News about Troy Davis + another Georgia official who can help.

I’m thrilled to report that earlier today, the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles was “swamped with Troy Davis petitions.” More than 650,000 signatures! (And I know one of the people who helped count!)

It’s not too late to add your name to the list (click here), and even if your name is already in the Board of Pardon’s offices, I have another petition for you to sign: This one is via and Mr. Davis’s younger sister Kimberly, and directed to Chatham Count DA Larry Chisholm. As District Attorney, Chisholm is in a position to request that the court withdraw the death warrant against Mr. Davis, which would of course be a very good thing. So far the petition has very few signatures (it was just put up this afternoon) — please swell those numbers, by signing (click here) and asking others to do the same.



  1. corkingiron

     /  September 15, 2011

    Done. And thanks for your work.

    • Thank you! When I wrote this above, it had 42 signatures and I was just: That’s pitiful. And right now, it’s at 314! So, you know – moving along!

  2. Good for you, Em. ‘

    This is a righteous act.

  3. gary

     /  September 15, 2011

    650,000 vs. 1 mother of a dead son (Anneliese MacPhail)

    • I want to make something very, very clear: I am horrified by the loss of Officer MacPhail. He was murdered in a most brutal fashion, and he and his family absolutely deserve justice. Murder is a human rights case, full-stop.

      I personally do not believe that justice is served by killing someone in an eye-for-an-eye fashion, and I personally believe that there is an avalanche of evidence suggesting that Davis is, in fact, not Officer MacPhail’s murderer — so my anger and horror is doubled, because I believe that police misconduct (born out of anger and pain and their own sense of loss and fear) meant that the wrong man was arrested and convicted, and the right man, the actual shooter, is still at large. That’s been Redd Coles’s boast for 20 years, and I’ve read enough about that night and his place in it that I believe him. The police shouldn’t have trusted Redd Coles — they should have arrested him.

  4. caoil

     /  September 15, 2011

    Duly signed as well, madam!

  5. dmf

     /  September 16, 2011

    for fridays and for finding our way in a world so often twisted and turned:

    The Waking by Theodore Roethke
    I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
    I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
    I learn by going where I have to go.

    We think by feeling. What is there to know?
    I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
    I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

    Of those so close beside me, which are you?
    God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there,
    And learn by going where I have to go.

    Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how?
    The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
    I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

    Great Nature has another thing to do
    To you and me; so take the lively air,
    And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

    This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
    What falls away is always. And is near.
    I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
    I learn by going where I have to go.

  6. Nora Carrington

     /  September 16, 2011

    Emily, it’s been nearly two weeks with 86 year olds, so I’ve barely been on line. Finally, today, I was able to go back to all your updates on this and I think I’ve added my name to all the various petitions and requests you’ve linked.

    Thanks, always, for your advocacy and your steadfastness.

  7. Ron

     /  September 18, 2011

    Emily, if you’re opposed to the death penalty, may I ask what you’re doing to stop the execution of Lawrence Brewer in Texas? He is scheduled to be killed the same day as Troy Davis. Brewer was sentenced to die for the dragging death of James Byrd in Texas in 1998.

    • I am, unreservedly, opposed to the death penalty in any and all cases. My involvement with Troy Davis’s case came because I am friends with someone very intimately involved with the advocacy surrounding his clemency bid and, as luck would have it, I had little-to-no paying work in the past few weeks. As such, I decided to devote my time to advocacy for Mr. Davis, pro bono — everything I’ve done, every post, tweet, comment, email, etc, and so on that I’ve written (including at The Atlantic) was unpaid.

      I don’t know what I’m going to do in the future with regard to the death penalty. I am only one person, and I have to also make money, and as a freelancer, in order to make money, I also have to look for work. I have a feeling that I’ll be a much less aggressive volunteer in the future, with the possibility that I may throw myself into a case more fully when death is literally weeks away, as it was in this case.

      To top it off, I actually have areas in which I already devote myself to advocacy nearly all the time, whether paid or unpaid: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (often paid), Muslim American issues (usually not), and women’s rights (entirely pro bono). There comes a point where I have to also be with my family and occasionally sleep — I often wish for 30 hour days and an extra set of hands.

    • You can only do what you can do.

      I can’t fix every single problem I come across. I can’t solve world hunger. I can’t solve unemployment. I can’t solve domestic violence.

      I can feed a child or two. I can offer my opinion to people who set policy. I pay for a safe haven for battered women. I can’t solve every problem, but I can solve the ones that I know about and the ones where I have the tools.

      Emily picked up the effort for Troy Davis because – well, because he came up. As she’s stated, she’s worked on several causes that are her passion, among them her opposition to the death penalty.

      I’m sure you don’t mean to imply that she’s avoiding advocacy for one person because she is advocating for another. She is only one person, has only so much time, and is also raising a family while trying to find work. There might be reason later to say there could be more done, but she has gone from not knowing anything to knowing quite a bit, in quite a short time. That’s a lot to do for one person.

      I’m sure that had she known more about the person about whom you’re interested she might have also been working. But she didn’t, and hasn’t, and that is as much as she’s done.

      I’m also sure you’re the kind of person who admires that people do try to do what moves them & what impassions them, and who realizes that it’s easy to curse the darkness, but sometimes you can light a single candle.

      I hope this clears things up.