February 19, 2014
I believe capital punishment is one of the critical social justice issues of our country, and is, in many ways, the sharp edge of a deeply flawed criminal justice system. With 143 convicted death row inmates exonerated to date, an increasing awareness of how race, poverty and geography determine who is sent to death row, and a growing number of states repealing death penalty laws or imposing execution moratoriums, it has become clear that, from the grassroots up, the United States is fundamentally questioning this draconian punishment and its biased, arbitrary application.
This is why I am writing today to let you know about my new book, I Am Troy Davis.
You may remember Troy Davis’s name: On September 21, 2011 Troy was put to death by the State of Georgia, despite compelling evidence of his innocence. Troy’s execution was protested by hundreds of thousands across the globe, and broke new records on Twitter. Troy was named one of Time Magazine’s top ten influential people for 2011. How did one man capture the world’s imagination and become the iconic face of the campaign to end the death penalty?
I co-authored I Am Troy Davis with Troy and his sister Martina Davis-Correia, also working closely with other Davis family members in the lead-up to and aftermath of Troy’s execution. The book tells the intimate story of an ordinary man caught up in an inexorable tragedy. From his childhood in racially charged Savannah; to the confused events that led to the 1989 murder of a police officer; to Davis’s sudden arrest, conviction, and two-decade fight to prove his innocence; I Am Troy Davis takes us inside a broken legal system where life and death hang in the balance. It is also an inspiring testament to the unbreakable bond of family, to the resilience of love, and to how even when you reach the end of justice, voices from across the world will rise together in chorus and proclaim, “I am Troy Davis,” I stand with you.
It is my hope that the book will serve as a platform for education and mobilization around the death penalty and other egregious aspects of our criminal justice system. I am hoping that you may be willing to read I Am Troy Davis, and review or write about it on your blog (as well as other social media platforms that you may be a part of), so that your online community will be aware of the book, and use it as a tool in their/your discourse and analysis of these critical issues. I would also be very willing to engage directly with your readers in a discussion about the book and the issues it exposes.
Author, I Am Troy Davis