Martina Correria, Troy Davis's sister, made an emotional, symbolic statement before he was scheduled to be executed Wednesday in Georgia.
The Associated Press reported that Correia, who is fighting breast cancer and uses a wheelchair, told the crowd and media gathered:
"I'm here to tell you that I'm going to stand here for my brother today."
Correia, a trained nurse who served in the 1991 Gulf War, then stood up on stage with the help of others around her.
Troy Davis was convicted of murdering an off-duty police officer in 1989. He's maintained his innocence.
Davis' execution was delayed Wednesday as Georgia officials awaited a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court. Davis filed a last-minute plea, according to the AP.
Those who have called for the execution to be halted include Pope Benedict XVI, former President Jimmy Carter, the NAACP and Amnesty International.
Savannah Morning News reports that the family of victim Mark MacPhail said they don't hold anything against protesters, whom they see as being simply against the death penalty but uninformed about the case.
The victim's mother, Annalise MacPhail, told the AP she was a "nervous wreck" before Davis' scheduled execution. She said she believes that he's had more than enough chances to clear his name.
Davis' sister implored politicians to take action against the "atrocities that are happening in our state in the prison and jail system."
She ended her speech by saying, "I'm Troy Davis; you are Troy Davis; we are Troy Davis."
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