Monday, July 23, 2007

From Selma to Montgomery

Although much attention as of late has focued on Troy Anthony Davis, the Georgia death row inmate who many believe to be innocent, it is important to point out that there are several other executions pending involving people with equally substantial innocence claims. One of these is Darrell B. Grayson, due to be executed this Thursday, July 26. Currently on Alabama’s Death Row, Grayson d has been denied DNA testing of evidence that could clear him and save his life.
Supporters are asking Governor Bob Riley for a stay of execution for Grayson, and for the DNA tests. But Lisa Thomas of Brewton is doing even more.

According to Project Hope to Abolish the Death Penalty, our Alabama affiliate, Lisa will walk 54 miles -- from Selma to Montgomery -- retracing the steps of the 1965 Voting Rights March. Lisa gained national attention two years ago when she walked from Brewton to Montgomery and met with Gov. Riley advocating a moratorium on the death penalty, state tax reform for the impoverished, and state funding to combat hunger. After the meeting she walked 900 miles to Washington DC. Thomas declared, “The Decatur Daily has it right. They said “Most states now have laws that provide post-conviction access to DNA evidence, but Alabama is one of eight that do not. Why would a state want to execute anybody when even a shred of uncertainly exists about his guilt?” (Decatur Daily (Alabama) July 7, 2007.

Thomas’ walk will take her through Lowndes County, where a rally will be held to encourage Governor Riley to issue a stay of execution and order a DNA test for Darrell Grayson. The rally will be held at Annie Mae’s Art Place at 278 Harriet Tubman Road on Monday, July 23 at 6 p.m.

The 54-mile walk will conclude in Montgomery with a noon rally on the Alabama State Capitol steps on Wednesday, July 25. The public is urged to attend. “We are asking Governor Riley to stay the execution and insist that DNA testing be done” said Judy Collins Cumbee, lst Vice President of the Alabama New South Coalition. “We cannot execute an innocent man”, she concluded. Senator Hank Sanders is due to speak at the July 25th rally along with Alabama’s NAACP President Ed Vaughn and Kimble Forrister, Executive Director of Alabama Arise.


Death Penalty Focus said...

You are right on in commending Lisa Thomas for her efforts to raise awareness about cases such as Grayson's, which has not garnered the media attention that it deserves. In California, a coalition of death penalty opponents from Death Penalty Focus, California People of Faith Working Against the Death Penalty, and Amnesty International USA will begin a walk spanning 800 miles. Hopefully efforts such as these can help unite death penalty opponents from throughout the country.

Anonymous said...

Here is a link to more information about this walk...

Anonymous said...

Didn't the guy get found with the victims' stuff and admitted at trial that he raped the victim? It seems like the innocence claim was not particularly strong,