer who so brutally lost his life. but to condemn someone to what is tantamount to torture and to death with such scant and contradictory evidence...with so many gaps in due process...and on the basis of testimony from witnesses who later recanted is---quite simply--barbaric.

i will not attempt to analyze any of this at all, as my heart is heavy and i'm overwhelmed by the idea of how many troy davis' have existed before today, how many are out there now, and how many are yet to come. so--for posterity--i simply want to post his words. to put a human voice and face to the man that everyone is talking about and that everyone--hopefully--won't soon forget. this goes beyond the fight for a human being's life. this is a fight to change an entire system so that legal lynchings can no longer be sanctioned.

in his own words (from a letter written in 2008):

I want to thank all of you for your efforts and dedication to human rights and human kindness. In the past year I have experienced such emotion, joy, sadness and never-ending faith. It is because of all of you that I am alive today. As I look at my sister, Martina, I am marveled by the love she has for me, and, of course, I worry about her and her health, but as she tells me, she is the eldest and she will not back down from this fight to save my life and prove to the world that I am innocent of this terrible crime.

As I look at my mail from across the globe, from places I have never, ever dreamed I would know about and people speaking languages and expressing cultures and religions I could only hope to one day see first hand, I am humbled by the emotion that fills my heart with overwhelming, overflowing Joy. I can’t even explain the insurgence of emotion I feel when I try to express the strength I draw from you all, it compounds my faith and it shows me yet again that this is not a case about the death penalty, this is not a case about Troy Davis, this is a case about justice and the human spirit to see justice prevail.

I cannot answer all of your letters but I do read them all, I cannot see you all but I can imagine your faces, I cannot hear you speak but your letters take me to the far reaches of the world, I cannot touch you physically but I feel your warmth every day I exist.

So thank you, and remember I am in a place where execution can only destroy your physical form, but because of my faith in God, my family and all of you, I have been spiritually free for some time and no matter what happens in the days, weeks to come, this movement to end the death penalty, to seek true justice, to expose a system that fails to protect the innocent must be accelerated. There are so many more Troy Davises. This fight to end the death penalty is not won or lost through me but through our strength to move forward and save every innocent person in captivity around the globe. We need to dismantle this unjust system city by city, state by state and country by country.

I can’t wait to stand with you, no matter if that is in physical or spiritual form, I will one day be announcing,


Never Stop Fighting for Justice and We Will Win