MLK’s daughter enters fray of Ga. death penalty case




Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King Jr., has weighed in on the case of Troy Davis, a murder convict who is sentenced to die in Georgia on Wednesday and whose case has attracted attention around the world.


By Cliff Owen, AP

King has written a letter to the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles dated Saturday in which she repeats one of her father’s famous quotes — “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” and then writes, “It is with this in mind that I echo the cries of hundreds of thousands of others in asking your distinguished body to grant Troy Anthony Davis clemency and commute his sentence of death.”


The panel is set to review Davis’ case on Monday.

Davis, now 42, was convicted in 1991 for the 1989 murder of Mark MacPhail, a Savannah, Ga., police officer. Davis supporters, who range from NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous to former president Jimmy Carter, point out that 10 witnesses in the case have signed affidavits recanting their testimony and saying they were coerced by police, and that nine people have signed affidavits implicating another man.



Bernice King writes in the letter that her family is “well acquainted with the suffering and agony of losing a loved one to murder and the desire to see truth and justice prevail; as is the tragic case of Mark Allen MacPhail. ” But, she adds, “as we seek solace and justice, we must be careful not to perpetuate the chain of violence for the sake of expedience. The law must seek justice knowing that the two are not always synonymous. In the case of Troy Davis, it falls to each of you to make it so.”


King has carbon copied several notables on the letter, including President Obama, Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., former U.N. ambassador Andrew Young and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

On Friday, representatives for the NAACP, Amnesty International USA and other Davis supporters delivered more than 660,000 petitions to the state board appealing to the panel for clemency. The groups have been joined by celebrities and public officials in sending out several updates a minute via Twitter calling for clemency for Davis under the hashtag — or search term — TooMuchDoubt.


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