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When Troy Davis was executed at a Georgia state prison in September, several hours after the Supreme Court deliberated (and denied) an emergency appeal, people around the world looked on in shock. Activists, convinced that there was too much doubt surrounding his murder conviction, including the fact that seven of nine witnesses later recanted their original testimony, had rallied for weeks, months and years on his behalf.

While many of those advocates are working to keep the name “Troy Davis” alive, in his emotional death they are also focused on another goal: abolishing the death penalty. With a global movement galvanized around the Davis case — which reflected the arbitrary nature of the death penalty, as well as the role that race and class often play in executions — they contend that now is the prime moment to surge forward in stamping out the practice.

If it seems like the death penalty and an American penchant for “eye for an eye” justice are here to stay, here are reasons that leaders on the issue say its abolition is possible.

Here are the 4 steps:

1. It’s been done before, practically.

2. It may all come down to 10 states.

3. The American “Wild West” mentality is wearing away.

4. The movement is bigger, now more than ever.

Go to The Root to see why Washington Reporter Cynthia Gordy says it’s  just that simple!

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