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Posted at 05:20 PM ET, 09/20/2011

Troy Davis execution: High-profile reactions highlight local interest; last-minute rally scheduled

Supporters of Troy Davis gathered in Columbia Heights over the weekend. (Zack Ford/THINKPROGRESS.ORG)
Troy Davis, denied clemency in his last legal appeal, is scheduled to be executed Wednesday, despite doubts surrounding his guilt and a lack of physical evidence linking him to the crime. It is the fourth time his execution has been scheduled to take place.

An undated photo of Davis. (REUTERS)
Many Washingtonians are following the story closely; some have been voicing support for years, most recently during last week’s rallies in the Columbia Heights neighborhood and at Howard University.

Amnesty International is organizing a last-minute rally Tuesday in Columbia Heights at 6 p.m. and posted a message that Davis, 42, had asked to share on its Facebook group:

“The struggle for justice doesn’t end with me. This struggle is for all the Troy Davises who came before me and all the ones who will come after me. 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.”

Outside of the District, high-profile voices are using Twitter to rally another effort for Davis, identified as the killer in the 1989 shooting death of Savannah police officer Mark MacPhail. Seven of nine original witnesses have recanted their stories, while two other witnesses say another man is guilty.

Along with requests from former president Jimmy Carter and Pope Benedict XVI , pleas from author Melissa Harris-Perry and Antwan André Patton — better known as OutKast’s Big Boi — are being circulated online.

Harris-Perry, who regularly writes on African American political thought and who recently made headlines for her work on the book “Sister Citizen” and a critique of the movie “The Help,” sounded off on the Davis case to over 45,000 followers:

"To take a life when a life has been lost is revenge, not justice." -Desmond Tutu #TroyDavisTue Sep 20 16:48:03 via TweetDeck

Big Boi, for his part, has tweeted the public phone numbers of the Savannah district attorney and superior court judge to more than 307,000 followers. Rashad Robinson, executive director of, told BlogPost’s Elizabeth Flock that Davis’s case has hit nerves locally and nationally because “all along, [people] expected that the justice would step in and do the right thing.”

A map to tonight’s rally in the District is below.

View Troy Davis rally in a larger map

By  |  05:20 PM ET, 09/20/2011

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