Authors: Jen Marlowe and Martina Davis-Correia with Troy Anthony Davis

ISBN: 978-1-60846-294-0

You may have heard of Troy Anthony Davis. I know I vaguely recalled the circumstances of his death in Georgia in 2011, but his story, and the story of his family, begins much, much earlier. I was a senior in high school when Troy’s life changed forever following the shooting death of an off-duty police officer in 1989.

Documentary filmmaker and author Jen Marlowe (“One Family in Gaza,” “Rebuilding Hope,” “Sudan’s Lost Boys Return Home,” and “Darfur Diaries: Messages from Home,” among others) spent years with Troy and his sister Martina putting together the pieces of the case against Troy and the family’s fight to get him released from prison. She became intimately acquainted with the original case against Troy and brilliantly and meticulously details the complicated twists and turns for the reader.

This book paints a frightening picture of the way seemingly inconsequential mis-steps can mushroom and result in horrific miscarriages of justice. Despite this family’s dedication to shining a light on the facts of Troy’s case and the things that just didn’t add up, the machinations of the Georgia justice system were unable to stop his death.

Far from being just about Troy Davis and his particular case, this book is about the state of the death penalty itself. The rallying cry of Troy’s supporters was, “I am Troy Davis,” and inspired the protestors who called for justice in the Trayvon Martin case. Their purpose was to illustrate that these young black men could be any of us, experiencing the worst of our flawed justice system. Throughout the struggle to obtain Davis’ freedom, his supporters grew exponentially and helped catalyze a discussion about the validity of the death penalty, both in the United States and internationally. There are so many facets to this case, but the most compelling to me was the role Troy’s family played and their tireless efforts to remain close with him during his time in prison and to educate others about his case. One thing they may not have been able to do in this context was to help people understand who Troy Davis really was, but this book does a masterful job of that. I found myself sobbing throughout the last several pages because as I read more and more about Troy and his loving family I realized that we truly are all Troy Davis. His humanity and compassion, strength and commitment to family are all things we wish for and his courage in the face of an unjust punishment are inspirational. I truly believe that his story has touched many lives already and, thanks to this book, it stands to have an even bigger impact.

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