The story of Troy Davis, executed in 2011 despite serious evidence of innocence, told by a teenager who knew him.
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Part memoir and part exposé, Remain Free is the story of the unlikely friendship between Troy Davis, a 40 year old death row inmate from a rough part of the city, and Gautam Narula, a teenage high school student from the suburbs, amid the politics and personalities behind the Troy Davis movement.
They came from entirely different worlds: one from 1980s Savannah, riddled with poverty, drugs, and violence, exacerbated by lingering racial tensions between whites and blacks, and the other from 2000s suburban Atlanta, a sheltering bubble absent of firsthand experience with violence, poverty, or militant racism. And yet their friendship grew, inspiring the former to believe that today's youth would create a world better than the one he lived in and transforming the latter from an apathetic skeptic into an ardent activist.
In 2011, Troy Davis was the world's most famous death row inmate. Virtually unknown four years earlier, Davis caught the world's attention when he repeatedly faced execution despite serious claims of innocence: 7 of the 9 eyewitnesses from trial recanting their testimony against him, and 10 witnesses claiming another man had confessed to the crime. A movement spanning millions of people emerged around the globe. His execution on September 21, 2011, caused one of the highest tweet spikes in Twitter history.
But despite the worldwide media attention and the famous "I Am Troy Davis" slogan, few knew the man behind the movement or the political and legal wrangling that went on behind the scenes.
Beyond the story of a teenager coming of age on death row, Remain Free reveals intimate, previously unpublished details about the Troy Davis case and movement, including:
- Troy Davis's firsthand account of what happened the night of the murder that led to his conviction, and what occurred in the following days, months, and years
- The harsh reality of life on death row, compared to the facade given to the outside world
- The disorienting change of becoming an overnight celebrity on death row
- The people and organizations behind the Troy Davis movement, not all with altruistic motives
- The legal complexities and political maneuvering that ultimately sent Troy Davis to his execution
The book will be published on September 21, 2012, exactly one year after Troy Davis was executed, and released in the coming months afterward. But in order to make this project a reality, I need your help. All the money you contribute to this project will pay for the book's production (cover design, typesetting and formatting, printing, binding, and shipping) and marketing and promotion (developing and hosting a website, sending review copies, generating publicity).
I won't be making any money from this project. I just want the world to truly know who Troy Davis was, what he stood for, and what really happened.
Questions or comments? Message me on Kickstarter, tweet me @gautamrnarula, "like" the Facebook page for the book at www.facebook.com/remainfreebook, and follow my blog about the book at www.remainfree.com
Troy Davis was convicted of the 1989 murder of Savannah police officer Mark MacPhail, and sentenced to death in 1991. The conviction was based primarily on 9 eyewitness testimonies. Despite 7 of those witnesses recanting their testimonies, Davis was still executed on September 21, 2011. Over one million people signed a petition urging Georgia not to execute him. Googling "Troy Davis" will yield millions of results.
I first met Troy on death row in September of 2008 when I was 15 years old, shortly after he had come within 90 minutes of execution. Over the years we developed a close friendship, to the point where he called me his "adopted nephew" and signed his letters "Uncle Troy".
I had to keep most of this information under wraps while Troy was alive, because he would face serious threats to his safety if any of this was made public. The information in this book came from the following sources:
- Dozens of hours of recorded telephone conversations (we had to keep these secret because the Georgia Department of Corrections did not want Troy talking to the media, and would have taken away his telephone privileges if they knew about the recordings)
- In person meetings on death row
- Three years of written correspondence
- Conversations over the years with people who knew Troy
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Pledge $100, and in addition to four "I Am Troy Davis" wristbands and four autographed copies of the book shipped to you, each with a message of your choice, your name will also be featured in the Acknowledgements section of the book. (Add $40 if shipping address is outside the continental United States)Estimated delivery:
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