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Beyond Reasonable Doubt: The Troy Davis Project

A society & culture podcast from Georgia Public Broadcasting
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In 1991, seven black and five white jurors convicted Troy Davis of murder in the shooting death of Savannah police officer Mark MacPhail. Davis sat on Georgia’s deathrow for 20 years. Leading up to his execution, there were mass protests. Some of Davis’ supporters included Pope Benedict XVI, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, and former Republican Congressman Bob Barr of Georiga. Their efforts to stop the execution weren’t successful. On September 21, 2011, the state of Georgia executed Troy Davis. Atlanta-based playwright Lee Nowell was captivated by the case. She was commissioned by Atlanta’s Synchronicity Theatre to write a play based on Troy Davis’ story. It premiered at Synchronicity in 2016, and was called "Beyond Reasonable Doubt: The Troy Davis Project.” Each act of the play may lead you to a different conclusion about Troy Davis’ innocence or guilt. Lee Nowell adapted the play for GPB as a podcast and radio broadcast, featuring all the original actors. Lee blends fictional characters with research and court transcripts.

Beyond Reasonable Doubt: The Troy Davis Project intertwines fictional characters reacting to the pending execution of Troy Davis with factual material drawn from the Davis trial transcript, media reports and statements from advocacy organizations and individuals that took a position on the execution. Playwright Lee Nowell structured her play so that each person who comes to it can decide for themselves what to make of Davis’s guilt or innocence and of his controversial execution. Like Nowell, GPB Radio entrusts to listeners the choice of deciding for themselves the issues the play presents.

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