SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - While the fate of convicted killer Troy Davis remains unclear, after years of silence the Savannah branch of the NAACP is speaking out.
Today, local NAACP president Dr. Prince Jackson made his first public comment on the Troy Davis situation.
He says recent developments helped him make up his mind on whether Davis is guilty or innocent. As defense and the state prepare their paperwork for the court of appeals, Dr. Jackson says he is looking for spiritual help from area churches.
"It is is now clear, crystal clear, that the state's case against Troy Davis is not clear," Jackson said. "It is not beyond a reasonable doubt. There are a lot of doubts in this case."
It took 17 years for Jackson to say this.
"I, Prince Jackson, the PHD, do not believe Troy Anthony Davis is guilty," he told WTOC.
Jackson says back in 1991, when nine witnesses testified and said Davis was the man who shot and killed Savannah police officer Mark MacPhail, he believed them. Now, he says he believes they lied under oath and recent events have led him to make a public stand.
"Seventy-eight percent of the state's case has disintegrated, 78 percent. That's a mandate," Jackson said. "Maybe the state case is right. I don't know, but since Troy's life is at stake, we believe Troy ought to be given every opportunity to defend himself."
"He had to make up his own mind. I'm glad he made up his mind," Virginia Davis, Troy Davis's mother, said of Jackson's decision.
She was by Jackson's side as he made his statement to the press. She says she respected the local NAACP's position to hold off on joining the "I am Troy Davis" movement. She says the NAACP's help is not too late, even though as a mother, she knows this latest appeal could be her son's last chance.
"He made his peace with God. Whatever happens, that's what happens," Davis said.
"I have no evidence one way or the other, but my gut feeling says he is not guilty," Jackson said.
He claims the biggest weapon will be prayer, as he is faxing every church in the region to take seven minutes this Sunday to pray for guidance for the court in the Troy Davis appeal request.
As far as the appeal goes, Troy Davis's attorneys have until Monday to file their paperwork with the court of appeals, and then the Attorney General's office will have ten days to respond.