Friday, September 16, 2011

Amnesty's Letter for Spiritual Leaders/ Stephen Dear's Implementation: Letter on Behalf of Troy Davis

Special Event on Troy Davis' behalf - GO here

You can also email Stephen Dear at with your full contact information and we will manually add you to the list of endorsers. (Mention whether or not you are a spiritual/religious leader)

Yesterday in Atlanta I (Stephen Dear) had the privilege of helping to present the unprecedented collection of signatures of 3,500 faith leaders on the letter for clemency for Troy Davis to the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles. PFADP's staff and I were literally up all night preparing the documents for the parole board and media. We have had never had to prepare so many signatures on such a letter. No one has ever had to spend so much time doing that, as far as we can tell.

If you signed the letter, thank you. If you or your organization asked faith leaders to sign the letter, thank you. The parole board holds its clemency hearing on Troy Davis on Monday. We will continue to collect endorsements and send them in to the parole board as long as we need to.

Hundreds of events are taking place today and this weekend around Troy Davis. If you would like to incorporate prayers into your faith community's liturgies this weekend click here for a liturgy you could use.

I want to tell you about the press conference and delivery to the parole board yesterday.

It was so heartening to be joined by faith leaders such as Rev. R. L. White, pastor of Mt. Ephraim Baptist Church, one of Atlanta's largest and oldest churches, and Rev. Debra Metzgar Shew, Canon for Community Ministries for the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, and others as we stood with representatives of Amnesty International, the NAACP, and other groups who have led this unprecedented call for clemency. In addition to the clemency letter, we helped carry into the parole board's offices the petition signatures of more than 665,000 people from around the world gathered by Amnesty International, NAACP, and many other groups. Here is a video of that moment.

Below is part of my statement at yesterday's press conference.

"Today we are delivering a letter calling for clemency for Troy Davis from the leaders of faith communities across Georgia and from every single state in the nation and beyond, leaders from every major faith tradition, religious leaders who support the death penalty and those who oppose it all speaking with one voice: allowing the execution of Troy Davis would be both unnecessary and unconscionable.

"Nearly 3,500 faith leaders have signed the letter. That is several times more faith leaders than have signed any other such letter for clemency in modern American history – if not in all of history. More than 1,000 religious leaders from the South have endorsed clemency for Davis, including about 250 pastors in Georgia, some of them Southern Baptist pastors.

"The Troy Davis case is so fraught with doubt that it fails to meet any standard of acceptability held by any religious organization we are aware of, including the standard of clear and convincing guilt established by the Southern Baptist Convention in 2000. These faith leaders from across the religious and political spectrum are saying there is no morally acceptable position supporting the execution of Troy Davis.

"Thanks to the egregious problems with Troy Davis's case this letter represents a new level of engagement from America's faith community on what is happening in our courts and death chambers.

"We hold the family of Officer Mark MacPhail in our prayers and we hold each of the parole board's parole board's members in our prayers as they fulfill their duty to review this case. We respectfully urge the parole board to grant clemency to Mr. Davis."

Indeed, let us continue to act and pray for healing, for justice, and for life.

In gratitude and solidarity,

Stephen Dear
Executive Director

People of Faith Against the Death Penalty
110 W. Main St., Suite 2-G, Carrboro NC 27510
(919) 933-7567


Steve Dear said...

Thanks so much for posting this. Just to be clear. The letter signed by religious leaders for clemency for Troy Davis was created by Amnesty International and promoted by many organizations. The staff of People of Faith Against the Death Penalty and I promoted it a lot but we had a lot of help.

- Steve Dear

CN said...

And thanx for your clarification, Steve!