Thousands to show support for Troy Davis - CBS46 News

Thousands to show support for Troy Davis

Posted: Updated:

As the execution date for Troy Anthony Davis nears, support for his clemency campaign has swelled with thousands of people worldwide taking action.

Davis is set to be executed at 7 p.m. on Sept. 21 for the 1989 murder of Savannah police officer Mark MacPhail.

Davis has long said he could prove he was wrongly convicted of the killing of MacPhail. The officer was working off-duty at a Savannah bus station when he was shot twice while rushing to help a homeless man who had been attacked.

Davis was convicted of the murder in 1991 and sentenced to death.

Many feel, because of the lack of physical evidence and because many witnesses have since recanted their testimony, Davis should not be executed but instead be given another trial.

More than a thousand people are expected to participate in a 6:00 p.m. march from Atlanta's Woodruff Park, led by death row exonerees and the national leaders of AIUSA and NAACP in support of Davis.

The march will end at Ebenezer Baptist Church where there will be an evening program of prayer, songs and speakers. 

Indigo Girls are expected to perform as well as gospel choirs.

The event is one of more than 100 that will take place across the United States and in countries from Peru to Hong Kong as part of Amnesty International's Global Day of Solidarity for Davis.

Amnesty International, New Order National Human Rights Organization, Pres. Jimmy Carter, Al Sharpton, POPE Benedict XVI, Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu, Congressman Bob Barr, Judge William S. Sessions, NAACP, Judge Rosemary Barkett, Congressman John Lewis & Congressman Hank Johnson, singer-songwriter Cee Lo Green, and others are in support of Davis getting a fresh trial with new evidence.

The Consulate General of France in Atlanta released this statement Friday:

"France expresses its concern regarding the situation of Troy Davis, an American citizen sentenced to death in 1991 in the state of Georgia, whose execution is due to take place on September 21.

"While considerable uncertainty surrounds this case, and doubts remain about Troy Davis's guilt, we hope that a favorable outcome can be achieved. 

"France reaffirms its continuous commitment to the abolition of the death penalty anywhere, whatever the circumstances. 

France renews its solemn appeal for a universal moratorium as a first step toward the definitive abolition of the death penalty."

"While we have no doubt that the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles takes very seriously its role as the final failsafe for justice, this is a case that has ignited the passions of thousands," said Laura Moye, director of Amnesty International USA's Death Penalty Abolition Campaign. "It is critical that, as the organization that brought this case to the attention of so many, Amnesty International provides people with a positive means to express themselves."

Twitter has become a popular means of voicing support for Davis, with Russell Simmons, John Legend, Tim Roth and Mia Farrow all posting Tweets that urge followers to sign the petition (#TooMuchDoubt).

"This is a case that has resonated with Americans of all stripes," said Larry Cox, executive director of AIUSA. "When serious questions about someone's guilt permeate a case, it brings together liberals and conservatives, those who oppose the death penalty and those who are staunch supporters. In the case of Troy Davis, hundreds of thousands are raising their voices to say there is simply too much doubt to execute."

Rep. John Lewis (GA-05) and Rep. Hank Johnson (GA-04) sent a letter signed by more than 50 members of the U.S. Congress to the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles, urging clemency for Davis.

On Thursday, advocacy groups delivered boxes full of petitions urging the Georgia pardons board to grant Davis clemency.

Amnesty International, the NAACP and other groups dropped off petitions signed by more than 660,000 people.

The five-member panel has the power to commute or postpone executions, but rarely does so.

Copyright 2011 WGCL-TV. All rights reserved.