By Ashley Broadbelt
Lincoln University students joined together at the Mary Dodd Brown Memorial Chapel, last Wednesday, for a Vigilance of Justice in lieu of the execution of Troy Davis.
The event was hosted by the NAACP, Lincoln University Chapter, in conjunction with several other organizations, some including Boys 2Men, National Council of Negro Women, and Queens Living through Legacy.
It was an event that came together rather at the last minute due to the outpouring support for justice in Davis’s case.Davis was scheduled for execution on September 21, at 7 p.m.
At the start of the program it was revealed that the execution would be postponed while the United States Supreme Court reviews his case. The audience members breathed a sigh of relief.
“We wanted to bring awareness to his situation,” Jakiera White said. “If it can happen to him, it can happen to anyone of us sitting in this room,” White said.
Davis was convicted of murder in the 1989 shooting death of an off- duty police officer in the face. In 1991, he was sentence to death. Davis tried many times to get an appeal from the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles, but was continuously denied.
Members from the sponsoring organizations spoke about injustice in America.
Darah Swinton recalled how just a few minutes earlier there was a debate over whether or not to postpone an on-campus Senate meeting so that members could attend the vigil for Davis. Swinton added that she was also dismayed that more students didn’t show up to the vigil.
“Everyone would know that we stood up for something,” Swinton said at the end of her speech.
Ariel Bullock was aware of Davis’s case prior to the vigil. “I’m a criminal justice major and I don’t see how this is fair. I pray for justice, anywhere is better. He needs prayer,” Bullock said.
Harran Holmes missed the beginning but he still walked away knowing the case better.
“I felt the program was beneficial. I didn’t know much about the case before. I do think that more students should have attended the program,” said Holmes.
Towards the end of the program, the crowd sang in unison to “Lift Every Voice and Sing” led by Rev. Faison. The vigil ended with powerful words.
“Let us March on till victory is won…”
*** At 11:08pm Troy Davis was declared dead by execution in the state of Georgia after the United States Supreme Court denied his final appeal.