Rutgers Law Students Mourn Troy Davis by LawCrossing


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Rutgers Law Students Mourn Troy Davis
By Rebecca E. Neely

In spite of deep rooted and widespread protest, Troy Davis was executed last week by lethal injection for the 1989 murder of Mark
MacPhail. MacPhail was a police officer in Savannah, Georgia. At the time of his death, he was working as a security guard at a local
Burger King. He was shot once in the heart, and once in the face. Per authorities, Davis was beating a homeless man in the parking
lot of the restaurant, and when MacPhail tried to intervene, Davis shot him. However, no gun was found and no DNA evidence linked
Davis to the crime. He was sentenced to death in 1991.

In the twenty years that followed, Davis continued to maintain        of silence, with some holding blue or white candles. Some
his innocence and drew global “support from the public,               shouted, “No justice, no peace.” A female professor held a sign
celebrities, and human rights groups,” according to Wikipedia.        reading, “I am Troy Davis”.
Among those supporting his cause were Amnesty International
and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored           Victor Monterrosa, a first-year Rutgers law student, read the
People (NAACP). In addition, well known politicians and               last letter Davis sent to supporters. He was quoted as saying:
leaders, including former President Jimmy Carter, Rev. Al             “It’s incredibly unjust. This isn’t a criminal justice system, it’s
Sharpton, Pope Benedict XVI, Archbishop Desmond Tutu,                 a punitive system.”
and former U.S. Congressman from Georgia and presidential
candidate Bob Barr, and former FBI Director and judge William         Adam Axel, one of the former students who spoke with Davis
S. Sessions petitioned “the courts to grant Davis a new trial,”       in 2009 during an on-campus event about the death penalty
according to information at . In the last few           case, was quoted as saying: “I’m just shocked. I just hoped
years, three executions were scheduled, but each was stayed           that the Supreme Court would grant a last-minute stay.” He
right before it was going to happen.                                  is now a public defender with Brooklyn Defender Services,
                                                                      and added: “I hope this creates a catalyst for change and the
Among those protesting and mourning Davis’s death were                death penalty crumbles.”
a group of Rutgers University law students. Two years ago,
Davis contacted the students from death row, requesting that          Funeral services are planned for Saturday, October 1st in
they continue to fight for his innocence.                             Savannah. Hundreds are expected to be in attendance,
                                                                      including hip-hop label owner Russell Simmons, model and
According to the September 22nd article,           author Kimora Lee Simmons, rapper Big Boi, and Rep. John
“Rutgers Law Students Mourn Troy Davis in Newark”, during             Lewis, D-Ga., according to the September 28th
a remembrance for Davis last week following his execution,            article, “Troy Davis funeral set for Saturday in Savannah, Ga.”
over two dozen law students and graduates had a moment


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