Martina Correia, Sister of Troy Davis and Anti-Death Penalty Activist, Dies at 44Posted: December 2, 2011
Correia, who fought for 22 years to keep her brother alive, died Thursday after a long battle with breast cancer.
Troy Davis was convicted and sentenced to death for the August 1989 murder of off-duty Savannah Police officer Mark MacPhail. After years of appeals, Davis was executed by lethal injection on September 21.
Correia was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 31.
Curt Goering, chief operating officer of Amnesty International USA said in a statement, “Our hearts are breaking over the loss of this extraordinary woman. She fought to save her brother’s life with courage, strength and determination, every step of the way. She was a powerful example of how one person can make a difference as she led the fight for justice for Troy Davis, even as she endured her own decade-long battle with cancer.
“She was a tenacious fighter, a graceful inspiration to activists everywhere, and a true hero of the movement for human rights. At this sorrowful time, we at Amnesty International offer our profound sympathy to her family.”
Democracy Now has posted an interview (scroll down) that Amy Goodman did with Correia at her brother’s funeral in October. There is video at the link.
Correia wrote a beautiful blog post at HuffPo on September 16 in which she described her struggle to save her brother and help her son deal with what was happening to his uncle.
As a young child, De’Jaun didn’t understand that my brother, his uncle was incarcerated, much less slated for death. When the family was getting ready to leave after a visit, he’d say, “Come on, Troy, let’s go, let’s go!” But he couldn’t go with us, and my mom would say, “He’s in school. He can’t come. One day, he’ll come home with us.”
As De’Jaun grew older, I explained to him that his uncle was in prison. But I had not yet told him that Georgia planned to kill him. He confided in his uncle more than anyone else. When De’Jaun was 12 years old, it became clear to me that my son understood far more than I had realized.
Our dog, Egypt, had gotten out of the yard and had been hit by a car. We immediately brought Egypt to a vet who told us that the dog’s leg was broken in three places and would need extensive surgery to be repaired. If Egypt did not have the surgery, she would have to be put to sleep. The cost of the surgery was upwards of $10,000.
As I drove De’Juan home, I wondered how in the world I would come up with $10,000. Putting Egypt down might be the only realistic possibility.
In the silence of the ride, De’Jaun turned to me and said, “Mom, are you going put my dog to sleep like they’re trying to put my Uncle Troy to sleep?”
I had to swallow this giant lump in my throat to hold back the tears. I didn’t know that he related the two things. That he knew they were trying to kill his Uncle Troy. And, he knew about which method that they would use to kill him. At that point, I decided that if I had to pawn my car, I wasn’t going to be able to put our dog to sleep.
What an amazing woman, and what a tragic loss to the world.