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Wednesday, September 21

Kiwi voices to save Troy Davis blocked by the Georgia Parole Board



Amnesty International and scores of New Zealanders are urging the State Board of Pardons and Paroles in the US state of Georgia to reconsider last night’s decision denying clemency for Troy Davis, who is scheduled to be executed at 11am tomorrow (NZ time).

This action has been curtailed by the Georgia Parole Board’s internal Information Technology team who have blocked New Zealanders from taking action on behalf of Amnesty International to stop the execution.

Davis was sentenced to death in 1991 for the murder of police officer Mark Allen Macphail in Savannah, Georgia.

No DNA links Davis to the crime and the case against him rested primarily on witness testimony. Since his conviction, seven of nine key witnesses have recanted or changed their testimony, some alleging police coercion.

“Allowing a man to be executed with the amount of doubt that is cast on this case is outrageous. You cannot take back an execution. The Board’s decision to deny clemency must immediately be revoked,” says Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand’s Chief Executive Patrick Holmes.

Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand received 800 signatures in less than 12 hours before the petition was blocked by the Board’s web server.

“New Zealanders come from a country with a strong history of opposing the death penalty and we are well placed to speak out.

“The Board’s decision shows a callous disregard for all who have spoken against this execution order, including the New Zealanders they prevented from taking action by blocking our server,” says Holmes.

Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases and under all circumstances.

The organisation have campaigned extensively on Troy Davis’ behalf, delivering nearly one million signatures to authorities in Georgia to urge them to commute his death sentence: vigils and events have been held in approximately 300 locations around the world.

“Please don’t stop fighting this injustice. Troy Davis hasn’t and nor will Amnesty International,” adds Holmes.

Overnight Davis declared,

"The struggle for justice doesn't end with me. This struggle is for all the Troy Davises who came before me and all the ones who will come after me. I'm in good spirits and I'm prayerful and at peace. But I will not stop fighting until I've taken my last breath."