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Rallies Protest Impending Execution of Troy Davis
by Christian Boone
Rallies were held around the globe Thursday as part of a final push to save the life of death row inmate Troy Anthony Davis.
An hour north from where Monday's scheduled execution is to occur, roughly 200 protesters - including Davis's mother and sister - gathered at the state Capitol urging Gov. Sonny Perdue to intercede.
"The whole world is watching Georgia," said Larry Cox, executive director of Amnesty International USA. "Nowhere in the world is there a more serious violation of human rights than what Georgia is about to do to Troy Davis."
Davis, 40, was convicted of the Aug. 19, 1989 murder of 27-year-old Savannah police Officer Mark Allen MacPhail.
Since his trial, seven of nine key prosecution witnesses have recanted their testimony.
"If it was only one witness, that would be understandable. But seven of nine? That's a different story," said Ytunde Orumgbeni, of Atlanta. Unlike most of the protesters, Orumgbeni said she is not opposed to the death penalty.
"We have to do something," she said. "I feel they're taking an innocent life."
Davis' case has mobilized unprecedented support for groups opposed to capital punishment, said Sara Totonchi, chair of Georgians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty.
"I'm used to being at vigils down at the prison with 10 other people," Totonchi said. "I've never seen a turnout like this in Georgia."
Totonchi's group is holding a mock funeral procession in downtown Atlanta Friday morning and will deliver petitions signed by more than 140,000 people to the State Board of Pardons and Paroles.
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