Death Penalty: Troy Davis


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Amnesty International UK presentation (customised a bit!) shown at Amnesty @ RHUL meeting on 26/10/2010

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Death Penalty: Troy Davis

  1. 1. Amnesty International DEATH PENALTYDon’t execute Troy Davis Student Group Action : October 2010
  2. 2. TROY DAVIS
  3. 3. DEATH PENALTY Amnesty opposes the death penalty in all circumstances, because: • We believe it is a violation of two fundamental human rights: the right to life, and the right not to be tortured or subject to any cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment. • If a mistake is made it cannot be corrected. In the USA a 1987 study showed that 350 innocent people had been condemned to death since 1900 and 23 of them were executed. • It is often used against certain groups of people more than others, such as people from poor backgrounds or of particular races. • Capital punishment does not deter crime. Studies by the UN and others show the death penalty does not stop crime any better than other punishments.
  4. 4. DEATH PENALTY 10 KEY FACTS ON THE DEATH PENALTY 1: China executes more people every year than all other countries in the world put together 2: More than two-thirds of the world (139 countries) has abolished the death penalty in law or practice 3: Last year 18 countries executed people 4: One man in Japan (Hakamada Iwao) has been on death row since 1968 - he is believed to be the world’s longest-serving death row prisoner 5: Belarus is the only country in Europe still carrying out executions 6: In 2009 there were 106 death sentences passed in the USA, the lowest number since the resumption of capital punishment there in 1977
  5. 5. DEATH PENALTY 7: In Iran there are at least 11 people who have been sentenced to death by stoning. These include Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, who according to some reports, has now had her sentence “stopped” 8: The last executions in the UK took place in 1964; in 2009 a British man - Akmal Shaikh - was executed in China, despite claims he was mentally ill 9: There are over 3,000 prisoners on death row in the United States; in Pakistan there are an estimated 7,000 10: In the case of Troy Davis - a man on death row in Georgia, USA for over 19 years - seven of the nine witnesses who gave evidence against him later recanted or changed their initial testimonies in sworn affidavits
  6. 6. USA AND THE DEATH PENALTY In the USA, the decision about whether to abolish the death penalty is made at state level. There are 50 states and so far 15 states have abolished it. Out of the 35 states that still have the death penalty, some apply it far more regularly than others.
  7. 7. USA AND THE DEATH PENALTY Amnesty has long argued that the death penalty is applied in a discriminatory way in the United States in that it disproportionately affects certain groups of people, particularly black men. • The likelihood of a death sentence is 4 times higher for cases with white victims than for cases with black victims • The likelihood of a death sentence is 11 times higher in cases in which blacks killed whites than for cases where whites killed blacks (Amnesty report, Killing with Prejudice: Race and the Death Penalty in the USA, 1/5/99).
  8. 8. TROY DAVIS Troy Davis is now 42 years old; he was given the death sentence a month before his 23rd birthday. Troy Anthony Davis was sentenced to death in 1991 for the murder of police officer Mark Allen MacPhail, in Savannah, Georgia. Troy Davis, who has always maintained his innocence, was convicted solely on the basis of eye witness testimony. There was no physical evidence identifying him as the gunman and the weapon used in the crime was never found. Most of the state's witnesses who testified against him at the original trial have since withdrawn or contradicted their testimony. There were also allegations that some witnesses testified under police pressure. Troy Davis has faced execution 3 times - each time his execution has been stopped. On one occasion he was just two hours away from death.
  9. 9. TROY DAVIS In June we let you know that the US Supreme Court took the highly unusual step of granting Troy another chance to prove his innocence. This was a tremendous opportunity but also a very challenging one. The standard required to prove his innocence was incredibly high. Although further evidence was presented at the hearing in June which cast continuing doubt over the case, the judge ruled that Troy Davis did not clearly establish his innocence. Amnesty is deeply concerned that this decision puts Troy back on track for execution, despite ongoing doubts about his guilt.
  10. 10. TROY DAVIS Video
  11. 11. TROY DAVIS TAKE ACTION: SIGN THE PETITION Amnesty USA have told us the most important thing people can do now is to help us continue to collect petitions – electronic and paper versions. They intend to deliver them to the appropriate authorities to show them the level of support that there is for him. They are closely monitoring the case and are planning to present the signatures at a moment when it will have the greatest impact on the case. Visit, click “Sign the Petition” and then click the “Download a Copy” link to download a version you can get friends and family to sign. Return to Megan to send off to Amnesty.