A moment of silence

photo of Troy Davis “Thank you for supporting me and my family I have been truly blessed by god through you all. Thank you for showing solidarity and continuing the good fight for humanity.”

-Troy Davis, in an interview conducted just last weekend by Davis’ cousin E. Red.

Last night, Troy Davis was executed by lethal injection at 11:08 PM.

Executed, despite the existence of reasonable doubt in his case.

Executed, despite the protests and pleas of hundreds of thousands of grassroots organizers and global leaders alike, who chanted and wrote and marched to say “Not in my name.”

Executed, despite the utter senselessness of state-sanctioned murder.

Some news sources are reporting* that Davis was strapped to a gurney for his last four hours as he awaited confirmation of his fate, adding an element of physical and psychological torture to the ordeal that is hard for me to fathom as I sit in my room sadly but comfortably typing this post. News sources are also reporting that Davis lifted his head and used some of his last words to deny his guilt one last time to the family of the victim who had gathered to watch him be executed.

Protests both physical and digital lasted late into the night, up until the moment that Troy’s death was announced and in some cases, even past it.

One protestor pauses and crouches on the ground

Protestors at Howard University
Protestors gather at Atlanta courthouse

As Troy himself pointed out, the fight for justice can’t end with his unsettling and untimely death.

According to the Death Penalty Information Center, there have been 1,267 executions in America since 1976. As of January 1, 2001, there are currently 3,251 inmates on death row, and over 130 people have been released since 1973 with evidence of their innocence.

You can find more statistics on executions by state here.

Indeed, there are demonstrations being planned across the country to show opposition to capital punishment and solidarity with Davis and his family.

For those who live in the New York area, there is a demonstration planned for 5 PM today at Union Square.

Please leave information about other events and protests in comments.

And if you are unable to attend or simply feel emotionally overwhelmed by the implications of last night’s horrific outcome, please join me in a moment of silence: for Mark MacPhail, an off-duty Savannah police officer who was murdered in 1989; for Troy Davis, a death-row inmate who was murdered in 2011; and for the country who would do both lives such a disservice and disrespect as to suggest that with these deaths, justice has been served.

*Commenter Sherri and various reports on Twitter suggest there are conflicting accounts on this. I will update if I receive any more definitive information.

Brooklyn, NY

Lori Adelman is a writer and advocate focusing on race, gender, and sexual and reproductive rights. In addition to serving as an Executive Director at Feministing, Lori is the Director of Global Communications at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Lori has previously worked at the United Nations Foundation, the International Women’s Health Coalition, and Human Rights Watch, and has written for a host of print and digital properties including Rookie Magazine, The Grio, and the New York Times Magazine. She regularly appears on radio and television, and has spoken at college campuses across the U.S. about topics like the politics of black hair, transnational movement building, and the undercover feminism of Nicki Minaj. In 2014, she was named to The Root 100 list of the nation's most influential African Americans, and to the Forbes Magazine list of the "30 Under 30" successful people in media.

Lori Adelman is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Partnerships.

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