Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 11 / 15 March 2018

NCLR criticizes Troy Davis execution

The National Center for Lesbian Rights has issued a statement criticizing the execution of Troy Davis in Georgia.

The San Francisco-based nonprofit’s reaction serves as an example of an organization that typically focuses on LGBT reaching beyond the gay community. Such moves are seen as crucial to winning allies.

Davis was executed Wednesday, September 21 for the 1989 murder of Savannah Policeman Mark MacPhail. That was despite seven witnesses from Davis’s trial recanting their testimony and a complete lack of physical evidence linking him to the crime, according to NCLR. Davis maintained his innocence until he was killed by lethal injection.

“This is a sad and shameful day for justice and democracy,” NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell said in a statement released Thursday, September 22. “With scant and tainted evidence the State of Georgia proceeded with its scheduled execution of Troy Davis.  Every barrier to protect a possibly innocent man from death fell away and now we all bear some measure of responsibility for Davis’s death. As a nation, we have lost a bit of our decency and humanity with Davis’s execution.”

She added that it’s “long past time” for everyone who’s “committed to a just and fair system to renounce the death penalty.”

Since the unsuccessful campaign to defeat California’s Prop 8 same-sex marriage ban in 2008, some LGBT groups have been talking about building relationships with communities that aren’t strictly gay. The No on 8 campaign was heavily criticized for communities of color and others.

Like Kendell, former Equality California Executive Director Geoff Kors was on the No on 8 executive committee. Since the state’s voters passed Prop 8 passed, EQCA has been trying to reach out to other minority groups. Current Executive Director Roland Palencia has appeared especially eager to work with other social justice organizations, but EQCA has not issued a statement on Davis’s execution.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, September 23, 2011 @ 12:19 am PST
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