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. Godhelpusa

    U why they killed this guy even though there was alot of doubt surrounding the case? Suppose they finds out that he is innocent after given a new trial, did u know how much the state has to pay him for sitting on deathroll all these years. Therefore to avoid all that, the easiest way out is to kill him.

    September 25, 2011 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      That's kind of a stupid argument wouldn't you think?

      September 26, 2011 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Allen

      This went all the way to the supreme court, even they signed off on it. I know even Obama giving a thumbs up or down, or God signing off on this with lightining from a fingertip wouldn't be enough for you. Not guilty by reason of insanity...yours and everyone like you. The real victim was taken without due process. Davis got a lot more due process than he deserved and a much easier death than he gave. Mumia still saying he's "innocent" too, you like him and Davis, all twisted up.

      September 26, 2011 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
  2. Jj

    deathroll??? i put some stupid stuff on here before but dam! LMAO!

    September 25, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Silly Rabbit

    Is that anything like a jelly roll?

    September 25, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jj

    I think its what a crock does after a kill

    September 25, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jj

    bans i could politicize the game of golf if i wanted to mama. not really lol but really everything is political in my eye. did you know that weiners seat got taken by a member of the GOP? that seat was controlled by dems for 95 years!!! so hold onto your liberal butts come 2012 its gonna be a very bumpy ride for ya. not you bans youre an independent right?

    September 25, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  6. banasy©

    Lmao, a game of golf? You're good! :x. Yes, I'm an independent.
    I think 2012 is going to be a bumpy ride merely because of who is presenting as possible candidates.
    Not real sure there is a candidate in any of them...

    September 25, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Red Foreman

    Dumba$$es; Troy Davis was guilty! he used the same gun he killed the trooper with in another crime earlier the same day! Without proof he would not have been executed. If you execute a killer, he can't do it again!

    September 25, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  8. clearmind

    I for one know of two people who should have gotten a death sentence. sorry to anyone offended by that. but I am tired of `understanding` and being `tolerant` of people who do horrible things.

    September 25, 2011 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Trollzanonymous

      Stfu h8rz, H3 g0t 9 liv3z l3ft h3'11 b3 b4k 2mrw t0 c4p m0ar of y'all 4$$e$!

      September 26, 2011 at 3:51 am | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      Why do you think life in prison is somehow less punishment than death? Death is over in an instant – life lasts years..

      September 26, 2011 at 7:57 am | Report abuse |
  9. chillipepper

    Funny how liberals and racists always ignore and disregard facts. The guy shot someone earlier. So the guy shoots people. Then it was the same gun THAT KILLED THE OFFICER. Also had witnesses. But thats ignored because racists want video of the crime. If no video, deny deny deny keep denying. Then the white guilt liberals and the racists will want to set him free. White liberals and racists look at the slain cop as someone who would lynch the black guy if he could ANYWAY . Some kind of demented thinking like that. So let him go free. Don't care about the facts or justice just their bias backward thinking

    September 26, 2011 at 8:28 am | Report abuse |
  10. Allen

    I didn't hear a single word from these "human's" about the people the dead officer left behind. Wanna know how many vigil's they'll hold for them? None... Yeah we get it, human before African-American cause nobody else is human if they want murderer's executed. Also I get it African before American. That would explain why it doesn't matter that Davis is a murderer. It's ok, it was only a cop right?

    September 26, 2011 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
  11. BOO! HOO!

    They're just p!ssed because for once pulling the race card didn't work for them.

    September 26, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
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