(WASHINGTON, D.C., 9/22/11)
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called for a moratorium on the use of the death penalty following the controversial execution of Troy Davis last night in Georgia for the murder of an off-duty police officer.
Because of circumstances surrounding his trial and sentencing, Davis' execution captured worldwide attention. Seven of the nine key witnesses at Davis' trial later recanted their testimony. Some jurors say they have changed their minds about Davis' guilt.
A man who was with Davis the night of the murder reportedly confessed that he actually shot the officer.
Ordinary citizens and prominent figures -- including the Pope and former President Jimmy Carter -- called for Davis' death sentence to be commuted.
In a statement issued today, CAIR said:
"This disturbing case demonstrates the urgent need for a moratorium on the use of the death penalty nationwide. As in this case, studies have clearly demonstrated that poor and minority defendants are more likely to be sentenced to death than members of the majority society who have adequate access to legal representation. Justice can never be served by the execution of the innocent."
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.