Mass Incarceration. The New Jim Crow. The War on Drugs. Thanks to Professor Michelle Alexander these phrases are now intimately linked in the minds of social justice advocates and faith leaders as we begin a critical struggle for fairness, justice and human rights in the criminal courts, police precincts and prisons of America. The Next Movement is convinced that America can do better, and that the majority of Americans would want us to do better, if they knew the truth. The truth about systemic incarceration, structural second class status, completely uneven law enforcement practices, oppressive and selectively enforced laws that is filling the prisons of America.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Last Note From Troy Davis

To All:

I want to thank all of you for your efforts and dedication to Human Rights and Human Kindness, in the past year I have experienced such emotion, joy, sadness and never ending faith. It is because of all of you that I am alive today, as I look at my sister Martina I am marveled by the love she has for me and of course I worry about her and her health, but as she tells me she is the eldest and she will not back down from this fight to save my life and prove to the world that I am innocent of this terrible crime.

As I look at my mail from across the globe, from places I have never ever dreamed I would know about and people speaking languages and expressing cultures and religions I could only hope to one day see first hand. I am humbled by the emotion that fills my heart with overwhelming, overflowing Joy. I can’t even explain the insurgence of emotion I feel when I try to express the strength I draw from you all, it compounds my faith and it shows me yet again that this is not a case about the death penalty, this is not a case about Troy Davis, this is a case about Justice and the Human Spirit to see Justice prevail.

I cannot answer all of your letters but I do read them all, I cannot see you all but I can imagine your faces, I cannot hear you speak but your letters take me to the far reaches of the world, I cannot touch you physically but I feel your warmth everyday I exist.

So Thank you and remember I am in a place where execution can only destroy your physical form but because of my faith in God, my family and all of you I have been spiritually free for some time and no matter what happens in the days, weeks to come, this Movement to end the death penalty, to seek true justice, to expose a system that fails to protect the innocent must be accelerated. There are so many more Troy Davis’. This fight to end the death penalty is not won or lost through me but through our strength to move forward and save every innocent person in captivity around the globe. We need to dismantle this Unjust system city by city, state by state and country by country.

I can’t wait to Stand with you, no matter if that is in physical or spiritual form, I will one day be announcing,


Never Stop Fighting for Justice and We will Win!

Friday, September 23, 2011

America's Light Dimmed Again Yesterday


For over 20 years, Troy Davis has been proclaiming his innocence of the murder charge that placed him on death row in Georgia. With no physical evidence, but with 9 witnesses testifying against him, his pleas were not unlike so many heard from the accused throughout the justice system of America. But, after years of appeals, recanted testimonies (from 7 of the 9 witnesses) and confessions from another man that he did the killing, cries sprung up throughout the country of "Too-much-doubt," from the grass roots to the ivory towers.

From former President Jimmy Carter, to Pope Benedict XVI, from the NAACP to Amnesty International, from my friend Ted Pearson, to my pastor Rev. Otis Moss III, calls have gone out to withdraw the warrant for Troy's execution. Unfortunately, all the protests, letters, emails, tweets, etc., have not been enough to save him from the broken justice system we live with in our disUnited States of America.

America, the supposed "light on the hill" of moral certitude and character has once again spilled blood unnecessarily, callously, and for the world to see. Our light dimmed again yesterday! 

When America knowingly allows a death penalty in spite of proven fallibilities in our justice system, our light will continue to dim.

As long as the single most reliable predictor of whether someone will be sentenced to death is the race of the victim (77% of death penalty sentences are when victim is white), American's light will continue to dim.

And, as long as America continues to lead the entire world in the imprisonment of their own people, America's light will continue to dim!

I thank God for the many good people that fought the good fight to keep Troy Davis alive these many years, and look forward to our battles ahead. If not for this strand of decency, we would certainly be lost in the dark.