With his execution now imminent (sắp diễn ra), Troy Davis urged death penalty opponents to continue their fight after his death in a letter released by Amnesty USA. Davis’ final appeal against (chống án) his conviction (kết tội) for a 1989 shooting death (bắn chết người) was rejected (bác đơn)Tuesday.
By News Wires (text)
AFP – Troy Davis, an American convicted two decades ago of killing an off-duty (ngoài giờ làm việc) policeman, has urged opponents of the death penalty to fight on after he is executed Wednesday following a failed bid (cố gắng không thành) for clemency (ân xá).
The Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles ruled Tuesday against (phán quyết kết tội) Davis, who is black, and refused to commute his sentence for the shooting in 1989 of Mark MacPhail, a married white father of a two-year-old girl and an infant boy (bé trai sơ sinh).
The campaign to spare Davis’s life (cứu mạng) drew high-profile (của những nhân vật có tiếng tăm) support from former US president Jimmy Carter and Pope Benedict XVI, helping him escape three previous dates with death in a racially-charged case.
"The struggle for justice doesn’t end with me," Davis said in a letter to supporters released to the public via Amnesty International USA after his legal appeal was refused.
"This struggle is for all the Troy Davises who came before me and all the ones who will come after me(sau khi tôi chết)," he said in the message.
"I’m in good spirits and I’m prayerful and at peace. But I will not stop fighting until I’ve taken my last breath."
There was no physical evidence tying Davis, then 20 years old, to the shooting and several witnesses at his trial later recanted (rút lại lời khai, sự làm chứng) their testimony.
MacPhail, 27, had been working nights as a security guard when he intervened in a brawl (vụ cải vã) in a Burger King parking lot in Savannah, Georgia and was shot in the heart and the head at point-blank range (bắn thẳng ở tầm gần)
Some 2,000 protesters gathered, at Amnesty’s urging, at the Georgia state capitol (trụ sở chính quyền bang) at 7:00 pm (2300 GMT) Tuesday, exactly 24 hours before Davis is due to become (sẽ trở thành) the 34th person executed (hành hình) in the United States this year.
The family of the victim have long maintained that Davis was guilty and that the execution should go ahead, with MacPhail’s daughter telling journalists emotionally (đầy xúc động) how she had been robbed of (bị cướp đi) her father.
Davis, now 42, has always maintained his innocence amid doubts over his conviction and says the state of Georgia is about to execute an innocent man, but justice officials refused to commute his sentence (cải hoán bản án).
"The board has considered the totality of the information presented in this case and thoroughly deliberated (cân nhắc kỹ lưỡng) on it, after which the decision was to deny clemency," said a written statement. It did not disclose (tiết lộ) the vote breakdown (tỉ lệ bỏ phiếu) "We’ve been here three times before," said Anneliese MacPhail, the mother of the slain police officer. "We are ready to close this book and start our lives. This has been a long haul."
MacPhail’s daughter Madison, now 23, choked back the tears (nghẹn ngào nuốt nước mắt) after Monday’s parole board hearing (phiên đối chất), "The death penalty is the correct source of justice," she said.
All avenues (ngã đường, lối thoát) for Davis now appear exhausted (ạn kiệt, không còn bao nhiêu nữa) as Georgia’s governor (thống đốc bang) does not have the power to stay (đình hoãn) executions and experts said any last-minute filings to the state courts or the US Supreme Court would likely prove unsuccessful.
"I am utterly shocked and disappointed at the failure of our justice system at all levels to correct a miscarriage of justice," Davis attorney Brian Kammer said, as rights groups and activists rushed to condemn the decision.
African American leaders condemned the parole board’s (của Ban Giảm án) decision as emblematic (điển hình) of a US criminal justice system riven with (bị xâu xé vì) racial inequality.
"This is Jim Crow in a new era," declared Reverend Raphael Warnock of the Ebenezer Baptist Church, referring to American segregation laws (luật cách ly) overruled by the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
The American Civil Liberties Union urged Georgia’s prison workers to strike in a desperate bid (cố gắng tuyệt vọng) to deprive (lấy đi, không cho sử dụng), the state (chính quyền tiểu bang) of the wherewithal (phương tiện thiết yếu) to carry out the execution.
Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, said there was next-to-no chance (gần như không có cơ may nào) Davis could earn (có được, giành được) a reprieve (trường hợp giảm nhẹ) in what he called the "biggest capital punishment case in at least a decade."
The Supreme Court became involved in the Troy Davis case (vụ án) in 2009 and ordered (chĩ định) a federal judge in Savannah to convene a hearing (triệu tập một phiên tòa đối chất) to consider new evidence (chứng cứ).
In August 2010, however, a US District Court (Tòa án cấp Quận) in Georgia ruled (phán quyết, đưa ra quyết định) that Davis had failed to prove (không chứng minh được) his innocence and denied him a new trial (từ chối cho ai được xét xử lại). The top US court turned down (bác, reject) a subsequent appeal (đơn kháng án, đơn yêu cầu phúc thẩm)