MVFHR joins the many other organizations that have expressed sadness at the passing of Martina Correia, sister of Troy Davis. Troy Davis was executed in Georgia on September 21st, amid much protest because of his significant claims of innocence. So many joined in the campaign to stop Davis's execution -- not only in the U.S. but around the world as well -- and the campaign was marked by the t-shirts many of the protesters wore, saying "I am Troy Davis." Martina had led that tremendous campaign for many years while battling cancer.
MVFHR's Executive Director Renny Cushing offers these thoughts:
On numerous occasions over the past dozen years, I was fortunte to share a public platform with Martina Correia as we both tried to put a public face on the issue of violence and the death penalty. Martina was more than just an advocate for her brother; she was emblematic of the pain and struggle that all families of death row prisoners experience. Her dignity and quiet strength in both her public work and her private life were inspiring. When I heard of her passing, I thought not just of her but of all the family members of death row prisoners and executed persons and of how many people in the world today could be wearing a t-shirt that reads “I am Martina Correia."
Many others have offered memories and tributes. In a post on the Amnesty International blog, Laura Moye wrote:
Martina fought her deteriorating body every step of the way to hold onto life and to be in this world for her family and for the human family. Her body finally gave out, living eleven years longer than doctors predicted she would. It is unimaginable what stress and hardship she and her family faced having a loved one on death row who was almost executed three times, then finally killed by the state she called home and in the country she served as a military and civilian nurse. Martina’s mother, though in perfect health, died shortly after Troy Davis’ final appeal was denied and a few months before his execution. The families of murder victims and the families of death row prisoners endure enormous pain. The death penalty is horrifically destructive, creating a downward spiral of violence that drags so many people down in its wake. We must end it so that an authentic justice that brings us accountability, healing and a better future can take root and blossom.
And here is a link to Scott Langley's moving tribute and photo series.