News 12 at 11 o'clock / Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- In a march that stopped traffic, about 50 Paine College students tried to make a statement.
"We don't want his memory to be forgotten," said Augusta NAACP President Dr. Charles Smith.
He's talking about Troy Davis, a man executed for killing a Savannah police officer. Davis has been dead for a year now, but his execution was highly publicized, and students want to use his case as a tool to fight the death penalty as a whole.
"The death penalty should be executed and abolished, completely," said Gia Dorsey, a student who marched at Paine's campus.
Smith led the march and read the national NAACP's statement regarding its moratorium on the death penalty.
"No matter who you are, what color you are, nobody should be put to death," Smith said.
But that begs the question about why the organization protests Davis' death so hard when others, both black and white, have been executed since. Smith says the specifics of Davis' case resonated with so many people after seven of nine witnesses later recanted their testimony years after Davis was convicted.
"The evidence should have been heard, there was still reasonable doubt," he said.
However, there's no doubt that many Paine students, along with the Augusta NAACP chapter, want to execute the death penalty.
"This is the beginning of the realization that only in America are these types of injustices still visible," Smith said.