*(Atlanta, GA)– Rev. Al Sharpton, President of National Action Network (NAN) and NAN’s Southeast Regional Bureau of NAN will hold candlelight vigils in support of Clemency for Troy Anthony Davis (pictured) and will be joined by members of the clergy, community activists and others in support of the State Board of Pardons and Paroles commuting the death sentence of Troy Davis.

On Friday, September 16th, Rev. Sharpton will hold his radio broadcast and television show from Atlanta where he will speak at 7:00 p.m. at the rally at Ebenezer Baptist Church.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2011

7:00pm RALLY:
Rev. Al Sharpton will speak at Ebenezer Baptist Church
407 Auburn Avenue
Atlanta, GA 30312

CANDLELIGHT VIGILS
Thursday – Sunday, September 15-18, 2011
7:00pm – 8:00pm
State Board of Pardons and Paroles
2 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, SE
East Tower
Atlanta, Georgia 30334

The Atlanta Chapter of National Action Network, members of the clergy, community activists and supporters will hold vigils daily until September 18th to appeal for clemency for Troy Davis.

BACKGROUND:
Rev. Al Sharpton and National Action Network (NAN) are calling for the parole board to prevent a terrible and irreversible miscarriage of justice and to grant clemency to Troy Anthony Davis. In expectation of the September 19th Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles final clemency hearing regarding Mr. Davis, the Atlanta Chapter of National Action Network, clergy, community activists and supporters will hold candlelight vigils, 7:00pm – 8:00pm, every day beginning Thursday, September 15 through Sunday, September 18, 2011, in front of the State Board of Pardons and Paroles office and Rev. Sharpton will join them Friday, September 16th in Atlanta where he will broadcast his radio and television show.

In 1991, Davis was convicted — based solely on witness testimony — of murdering a Georgia police officer. Despite prevalent inconsistencies even at that time, he remains on death row till this day. In the years since the trial, seven out of nine witnesses have recanted their statements and many assert that they were pressured into fingering Davis as the killer by overly-eager police trying to solve a case involving one of their own. One witness even stated that he never saw Davis shoot or kill anyone. And to add insult to injury, one of the only people not recanting his testimony is Sylvester ‘Red’ Coles — a person who was once also considered a suspect. There is new evidence pointing towards Coles as the gunman, and nine people have signed affidavits accusing him of committing the murder. So with all of these remarkable developments, why is Troy Davis still scheduled to be executed on September 21st?

On Rev. Sharpton’s MSNBC Politics Nation broadcast this week, he was joined by former Republican Congressman Bob Barr for a segment on this troubling situation. Although Barr supports the death penalty overall, the former representative highlighted the serious flaws within this case and the need for us to halt Davis’ execution. During the time of his conviction, there was no DNA or physical evidence and no recovery of a weapon. An entire case that was constructed solely on the basis of witness testimony that has now fallen apart requires immediate action. It’s why people like former President Jimmy Carter are supporting Davis in his quest for justice and why I have also visited him on death row. National Action Network has been pushing for a fair trial for Davis for several years and there is absolutely no time left to wait.

Troy Davis has exhausted all of his appeals and without clemency or some other drastic action, he will be executed next week. A man, who in his two decades or more (spent two years just awaiting trial) behind bars, lost his own father during that time and missed out on a tremendous chunk of his prime years, faces imminent death. An Anti-terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act passed by Congress in 1996 made it more difficult for Davis to attempt to prove his innocence, while the lack of DNA evidence prevalent in older cases like his should be reason enough for Davis to receive a new court date.

Rev. Sharpton, like numerous other voices out there, is not asking you to judge whether or not Davis is innocent or guilty. NAN is instead advocating for an end to his execution and an opportunity to finally receive a just trial where evidence can be introduced and witnesses will not be coerced or pressured into lying.

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Rachel Noerdlinger
President
Noerdlinger Media
Facebook.com/rachel.noerdlinger
Twitter.com/rachelnoerd