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September 20, 2011

ABA President Robinson Statement on Denial of Clemency for Troy Davis

Protection of the innocent is one of the legal profession’s most serious obligations.  That obligation has life-and-death consequences when the death penalty is at issue.

The _ previously urged the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles to grant clemency to Troy Davis, in part because the ABA has identified serious, longstanding concerns with the fair administration of Georgia’s death penalty.  Many of these problems were present at the time of the investigation and prosecution of Mr. Davis’ case, and persisted through every stage of appeal.  Serious doubts about Mr. Davis’ guilt and the fairness of his trial have also been raised by many national and international organizations and individuals.  Deciding not to execute Mr. Davis will serve justice by reaffirming that the justice system does not utilize the death penalty for anyone whose guilt is reasonably in question.

The ABA has no position for or against the death penalty itself.  But the association’s decades of work, its policies and the commitment to justice by all its members strongly indicate that Mr. Davis’ execution should not be carried out.

With nearly 400,000 members, the _ is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world.  As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.

Please click here for a biography and photo of Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson III, president of the _.

Media contact:  Anne Nicholas ( or .