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Troy Davis Update

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September 24, 2008

Many of you heard that a mere two hours before he was scheduled to die by lethal injection yesterday evening, the U.S. Supreme Court stayed Troy Davis' execution.

First of all, a huge thank-you to everyone who signed the petition to save Troy's life. The ACLU received nearly 50,000 signatures: add to those efforts by Amnesty and other death penalty abolition orgs, and more than 200,000 people have petitioned for Troy to receive a new hearing.

But he's not out of the woods yet.

Here's what we know: The Supreme Court will decide whether to hear Troy's case on Monday, September 29. Troy's "death warrant" expires on noon on September 30, but a new warrant can be obtained from Georgia courts. If the Supreme Court turns down the case, they will lift the stay of execution, but it is unclear when.

If the Supreme Court turns down the case, only officials in Georgia will have the power to stop the execution.

So what can you do? Write a letter to the editor of your local paper by using our handy online tool. It even has talking points to help guide your letter-writing.

According to John Holdridge, Director of the ACLU's Capital Punishment Project (CPP), Troy’s lawyers have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether the Constitution prohibits the execution of a death-row inmate when there is substantial evidence that the inmate is innocent. Troy’s lawyers have also asked the high court to review the Supreme Court of Georgia’s decision not to grant Troy a hearing at which he could present the evidence that he is innocent.

To learn more about this case, Christopher Hill, State Strategies Coordinator for the CPP, blogged about it on Daily Kos. You can also listen to him talk about the case on Westwood One.

September saw the 130th innocent individual released from death row after having been wrongfully convicted. Will Troy Davis join the ranks of the other men and women who have been killed by the state in spite of compelling evidence of their innocence?

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