National leaders join death penalty opponents in Stamford

Civil rights leaders will converge on Stamford a week from today – the two month anniversary of Georgia’s execution of Troy Davis despite questions about his innocence – to call for repeal of Connecticut’s death penalty.

National NAACP president Ben Jealous, Rev. Raphael Gamaliel Warnock of Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church and Troy Davis’ sister Kim will join Connecticut civil rights activists at a news conference that will be followed by a door to door canvass to collect signatures for presentation to the General Assembly.

Davis was convicted of murdering a police officer based upon the testimony of nine witnesses, seven of whom recanted or changed their testimony.

“In death, Troy Davis lives on as a reminder of a broken justice system that kills an innocent man while a murderer walks free,” Jealous said. “The system is fallible and biased against minorities.”

Throughout history, racial disparities have marred the death penalty’s application in Connecticut and nationwide, and they persist today. A recent study by Stanford Law Professor John Donohue found that, in Connecticut as in other states, defendants who murder white victims are more likely to receive death sentences.

“Connecticut is not immune from having our own Troy Davis,” said Scot X. Esdaile, president of the Connecticut State Conference of NAACP Branches. “What message are we sending when the cards are stacked against people of color and when we react with different outrage over the murders of black children than we do to the murders of their white brothers and sisters?”

138 men have been released from death rows nationwide since 1973 due to evidence of their innocence.

 

When: Monday, November 21st, 2:00pm

 

Where: Stamford Government Center, 1st Floor Lobby

              888 Washington Blvd.

              Stamford, CT

 

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