Very brief Troy Davis update.

The clemency hearing is underway, apparently very much as we speak — from the Savannah Morning News:

The Board of Pardons and Paroles began hearing from attorneys and family members of condemned murderer Troy Davis at 9 a.m. Monday as about 60 protesters demonstrated outside the building.

The five-member board is the last hope for Davis and his supporters since multiple appeals have exhausted his legal options. The board, though, isn’t bound by the precedent or the procedures of the courts and can base its decision on whatever it chooses.

[O]n the fifth floor of a nondescript state office building behind them, the parole board devotes hours to hearing Davis’ lawyers, a box of Kleenex sitting on a bench nearby. The defense team prepared for a multimedia defense, beginning with a side reading “If Only We Could Rewind the Tape: The limitations and Distortions of Eyewitness Testimony.”

Even though the board has denied past clemency appeals for Davis, three of the five members have joined the board since the last one.

The board meets behind closed doors, only allowing journalists into the room before the meeting long enough for photos. It holds separate meetings with prosecutors and victims’ families and doesn’t disclose when to prevent reporters from staking out the room to snag interviews as they leave.

Typically, the appointments with each side lasts two to three hours. The board will issue its decision by press release, declining interview requests and usually offering no explanation.

The decision could come today or Tuesday, but it could come as late as moments before the 7 p.m. schedule for Davis to receive a lethal injection.

I think that last sentence may yet do my head in. Please God, please God, let them see and see quickly that there is just too much doubt to kill this man!

For the rest of the Savannah Morning News piece and video of protesters outside the building, click here.



  1. corkingiron

     /  September 19, 2011

    Last week, over at TNC’s place, I complimented you on your courage. You demurred, with grace, I might add. And now I want to double down on my admiration.

    As I write this, we do not know the outcome of the clemency hearing. What we do know is that it is a long shot. We know this because of the present climate around the death penalty, the predominance of “tough on crime” political appointees to the bench and to quasi-judicial boards, and the past decisions of this particular board.

    I am not telling you something that you don’t already know. I am not telling you something that you didn’t know when you began this campaign. A negative result will be heart-breaking. You know that too. Yet you persist. You could have easily left it alone. You could have waited and then wrung your hands with the rest of us. You could have gone shopping. You could argue that the demands of family and work leave you no time for this – and who would gainsay you?

    Yet you persist, knowing that a poor outcome will break your heart. To eschew the comforts of cynicism and despair and take the hard road is an act of courage, m’dear. And you have it in abundance. I don’t know if you’re aware of Rabbi Hillel’s “three questions” – but I’m sure you’re the answer he had in mind.

  2. First, what Corkingiron said.

    Second, a hug.

    Third, I wish the world were a better place, justice a fair thing. It’s easy to say no, the world’s rotten, but that would be denying the wonder of what Emily does, what others do, on behalf of a human she doesn’t know, in the name of justice. That’s bettering.

    No matter the outcome, the effort was worth it. I’m worried, too. With Emily. But I’m also overjoyed at the bettering she’s done. Thank you.

  3. helensprogeny

     /  September 19, 2011

    What Corkingiron and Zic said.

    Emily, I would likely not even know who Troy Davis is if it weren’t for your activism, much less have signed a petition. As it stands now, I’m meditating, sending as much love and light as I can to all the people involved in the decision-making process. You might not believe in such a woo-woo concept; it matters not. I believe with all my heart that sending active thoughts of a positive nature helps, however incrementally. And so I do it. We have no way of knowing what the outcome will be; still we hope for the best and send light. And no matter what the parole board ultimately decides, you will know that you’ve done everything you know how to do to help it make the decision to spare Troy Davis’s life. You have moved others also to act on his behalf. And that is all any human can ask of herself.

  4. The thing is, a man is going to be executed unfairly. I don’t know him – didn’t know of him, really, until Emily brought him to fore.

    I’m not able to hold this thought in my head. It makes things hard to process.

    I’m trying to figure out what I do next. It seems like all I do is just talk.

  5. helensprogeny

     /  September 20, 2011

    BBC International is just reporting that the parole board has rejected the clemency plea. I don’t know what to say.