The Death Penalty, Race, Institutional Flaws and What You Can Do

In 1991 Troy Anthony Davis was convicted of the murder of off-duty police officer Mark MacPhail and sentenced to death in Georgia. In the case Davis pleaded innocent and through out his time on death row he has never changed this assertion. After his first appeal, seven out of nine eyewitnesses recanted their testimony or contradicted their previous statements. Many asserted that the police had coerced them to give evidence implicating Mr. Davis. One of the two eyewitnesses who did not change testimony was himself a suspect in the trial prior to Mr. Davis. Mr. Davis appealed his case to the Supreme Court of the United States and, on August 17th, 2009, the Court ordered a new evidentiary hearing.

On September 24th Rice University’s Amnesty International Chapter will examine this case and the ways in which it reflects the deep inadequacies within the American justice system, especially when it comes to the death penalty and it’s interaction with race. Rice Amnesty urges all who are interested in the case, in the justice system, in fairness and in the abolition of the death penalty to attend.

The event will be held on Thursday, September 24th at 6:30pm. The event will be located in the Humanities Building, number 31 on the campus map, Houston TX, 77005.

For further information, please contact Julia Lukomnik, External Vice President of the Rice university Amnesty International Chapter, at

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