European Outrage at Davis Execution


Hearing hard-core Republicans applaud the use of the death penalty during a recent televised forum for GOP presidential candidates incensed Sara Callaway, an African-American living in London for the past 25-years.

“It was like a declaration of war against all of us committed to justice,” said Callaway, one of over two hundred people who gathered outside the U.S. Embassy in London’s upscale Mayfair section for a silent, candle-lit vigil protesting the execution of U.S. death row inmate Troy Davis.

That London vigil beginning hours before Davis’ execution in Georgia was among many held in cities across Europe. Georgia officials executed Davis by lethal injection ignoring not hust the hundreds of thousands of appeals from Americans (and the overwhelming evidence that his trial had been a fraud and a lynching), but worldwide protests against that action.

European, American and supporters across the globe opposed the death of Davis, whose conviction stood on evidence now severely compromised by eyewitness recantations, improprieties by authorities and identification of a suspect–one of the witnesses for the prosecution — who one juror in the case alleges she heard admit to killing the off-duty policeman whose murder sent Davis to death row.

A vigil for Davis in front of the U.S. Embassy in the German capital of Berlin, in contrast to the quiet presence in London, contained loud shouts and speeches from some political leaders, as reported by Victor Grossman, an American born, Harvard educated writer living in Germany for over fifty-years.

Participants at the London vigil lit a long row of glass-dished candles placed on the ground across from the U.S. Embassy. Some participants held candles and signs with messages like: “USA! Shame on You!” and “Troy Innocent – Georgia Guilty!”

Nina Lopez, another London vigil participant wondered why civil and court officials in Georgia had ignored the international outcry to spare Davis’ life and accept evidence showing his tainted conviction.

“This is terrible for them to reject all of this international support. One petition gathered 600,000 names in only a few days,” said Lopez.

Voices in the U.S. and abroad urging postponement of Davis’ execution due to questions surrounding his conviction, including from a former director of the FBI, as well as conservative politicians and the Pope – evidence of innocence summarily rejected by appellate courts and by Georgia pardon officials.

“Ignoring all the evidence of Davis’ innocence is insanity,” said Sara Callaway, director of the London-based Women of Color in the Global Women’s Strike.

“This is a cover-up of an injustice,” Callaway continued. “The real perpetrator is still at-large and the police responsible for the major problems in this case haven’t been held to account.”

The U.S. Supreme Court, which blocked two planned executions in Texas during the past week, declined to re-enter the Davis case.

Georgia has 103 persons on death row, far fewer than California (721) and Texas (398) according to statistics compiled by the Washington, DC based Death Penalty Information Center.

Of the 138 American exonerated from death row since 1973, five have been Georgians.

Worldwide opponents of Davis’ execution cited racism as a driving reason in his execution. Davis, who is black, was convicted of killing a white off-duty policeman. The overwhelming numbers of victims whose murders result in death penalties are white, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

Georgia, incidentally, historically was the state with America’s second-highest total of lynch mob murders, in which the overwhelming number of victims of this bloody violence were African-Americans.

In Georgia, 450 lynch mob murders were officially recorded between the years 1882-1930, placing that state only behind the 538 lynchings officially documented in Mississippi, according to The New Georgia Encyclopedia.

“Terrorism” is how London vigil participant Tongogara characterized the then-pending execution of Davis. He heads the Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Defense Committee in the UK.

LINN WASHINGTON, JR., currently on residence for several months in London, is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, the new independent alternative online newspaper

More articles by:

Linn Washington, Jr. is a founder of This Can’t Be Happening and a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, (AK Press). He lives in Philadelphia.

March 19, 2018
Henry Heller
The Moment of Trump
John Davis
Pristine Buildings, Tarnished Architect
Uri Avnery
The Fake Enemy
Patrick Cockburn
The Fall of Afrin and the Next Phase of the Syrian War
Nick Pemberton
The Democrats Can’t Save Us
Nomi Prins 
Jared Kushner, RIP: a Political Obituary for the President’s Son-in-Law
Georgina Downs
The Double Standards and Hypocrisy of the UK Government Over the ‘Nerve Agent’ Spy Poisoning
Dean Baker
Trump and the Federal Reserve
Colin Todhunter
The Strategy of Tension Towards Russia and the Push to Nuclear War
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
US Empire on Decline
Ralph Nader
Ahoy America, Give Trump a Taste of His Own Medicine Starting on Trump Imitation Day
Robert Dodge
Eliminate Nuclear Weapons by Divesting from Them
Laura Finley
Shame on You, Katy Perry
Weekend Edition
March 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Michael Uhl
The Tip of the Iceberg: My Lai Fifty Years On
Bruce E. Levine
School Shootings: Who to Listen to Instead of Mainstream Shrinks
Mel Goodman
Caveat Emptor: MSNBC and CNN Use CIA Apologists for False Commentary
Paul Street
The Obama Presidency Gets Some Early High Historiography
Kathy Deacon
Me, My Parents and Red Scares Long Gone
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Rexless Abandon
Andrew Levine
Good Enemies Are Hard To Find: Therefore Worry
Jim Kavanagh
What to Expect From a Trump / Kim Summit
Ron Jacobs
Trump and His Tariffs
Joshua Frank
Drenched in Crude: It’s an Oil Free For All, But That’s Not a New Thing
Gary Leupp
What If There Was No Collusion?
Matthew Stevenson
Why Vietnam Still Matters: Bernard Fall Dies on the Street Without Joy
Robert Fantina
Bad to Worse: Tillerson, Pompeo and Haspel
Brian Cloughley
Be Prepared, Iran, Because They Want to Destroy You
Richard Moser
What is Organizing?
Scott McLarty
Working Americans Need Independent Politics
Rohullah Naderi
American Gun Violence From an Afghan Perspective
Sharmini Peries - Michael Hudson
Why Trump’s Tariff Travesty Will Not Re-Industrialize the US
Ted Rall
Democrats Should Run on Impeachment
Robert Fisk
Will We Ever See Al Jazeera’s Investigation Into the Israel Lobby?
Kristine Mattis
Superunknown: Scientific Integrity Within the Academic and Media Industrial Complexes
John W. Whitehead
Say No to “Hardening” the Schools with Zero Tolerance Policies and Gun-Toting Cops
Edward Hunt
UN: US Attack On Syrian Civilians Violated International Law
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Iraq Outside History
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: The Long Hard Road
Victor Grossman
Germany: New Faces, Old Policies
Medea Benjamin - Nicolas J. S. Davies
The Iraq Death Toll 15 Years After the US Invasion
Binoy Kampmark
Amazon’s Initiative: Digital Assistants, Home Surveillance and Data
Chuck Collins
Business Leaders Agree: Inequality Hurts The Bottom Line
Jill Richardson
What We Talk About When We Talk About “Free Trade”
Eric Lerner – Jay Arena
A Spark to a Wider Fire: Movement Against Immigrant Detention in New Jersey
Negin Owliaei
Teachers Deserve a Raise: Here’s How to Fund It