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Public Statements

Rep. John Lewis Seeks to Stay Execution of Troy Anthony Davis

Statement

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Rep. John Lewis Seeks to Stay Execution of Troy Anthony Davis

"Today is a dark day in the state of Georgia and the nation. Today a man named Troy Anthony Davis, a man who may be innocent, is scheduled to be put to death in Georgia at 7 PM.

"There is no question that the murder of a police officer deserves the strongest penalty, but the seriousness of the crime cannot justify the execution of an innocent man. The government does not give life, and especially when there is far more than a reasonable doubt, I do not think it has the right to take life away.

"How is it that the greatest nation on earth, a nation that will send its soldiers into war to defend the cause of justice and freedom around the world, does not have the will to spare this one man's life until justice can be done?

"The U.S. Supreme Court has said it would hear the case—six days after Mr. Davis is scheduled to be executed. My understanding is that extraordinary efforts are being made by Mr. Davis's legal team to appeal to Justice Clarence Thomas, designated to hear emergency stays of execution in the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

" I have put in a call to President Bush hoping against hope that he might respond, but in spite of these efforts I think the picture is very grim. We still have a chance to preserve our integrity as a nation. We still have a chance to demonstrate our commitment to justice.

"There are people who still have the power to spare Mr. Davis's life, at the very least until new evidence in his case can be heard before a judge. Martin Luther King Jr. used to say, ‘The time is always right to do what is right.' I am continuing to work, hoping, and praying that one of the officials in Georgia or someone at the federal level who has the power to intervene will decide to do what is right."


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