[Image: A very old, grainy black and white mug shot photograph of Lena Baker, a black woman wearing glasses and a headscarf, holding a numbered plate up.]
Meet LENA BAKER. A poor Black woman from Culbreath Georgia who’s claim to fame was being the first and only woman to be executed in the state of Georgia by electric chair in 1945. Her crime? Defending herself against the advances of an abusive white employer, who was going to kill her, if she didn’t kill him first. Lena Baker’s story has been largely ignored by the history books, but it speaks to the historical injustice that Blacks have endured and are still enduring today at the hands of the “justice” system. I keep her spirit in my heart as we await the outcome of this Troy Davis fiasco … hoping that just for once, history doesn’t repeat itself. - CB
“What I done, I did in self-defense, or I would have been killed myself. Where I was I could not overcome it. God has forgiven me. I have nothing against anyone. I picked cotton for Mr. Pritchett, and he has been good to me. I am ready to go. I am one in the number. I am ready to meet my God. I have a very strong conscience.”
Troy was found guilty of murdering a police officer 19 years ago, based upon the testimony of 9 witnesses. Today, 7 of those 9 have recanted their testimony entirely, and there are enormous problems with the testimony of the remaining 2 witness accounts. There is NO OTHER EVIDENCE. The murder weapon was never found. There is no DNA to test. Troy is scheduled to die by lethal injection on September 21, 2011.
A message from Troy Anthony Davis
September 10, 2011
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,
“I AM TROY DAVIS, and I AM FREE!”
Never Stop Fighting for Justice and We will Win!