troy Davis funeral

Sent to death row 20 years ago as a convicted cop killer, Troy Davis was celebrated as "martyr and foot soldier" Saturday by more than 1,000 people who packed the pews at his funeral and pledged to keep fighting the death penalty.
troy Davis funeral
Family, activists and supporters who spent years trying to persuade judges and Georgia prison officials that Davis was innocent were unable to prevent his execution Sept. 21. Benjamin Todd Jealous, national president of the NAACP, brought the crowd to its feet in a chant of "I am Troy Davis" – the slogan supporters used to paint Davis as an everyman forced to face the executioner by a faulty justice system. Jealous noted that Davis professed his innocence even in his final words.
troy Davis funeral
MacPhail's family and prosecutors say they're still confident Davis was guilty.

The night Davis was executed, protests were held from Georgia to Washington, from Paris to Ghana.
troy Davis funeral
Davis' nephew, 17-year-old DeJaun Davis-Correia, was the only family member to speak during the service.

Amnesty International, which worked for years to exonerate Davis, urged its supporters worldwide to remember him Saturday by wearing black armbands and "I am Troy Davis."
troy Davis funeral
"If you thought you saw us fighting to save Troy Davis, now that we've been inspired by Troy Davis, you ain't seen nothing yet," Cox said.
I t was inevitable that the fiery politics of the death penalty would punctuate Saturday's remembrance of Troy Anthony Davis.
troy Davis funeral
Saturday, Davis' family and closest friends gathered inside the Jonesville Baptist Church to celebrate his life.

A mass of flowers covered Davis' closed casket. "I am Troy Davis. Jealous and other friends and advocates for Davis, including his lawyer, Jason Ewart, voiced Davis' last words before he was put to death by lethal injection. Davis was tried and convicted for MacPhail's murder and sent to death row in 1991.

Ewart, a young antitrust lawyer signed onto defending Davis shortly after graduating from Emory University's law school in Atlanta.

Savannah, Georgia, the world is watching you."

Davis' mother, Virginia, died in April. Davis' sisters, Martina Correia and Kimberly Davis, attended the funeral Saturday, as did Correia's son De'Jaun Davis-Correia.

Davis-Correia, born prematurely, said his uncle Troy was afraid to hold him when he was first born. With “the world watching,” Troy Anthony Davis’ family, friends and supporters filled pews at Jonesville Baptist Church on Saturday.

Davis, 42, was executed Sept. 21 for the 1989 murder of off-duty police officer Mark MacPhail. Anti-death penalty advocates seized the moment and memorialized Davis as a martyr to the cause Saturday.

Despite the national attention, most of people who came to Davis’ funeral lived or grew up in Savannah. Several had ties to Davis’ family.

LaShawn Warren, 40, drove up from Daytona to support Davis’ little sister, Kimberly Davis. Davis’ nephew, De’Jaun Davis-Correia, was the only relative to speak at the service, recalling long phone conversations with his uncle in Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison, in Jackson. Davis helped him with his homework, he said.

Jason Ewart, one of the attorneys who represented Davis, remembered coming over for dinner at the Davis’ Savannah home. We are all Troy Davis”

That refrain, “I am Troy Davis” was echoed several times during the funeral. Jealous said Davis’ death was a political call to action, and he called on the audience to oppose the death penalty.

Celebration was mixed with calls to action, and Davis was characterized by speakers as someone whose death will galvanize anti-death penalty efforts.

The Rev. Raphael Warnock, senior pastor of Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church eulogized Davis, saying he “transformed the prison cell into a pulpit” and “death row into a sanctuary.”

“The world is watching Savannah.”