(Of all the amazing feedback and responses I’ve received about I Am Troy Davis, I have been consistently moved–blown away, even–by the responses I’ve received by men and women in prison, many of whom are on death row. This response to the book was sent to me from Illinois by a man named Adolfo Davis, who was sentenced at 14 years of age to life in prison without the possibility of parole.)
Thank you for writing me and sending me the most powerful book that I have ever read, and at the same time, the most heart-breaking. I read about Troy Davis in the Campaign to End the Death Penalty Newsletter, but the book allowed me to walk in his shoes.
Reading Troy’s journey made me sad, sick, and angry, because it shows the reality of Black Men here in America. Each day the prisons are being filled up with Black Men and the courts are giving them numbers that they can’t do so the reality is they will die in prison. And if they don’t have a case that deals with DNA, you don’t have a chance at regaining your freedom. because the courts don’t care if the witnesses recanted and now telling the truth. The courts only believe them when it help them get a conviction. So the fight to prove your innocence became moot for some. Because they don’t have a DNA case and they don’t have that family support like Troy did.
In black families, when someone get in trouble, in their eyes you are guilty even if you tell them you are innocent, and if it’s a serious case like murder, rape, or robbery, they will turn their back on you because they don’t want to look like they supporting what you are charged with. And on top of that, they are uneducated, so they can’t help if they wanted to. So that makes the fight harder and moot for some. That all plays a role in why so many people sign their lives away and take deals. But reading Troy’s journey shows us that even with the support of the world and the evidence it’s still not enough for a black man in America.
Jen, the sad thing about all this is there are other Troy Davis’s strapped in these concrete necropolis around the world and those who are free who are about to end up here in prison on death row or with life. That cycle will not stop, that’s the reality of this.
Jen, the reality is that Troy touched the world and true love was witness, but at the same time, he died an innocent man. People say in his death something good came out of it, but that’s some bullshit. Please forgive my language, but nothing good can come out of an innocent man being killed and it continues across America. What really changed? He is gone and his family died fighting with him. Life shouldn’t be like this. Where is the true justice, if it really exists?
I Am Troy Davis, born into a world where justice is my enemy and freedom is not guaranteed. With that said, I will close this.