A compelling account of the life of Troy Davis (1968–2011), the Georgia-born black man condemned to death for the killing of a white policeman.
When Officer Mark MacPhail was brutally gunned down in August 1989, the city of Savannah “was out for blood.” The man apprehended for that shooting, Davis, proclaimed his innocence until the day of his death in September 2011. Documentarian Marlowe (co-author: The Hour of Sunlight: One Palestinian's Journey from Prisoner to Peacemaker, 2011) tells the moving story of Davis and his activist sister, Martina Davis-Correia. Born just 17 months apart, they were as close as “two peas in a pod.” After neighborhood associates—some of whom spoke under duress from the Savannah police—pinned the crime on Davis, Davis-Correia vowed to fight on behalf of her brother. Through multiple appeals and stays of execution that took place over 22 grueling years, never once did her faith in her brother’s innocence waver. It only grew stronger, especially after the associates who blamed her brother for MacPhail’s death eventually retracted their statements regarding Davis’ involvement in the murder and admitted that they had lied under oath. Correia did not fare as well, developing breast cancer. Nevertheless, the two siblings remained committed to each other. Davis became a beloved surrogate father to his sister’s son and inspired him to work “against inequality and injustice,” while Correia worked tirelessly for her brother’s freedom. The state of Georgia finally executed Davis by lethal injection. Two months later, Correia passed away. Marlowe became involved with the case in 2008 and recounts events with compassion for both the Davises and the MacPhails, who declined to participate in the writing of her book. The result is a powerful narrative that challenges the notion that “the taking of one life can be answered by the taking of another.”
Poignant and humane.