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2011-12-02

Martina Correia, 1967-2011: Led Struggle to Save Brother Troy Davis’ Life as She Fought for Her Own

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Martina Correia, 1967-2011. Women’s health advocate and anti-death penalty activist from Georgia. She worked for years to save the life of her brother Troy Anthony Davis from death row, who was executed by the state of Georgia in September. She spoke to Amy Goodman after brother’s funeral on October 1, 2011.

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The Georgia activist Martina Correia died on Thursday after a more than decade-long battle with breast cancer. She was 44 years old. At the same time as she fought to save her own life, Martina Correia struggled valiantly to save that of her brother’s — Troy Anthony Davis. Troy Davis was executed by the state of Georgia on September 21 despite major doubts about the case, including the recantation of seven of the nine non-police witnesses. Correia was her brother’s staunchest advocate, at times leading rallies and public events from her wheelchair. She will also be remembered for her relentless women’s health activism after advocating for the creation of mobile mammography vans serving poor women in Savannah. At the funeral for Troy Davis in October, Amy Goodman spoke to Correia about her brother’s life, her quest to end the death penalty, and her own struggle against cancer. "The fight for my life, and the fight for Troy’s life, has been two-fold. They used poison to kill my brother, and then they use poison to keep me alive," Correia said. "So I want people to understand that we’re not supposed to kill people, and we’re supposed to help people. And I want them to know that Troy is just as much me as I am Troy. And I’ll never forget that." [includes rush transcript]

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

JUAN GONZALEZ: We begin today with news of the passing of Martina Correia, who died on Thursday after more than a decade-long battle with breast cancer. She was 44 years old. At the same time as she fought to save her own life, Martina Correia struggled valiantly to save that of her brother’s, Troy Anthony Davis. Troy Davis was executed by the state of Georgia on September 21st despite major doubts about the case, including the recantation of seven of the nine non-police witnesses. Martina Correia was her brother’s staunchest advocate, at times leading rallies and public events from her wheelchair.

At Troy Anthony Davis’s funeral in October, Amy Goodman spoke to Martina about her brother’s life, her quest to end the death penalty, and her own struggle against cancer.

MARTINA CORREIA: I know my brother is happy because he’s laying to rest with my mother. And they’re probably looking down on us, asking us what our next move is, but I think he already knows, because this weekend has been such a powerful weekend, to see so many people come together and want to stand and fight and want to change the laws. And we’re going to go to the Georgia State Capitol, and we’re going to start working on that gold dome. And they’re going to have to listen to us, because we’re their constituents, and we voted them in, and we can vote them out. And I know that’s one thing that we’ve had to learn, that we have to make people accountable who are speaking on our behalfs. And Troy made us all look within ourselves, and he made us see that there’s goodness in all of us and that all of us have to continue to fight.

AMY GOODMAN: Are you going to be continuing to investigate Troy’s case?

MARTINA CORREIA: I will continue until I can prove that Troy is innocent and that the people who wronged him, I will make them accountable, as well, and everyone will be brought to justice, because I’m not going to lay down and allow my brother’s death to be in vain.

AMY GOODMAN: Do you think you will be able to abolish the death penalty in Georgia?

MARTINA CORREIA: I think we will be able to abolish the death penalty. I know we will be able to abolish the death penalty, because people all over the world are asking the question, why kill when there’s doubt? And I want people to know that we’re no longer going to accept that, not in our names.

AMY GOODMAN: Finally, you’ve been fighting for your brother’s life, and then there’s your life. How are you feeling? You’ve been fighting breast cancer for a decade.

MARTINA CORREIA: Well, I’m in remission, and so I’m doing good with the breast cancer. And, you know, the fight for my life and the fight for Troy’s life has been two folds. They used poison to kill my brother, and then they use poison to keep me alive. And so, I want people to understand that, you know, we’re not supposed to kill people, and we’re supposed to help people. And I want them to know that Troy is just as much me as I am Troy. And I’ll never forget that.

JUAN GONZALEZ: Martina Correia, the older sister of Troy Anthony Davis, speaking after his funeral in October. She died Thursday at the age of 44.

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