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Rep. John Lewis on Denial of Clemency For Death-Row Inmate Troy Anthony Davis


Location: Unknown

"This is a sad, grim day in Georgia. It was so encouraging that over one million people signed petitions, that law-and-order officials like former FBI Director Williams Sessions and former Rep. Bob Barr, a conservative Republican from Georgia, Pope Benedict XVI in the Vatican, President Jimmy Carter, even believers in the death penalty saw the error in executing a man who might be innocent.

"But somehow those cries were not enough. Today we have confirmed that the administration of law in Georgia is more important than the search for justice, that the letter of the legal codes holds more power than the insistence of the truth, and that the outstretched hands of mercy, of leniency and forgiveness are not a viable part of the judicial system in our state.

"We have come a great distance in Georgia, but today we have demonstrated we still have a great distance to go before we build a society based on simple justice that values the dignity and the worth of every human being. We are not there yet. I am deeply saddened and deeply disappointed by this decision, but in light of all I have seen through the years, it does not surprise me.

"I send my deepest prayers and sympathy to Troy Davis and his family, especially his sister Martina Correia, his nephew, and his mother who passed not long ago. I thank them for their long-hard 20-year struggle to speak the truth and the chance they gave our state to bear witness to the truth. My prayers are also with the family of police officer Mark McPhail whose life was senselessly taken years ago. They too have suffered because justice was not done. I hope all those involved will find peace. I hope they will find true peace, a peace that humanity cannot give, but is only granted in the highest realms of heaven."

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