The more than one million petitions, letters and emails that
you helped send on behalf of Troy Davis have put his case in
the global spotlight.
Together, our collective action spurred pleas for a stay from
people like Pope Benedict XVI, President Carter, former FBI
Director William Sessions and Archbishop Desmond Tutu,
as well as demonstrations from Savannah to Atlanta to
Dayton to Hong Kong.
But perhaps most importantly, we broke through the silence
about the horror the death penalty represents. Your work
brought about conversations in millions of American
households, helping to change hearts and minds about capital
Now, we must achieve the mission Troy gave each of us.
As Troy Davis — a fellow NAACP activist — said so many
times, “This movement began before I was born … it must
continue and grow stronger … until we abolish the death
penalty once and for all.”
Please take a moment to sign the NAACP pledge to fight for
the end of the death penalty in the United States.
September 21, 2011 was a searing moment for all of us. Every
Current Chatham County District Attorney Larry Chisolm
acknowledged that if it were up to him today, he would not
try this as a death penalty case. Yet, when he could have
acted to stop the execution, he refused to do so.
The Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles, designed
specifically to ensure that executions never happen amidst
so much doubt, allowed it to happen anyway.
Justices on the Georgia State Supreme Court and the United
States Supreme Court — men and women who know that our
justice system is degraded when we allow someone to be
executed even when the former warden of the very prison the
inmate is in says there is too much doubt to proceed —
cleared the way for the execution to be carried out anyway.
These failures are the result of a system that gives the
power of life and death, God-like powers, to humans who are
as prone to error and susceptible to bias as any of us.
Human nature won’t change, so the system must. This must
never happen again.
I promised Troy that no matter what happened we would keep
fighting until the death penalty is abolished. That is the
only way we can possibly guarantee our government will never
make such a tragic and irrevocable mistake again.
Until that day, we are all Troy Davis. And in the name of
Troy Anthony Davis, we must all carry on the fight.
In the past two years, the NAACP and our allies have
abolished the death penalty in three states. When we succeed
in abolishing it in ten more, we will be in a position to
ask the Supreme Court to abolish it entirely. In the
meantime, there are effective strategies we can use, in even
the most conservative states, to diminish its use greatly.
In the months ahead, we will convene teach-ins around the
country and implement an aggressive state-by-state agenda to
end capital punishment for good. We will host a national
summit in Georgia to launch this next wave of activism.
But we cannot do any of this without your help.
Please take the pledge today, and ask each of your friends
to do the same. Help us all carry out Troy Davis’ mission.
Your work has sparked a movement, M A.
Let’s keep it going until the job is done. Together, we can
ensure that Troy’s death was not in vain and this will never
Benjamin Todd Jealous
President and CEO