Despite a worldwide movement to save his life and what many consider substantial doubt surrounding his guilt, the Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole has officially denied clemency to convicted murderer Troy Davis. Davis, now 42, was convicted in 1991 of the 1989 murder of off-duty Savannah police officer Mark MacPhail.
He is scheduled to be put to death by lethal injection Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Georgia Diagnostics & Classifications Prison in Jackson.
Over the weekend, CL photographer Joeff Davis (no relation to Troy) met the death row inmate's cousin E. Red at a rally. Joeff submitted questions to E. Red, who relayed them to Troy. E. Red was not permitted to take notes while his cousin spoke, but did his best to write down some of what Davis said after their two hour visit.
E. Red said, "Today was the first time I had him [Troy] by myself, the first time we had a contact visit in a year and a half, it was the first time we were able to be in the same room, normally we have us a use a phone with a wall between us. The guards down there, they love him. When they had a riot there earlier in the year they brought him in to talk to the prisoners, and thats how they are and that's how it has always been."
"I did the best I could to get the answers to your questions. I could not take notes while he spoke but I wrote down what he said as soon as I got back in the car. We visited for two hours."
Question from CL: How do you feel?
Troy Davis: " I feel blessed and at peace because God has blessed me
through everyone that is fighting for me."
CL: What would your message be for your supporters around the world?
TD: "Thank you for supporting me and my family I have been truly blessed by god through you all. Thank you for showing solidarity and continuing the good fight for humanity."
CL: Are you scared?
TD: "No scared of what? I don't fear the devil. God has blessed
me through millions of people."
CL: If you got out of jail what would you do?
TD: "Make sure my family is ok and well taken care of due to
what they have been through the last 22 years and make sure my nephew
and niece gets through college and gets a good education. I would also
start a program with the state and 6th or 5th grade-level and talk to
them and help them to understand the future and their goals."
E. Red added, "He wants to teach young kids how to stand up on their feet and not be torn down and he wants people to teach people to live together and help kids who came from troubled homes and help them to have a good life."
Laura Moye, Amnesty International's Death Penalty Abolition Campaign Director, says her organization is calling on the pardons board to reconsider its decision, and also asking that the Chatham County District Attorney call for the execution warrant to be vacated by the presiding judge.
Several protests are planned, including one at 7 p.m. tonight on the steps of the capitol and one tomorrow at a church across the street from the prison where Davis is to be executed. "We're calling on all Georgians to come out and say, 'Not in my name,'" Moye says. "Not while this cloud of doubt still looms over our heads."