Grammy award winning R&B singer John Legend has joined the fight to try and save the life of Troy Davis. Davis was convicted of killing a police officer and is scheduled to be executed in less than a week for a crime he didn’t commit.
Legend has put his support behind Amnesty International’s campaign urging authorities to halt the execution given the significant doubts surrounding the conviction and is urging fans to do to the same.
Legend is not alone in a call to halt Davis’ execution. Pope Benedict XVI, former President Jimmy Carter and the leadership of the NAACP, along with Amnesty International have all called for clemency.
Law enforcement officials are also rallying behind Davis. William S. Sessions, a former federal district judge in Texas and FBI director under President Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton penned a stinging critique of the Davis case and said the execution should be stopped due to “pervasive, persistent doubts” about his guilt.
Davis was convicted of killing off-duty Savannah, Georgia police officer Mark MacPhail. MacPhail was shot to death while coming to help a homeless man who was being assaulted in a parking lot in the early hours of August 19, 1989. No murder weapon was ever recovered nor was any physical evidence linking Davis to the crime. Davis insists another man at the scene was responsible for the shooting.
Since Davis’ trial in 1991 seven of the nine prosecution witnesses linking Davis to the crime have either recanted or substantially changed the stories told jurors. Still Davis’ attempts to secure a retrial have been refused by both state and federal courts.
The Davis case represents all that is wrong in the American criminal justice system. Please join these efforts to try and prevent the execution of an innocent man.
Photo from poptech via flickr.