Vigil at Paine College protests Troy Davis' planned execution

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About 150 people gathered Wednesday evening in a candlelight vigil at Paine College and held a moment of silence for Troy Davis.

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Paine College student Craig McCullough marches across campus with other students in protest of the (at the time) imminent execution of Troy Davis Wednesday evening September 21, 2011.   Michael Holahan/Staff  MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
Paine College student Craig McCullough marches across campus with other students in protest of the (at the time) imminent execution of Troy Davis Wednesday evening September 21, 2011. Michael Holahan/Staff

Unaware of the delay caused by the U.S. Supreme Court’s consideration of a last-minute appeal filed by Davis’ lawyers, the school’s bell tower gave them an ominous signal in seven slow rings that the hour they dreaded had come.

“Innocence is lost in the state of Georgia,” said Dr. Luther Felder, the campus pastor. “He is in your hands now, God.”

Students and community members marched from the school’s library to Gilbert-Lambuth Memorial Chapel, chanting and picking up supporters along the way.

“Bless Troy Davis,” they chanted, “Spare his life.”

They offered prayers for Davis’ family and for that of the slain officer as well.

Wearing a shirt that said “I am Troy Davis,” Margarita Olivarez, the president of the Paine branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said, “This could be any of us. He’s an ordinary citizen. This could be one of us, our brother, sister, family member, us being in his place.”

As they sang We Shall Overcome some hugged and sobbed and others swayed, locked arm in arm.

Augusta NAACP branch President Charles Smith thanked them for coming out.

“One time in your life, you can say you stood for something,” he said. “You stood for justice and you stood for what is right. And you stood behind Troy Davis.”

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hounddog 09/21/11 - 10:03 pm
“Innocence is lost in the

“Innocence is lost in the state of Georgia,”
Dr. Felder, you are full of crap.

fatboyhog 09/21/11 - 10:13 pm
Really? Do they really even

Really? Do they really even know what they are saying and doing? Again, emotions take place of rational thought.

Patty-P 09/22/11 - 07:37 am
fatboy....there are MANY

fatboy....there are MANY people who have been falsely accused of crimes. I pray they did not execute an innocent man.

tmaugusta 09/22/11 - 09:19 am
He should have been dead a

He should have been dead a long time ago. He was found guilty by a court of law. GUILTY, people..... It's not the NAACP's decision of whether he should be set free or spared the death penalty. That march at Pain College was a joke and an embarassment to all other African American people who rely on our justice system to follow thru with a death sentence. The only thing sad about this debacle is the fact that he should have been executed years ago. I'm offended that my tax dollars have to go to blood-sucking lawyers that make a living off trying to keep murderers off death row.

Carleton Duvall
Carleton Duvall 09/22/11 - 09:22 am
well said tmaugusta

well said tmaugusta

Asitisinaug 09/22/11 - 09:56 am
When the NAACP and other

When the NAACP and other "black self appointed leaders" begin to stand up against crime, killers, drug dealers, etc. then they will gain support from like minded law abiding citizens. Black males commit more violent crimes than all other races/sexes and yet the only time you hear from the black leadership or NAACP or have marches/demonstrations from within the various communities is when a police officer is forced to take action against a black youth who more than 95% of the time is a repeat offender or when they are punished for their actions. Where are the "pastors" trying to prevent the youth from doing all of these crimes and being so violent to begin with.

All Cop Killers (no matter race, age, etc.) should be executed and it shouldn't take more than a year to accomplish the task upon conviction. We need to focus on those we can save far more than focusing on those who wish to live on the other side of the law.

If the NAACP President wants people to "stand for something" then they need to stand in support of our laws, law abiding citizens and the law enforcement officers of our country. Continuing to show an outpouring of support for murderers, drug dealers and other violent criminals for no other reason than the color of their skin is absurd and discriminatory.

In addition to black male youths committing more violent crimes than others, it should also be noted that the majority of the victims are also black. Taking that into consideration, it would only seem logical that the black community leaders would demand strong actions to be taken against violent criminals but this is never the case - they only receive empathy, support and have excuses made for them.

Everyone who lives in America should consider their selves extremely lucky. They have an opportunity that the majority of individuals will never have in other countries. Continuing to enable portions of our society and make excuses for individual behavior vs. holding people accountable for their actions will never amount to anything positive.

csrareader 09/22/11 - 10:23 am
"Wearing a shirt that said “I

"Wearing a shirt that said “I am Troy Davis,” Margarita Olivarez, the president of the Paine branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said, “This could be any of us. He’s an ordinary citizen.”

Margarita, it actually could be any of us... if we decide to murder someone. If not, I think we'll be allright.

Shishunk 09/24/11 - 12:57 am
Let's concede that all of the

Let's concede that all of the law-enforcement personnel don't harbor racial hostility toward Blacks. The large number of Blacks in prison are there because they committed a crime and either pledge guilty to or was convicted by a jury. Doesn't that prove then that Blacks are the ones committing more crimes than anybody else?
No. it doesn't prove that: What it does prove is what the Civil Rights Community has been insisting for 50-years: That the decision to zero-in, to concentrate on those street crimes most frequently committed by Blacks is a decision deliberately made by the Criminal Justice system of America. I hear somebody saying "Come on, only the Civil Rights Community would say that. How else can it explain why so many Blacks are in prison?
I am happy to report that the Civil Rights Community no longer stand alone on this issue. The Civil Rights Community has been vindicated by a report released by the National Minority Advisory Council on Criminal Justice. This 15 member panel was set up by the U.S, Justice Department, to provide advise to the Justice Dept's Law Enforcement Assistance Administration. This Council conducted over 33 public hearings during its 4-year investigation into the attitude of the Criminal Justice system toward minorities.
Now, what the Justice Dept. Council has said in its 305 page report, They charged that the "U.S. Criminal Justice system had been used to control minorities and suppress their opposition to white racism."
They said "America is a classic example of heavy-handed use of state and private power to control minorities and suppress their continuing opposition to the hegemony of white racist ideology."
This is because of "concentration on street crime as opposed to white collar crime." What does the Advisory Council mean by a "concentration on street crime as opposed to white-collar crimes?" I'll let the Council answer that. "Crimes that have the greatest impact on day-to-day life are white-collar." The Council says "The impact of the crimes on the F.B.I.'s crime index, such as robbery and assault, is small comparison to the effect of corporations fixing prices. The Criminal Justice system focuses not on those who make millions from powerless people, however, on the guy who throw a brick through a window. Last however, not lease, The council also said that "While Blacks are over represented among those persons arrested and imprisoned for crime, they are not responsible for the majority of crime committed in this country." The Advisory Council went further. They said, "There is no data to explain this obvious discrepancy other that the conscious choice of key decision makers to focus on crimes committed more frequently by Blacks."
The Criminal Justice system concentrates on the nickel and dime crimes while ignoring the serious multi-million dollar crimes. If you combined all the crimes committed by all the Blacks in prison today, they would not have the economic impact on day-to-day life as one major Corporation. When one major oil company, upon orders from its Board, unfairly fixes the price of gasoline, that affects the day-to-day life of practically everyone in the country. Ask anybody who drives or heat his home with oil.

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