Though their actions were not enough to save him, Troy Davis penned a letter thanking all of his supporters for their encouragement before his execution late last night.
The Atlanta inmate, convicted of killing an off-duty cop in 1991, was killed by lethal injection on Wednesday at 11:08 p.m. Troy’s supporters all over the world were hopeful when news broke around 7 p.m. that the U.S. Supreme Court had granted a temporary stay of execution pending a review of the case against him.
As we now know, it only proved to be momentary relief for those hoping that their protests would save his life. Some of the last words Troy ever spoke were a prayer for his executioners as he stated, “May God have mercy on your souls.”
Thousands of people across the world view Troy’s execution as an unjust death because there was no DNA evidence to connect him to the shooting death of Mark MacPhail in August of 1989. In addition to that, seven of the witnesses who once pegged Troy as the killer now claim to have lied about their accounts. The witnesses have said that they were intimidated by the real killer, who also testified against Troy.
Up until his death, Troy asserted that he was innocent of the murder. Mark’s family insisted, however, that Georgia was executing the right man and that justice was being served.
Hours before his scheduled execution, Troy released a letter expressing his gratitude for all of the support he’d gotten over the years.
"I want to thank all of you for your efforts and dedication to Human Rights and Human Kindness, in the past year I have experienced such emotion, joy, sadness and never ending faith," Troy wrote, admitting that he was often overwhelmed. "I can’t even explain the insurgence of emotion I feel when I try to express the strength I draw from you all, it compounds my faith and it shows me yet again that this is not a case about the death penalty, this is not a case about Troy Davis, this is a case about Justice and the Human Spirit to see Justice prevail."
"No matter what happens in the days, weeks to come, this Movement to end the death penalty, to seek true justice, to expose a system that fails to protect the innocent must be accelerated," Troy encouraged, stating that the execution could not destroy his "faith in God."
The inmate went on to remind protestors that while his life was not spared, the fight to end the death penalty could save someone else in a similar position.
"There are so many more Troy Davis[es]," Troy said. "This fight to end the death penalty is not won or lost through me but through our strength to move forward and save every innocent person in captivity around the globe. We need to dismantle this Unjust system city by city, state by state and country by country."
Before he signed off, Troy expressed his expectation that his supporters, and others like them, could one day see the death penalty abolished.
"I can’t wait to Stand with you, no matter if that is in physical or spiritual form, I will one day be announcing, ‘I AM TROY DAVIS, and I AM FREE!’" he wrote in closing. "Never Stop Fighting for Justice and We will Win!"