Death row inmate Troy Davis’s years-long battle for freedom and justice came to a heartbreaking end when he was executed by the State of Georgia at 11:08 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Sept 21. Following days of nation-wide protests supported by Davis’s family members and friends as well as stars supporting the cause to save Davis, many of those celebrities have now weighed in on the tragic execution and shared their sorrow over Davis’s death.
Atlanta rapper Big Boi, who attended a protest outside of the Jackson, Georgia facility where Davis was executed, spoke with MTV’s RapFix Live earlier in the day about the pending execution and asked people to pray for Davis. Following Davis’s death, the rapper tweeted, “Y’all better WAKE UP!!!” adding, “Just remember we fought to the very end….peace and Blessings. P.S at least y’all know who NOT to vote for….P.s.s I’m speaking on all offices in government, district attorneys, judges, etc. etc.
According to RapFix, others in the hip-hop community also shared their thoughts on Davis’s death.
“‘May God have Mercy on their Souls.’ ‘May god bless your souls’ – Troy Davis RIP” Diddy tweeted.
“My heart hurts bad” Busta Rhymes wrote.
“This Troy Davis stuff, is breaking my heart …” wrote Wale.
“#RIP Troy Davis and Mark McPhail” Bun B tweeted. “Prayers for both of their families. And yours and mines as well.”
Outspoken rapper Lupe Fiasco also weighed in on the execution, discussing the numerous pieces of evidence casting doubt on Davis’ murder conviction in the shooting death of police office Mark MacPhails
“Honestly I don’t know if #TroyDavis was innocent or not. I prayed for his soul regardless. But if all that was being asked 4 was time… 2 clarify and get a level of surety b4 a decision was made then the system is just doing what it does best…being deaf 2 the voice of mercy,” tweeted Fiasco, adding, “Rest In Peace Troy Davis & Officer Mark MacPhail. And all the innocent civilians killed in illegal wars we fight in the name of justice
Hip-Hop mogul and activist Russell Simmons provided a reflective and poignant response to Davis’s execution, claiming that “11:08PM EST, September 21st, 2011 was the moment that America lost a piece of her soul.”
“We have spiraled into a “revenge” culture, thinking that the only way to reach closure in our lives is by hurting others,” wrote Simmons via his GlobalGrind website. “Revenge is a “slow burning” form of hatred and anger that many carry with them throughout their lives, which can weigh heavily on your personal spiritual, physical, mental and emotional growth. Although we might think it is difficult to forgive someone, it is actually much more difficult to hold all that anger and hatred inside of you. As a nation, we must rid ourselves of this mentality of “revenge,” for if we do not, I am sad to say that we will continue to kill people like Troy Davis without much remorse.”
Despite his disappointment in America, later in the post Simmons added that, “We will learn from our mistakes and heal the wounds that have been made. We will do this together, for the case of Troy Davis did not divide us, it actually brought us closer. We will make it to 11:09 as a better, united nation. I know we will.”
But the most powerful response to Davis’s death was his own. Davis — who in 1991 was convicted of the Aug. 19, 1989 murder of Officer Mark McPhail in Savannah, Georgia — spoke to the family of the slain officer just moments before his death, maintaining his innocence for one last time.
“I did not personally kill your son, father and brother. I am innocent,” said Davis.
Speaking for the last time, Davis then motioned to his executioners and asked, “May God have mercy on your souls. May God bless your souls.” –nicholas robinson