News from the ODC

Letter from Mary Catherine Johnson re: Troy Davis

Dear Ed,

Thank you for your wonderful, loving note. Wednesday was a great evening with you, too – thank you for being my teacher and showing me by example. I especially loved watching you make showers possible for people who really needed them, and facilitating the letters to Troy Davis. One of the most meaningful moments for me that night was helping Charles get a pair of shoes from the shoe closet – watching him take such care and pride in cleaning them and making them smell fresh, and then David helping him get some new white shoelaces to replace the raggedy red ones. I recall thinking that there was nothing more important in the world at that moment than Charles having good shoes that he could be proud to wear.

I received a birthday card from Troy Davis, which Marcus facilitated. I cried a bucket of tears when I saw it. That Troy would take time to send me a loving message in the midst of what he is facing – well, it’s not surprising, given his generous heart, but nonetheless I have no words for what it truly means to me.

Heartfelt thanks to you and Murphy for changing your plans to be here for Troy. I’m sorry that you will miss the retreat – bless you for being present where you are most needed. I loved your suggestions to Jason, and your response to Kathryn Hamoudah, and I’m available to help plan and carry out the vigil at the Parole Board on September 19. I will take as much time off work as possible on the Friday of the march and the Monday of the Parole Board vigil. And I will do whatever I can to facilitate hospitality to the activists through Open Door. I will speak with Jason today and keep you posted.

Did you hear what Rick Perry said about Texas executions in the Republican debate this week? He was asked about how he felt presiding over 234 executions (yes, that’s 234 – staggering!), including several innocent people, since he became governor, and not only did he get the biggest applause of the night at that moment, he was horribly smug and prideful about his state carrying out the “ultimate justice.” I am frightened for this country.

Yes, Jason is an incredible human being, a true gift from God. And he’s so young – I marvel at the fact that he will only grow more incredible as he gets older. He gives me hope for this world. You would have been so proud of him at the meeting last night, taking a leadership role, networking with everyone, speaking confidently about Open Door’s commitment to the movement and specific plans for Troy.

Please pray for Ed Weir. Last night at the meeting he got so emotional during the introductions that he could not speak. Lora said they had talked to Troy’s sisters that day, and that they have known their family for over 20 years – that this is very hard for them. My heart was breaking for Ed, for everyone who loves Troy.

Sorry for the long note – there is much to say.

I hope you are enjoying Tallahassee and Waculla Springs.

Peace and love,

Mary Catherine