At Troy Davis protests, people talk big change
Hundreds of protesters gathered in Jackson, Georgia, on Wednesday in the hours before Troy
September 23rd, 2011
07:45 PM ET

At Troy Davis protests, people talk big change

In the hours before Troy Davis was executed in a Jackson, Georgia, prison Wednesday for the murder of a police officer, the hundreds of people who had gathered outside not only protested his sentence, but also talked of bringing about reforms for the future.

During the hot day and into the evening, high-profile activists, college students and others said there was too much doubt over Davis' guilt for an execution (though the prosecutor said he had no doubt). And some expressed hope that the death penalty eventually would be abolished.

In a crowded church across the street from the prison, the head of Amnesty International, Larry Cox, drew raucous applause with a nod to the Christian belief in an afterlife.

"We are not afraid of death, because we know that death can be conquered," he said.

Many spoke about reforming the justice system. Elijah West, a cousin of Davis, spoke of getting a degree in criminal justice so that he could make changes from the inside.

Ben Jealous, head of the NAACP, called the death penalty "legalized vengeance" and urged the protesters to oppose it.

Protests were not isolated to Jackson, and they did not end with the execution. CNN iReporter Julio Ortiz-Teissonniere captured images of a protest involving at least 200 people in New York's Union Square on Thursday, the day after the execution. The event was half memorial and half protest, he said. While there, he grabbed a flier advertising an upcoming demonstration with a similar theme.

In Georgia, one man who spoke to loud cheers at the Jackson protest said Friday that the experience transformed him. Killer Mike, an Atlanta rapper and activist, said he has already begun organizing people to work for the change he sees as necessary.

"I'm telling people to register to vote, especially African-American males, so they can get involved in the judicial process," he said.

While race factors heavily in the entertainer's work - he says he speaks to the "psychology of young black men that machismo can protect you" - he left Jackson with a sense of unity.

"Before I'm African-American, I'm human," he said.

Click the audio player to hear more about the Jackson protest from CNN Radio's Emma Lacey-Bourdeax:

You can also listen to the CNN Radio Reports podcast on itunes or subscribe to the podcast here.

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Filed under: Crime • Death Penalty • Georgia • Justice
soundoff (175 Responses)
  1. chrissy

    wow banasy wow! i just have a hard time believin what i just read and all i can say is wow! i had absolutely no idea! the nerve of that lil pud whacker callin us old biddys! i just wanta lay one upside his head. grrr why didnt u tell me?

    September 24, 2011 at 3:23 am | Report abuse |
  2. raven

    Ok.. now Im startin ta think its some kinda trick: Shhh,everybody, ravens here..

    September 24, 2011 at 3:23 am | Report abuse |
  3. raven

    Hello?(tap,tap) This thing on ?

    September 24, 2011 at 3:25 am | Report abuse |
  4. raven

    Sigh.. Im the pariah of blogs

    September 24, 2011 at 3:28 am | Report abuse |
  5. chrissy

    hey raven no i didnt but ty! right now im kinda steamin tho! got a text a bit ago from gung hoe bout phillip and im totally floored that he is such a woman hatin drunken pig! and i wanta b*t*h slap him so bad my hand hurts. did u know?

    September 24, 2011 at 3:32 am | Report abuse |
  6. chrissy

    but ty 4 that about my dad @ least hes no longer in pain. brain cancer is a terrible way to go but hes in my heart and we talk still and yes he talks to me. weird i know but its true.

    September 24, 2011 at 3:39 am | Report abuse |
  7. raven

    Well I also saw your comments about your boyfriend and I said i come from a long line of alcoholics and then was stupid enough to MARRY one. I finally couldnt take it anymore. I left him and I havent talked to my family in years. I usta feel guilty about it but then realized: I ALWAYS felt guilty and was ALWAYS apologising for things THEY did just to keep the peace. Since I stopped talkin to em Im the happiest and most content Ive ever been. You do whatever it takes. You deserve to be happy. We all do.

    September 24, 2011 at 3:43 am | Report abuse |
  8. chrissy

    k im outta here that lil pud whacker has totally ticked me off. peace out ppl! not u tho phillip u can just kma g bye

    September 24, 2011 at 3:46 am | Report abuse |
  9. chrissy

    ty raven and im gettin my own place real soon and im gonna be relationship free 4 the rest of my life! obviously i cant spot em well cuz i sure never thought phillip was one too! dang! im stunned

    September 24, 2011 at 3:52 am | Report abuse |
  10. chrissy


    September 24, 2011 at 3:55 am | Report abuse |
  11. raven

    Yes, it IS awful . I was my aunts nurse when she was dying of brain cancer. Im truly sorry you had to go thru that. And no, I didnt know Philip was a lush. I have seen his shameful, relentless, toxic posts against banasy lately. I didnt wanna get involved because (a: banasy is witty,quick on her feet and gracious in her own defense (b: I figured I would become a target of his. But after these past few days I couldnt care less if I have a bullseye on my back. Whether hes drinking or not,his fanatical,toxic attacks in the name of God are torture to read. He has become venomous and hateful. Almost sadistic. But maybe thats just how he IS. Drunk? Clearly. On alcohol? I dont know .

    September 24, 2011 at 3:55 am | Report abuse |
  12. raven

    k Chrissy, sweet dreams!

    September 24, 2011 at 4:03 am | Report abuse |
  13. s kel

    go to bed people, you all are making too much noise, im trying to sleep. G nite

    September 24, 2011 at 4:06 am | Report abuse |
  14. s kel

    yawwnnn nite,chrissy

    September 24, 2011 at 4:08 am | Report abuse |
  15. raven

    Hey s kel, Sorry bout all the noise. Ill try ta keep it to a dull roar.

    September 24, 2011 at 4:13 am | Report abuse |
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