Rapper Big Boi felt compelled to take his online campaign to halt the execution of Troy Davis to the streets of Georgia after the embattled Death Row prisoner reached out to his old pal for help.
Davis was convicted in 1991 of fatally shooting off-duty police officer Mark MacPhail in 1989, even though prosecutors failed to find a murder weapon or any physical evidence linking him to the crime.
He has maintained his innocence throughout his 20-year sentence and even offered to take a lie-detector test to prove his case, but two last-minute appeals for clemency, filed with officials this week (begs19Sep11), have been rejected and Davis will be killed by lethal injection on Wednesday night (21Sep11).
The Outkast star has been calling on fans and fellow human rights activists to join him in a march outside government offices in Jackson, Georgia to protest the death sentence and he reveals the case is personal for him - because his family has known Davis for years.
Big Boi tells GlobalGrind.com, "Troy Davis is from my hometown and... he reached out to me, like, last week. I was already trying to bring awareness to the case via my Twitter and he didn't even know it, and people at Amnesty International called me and told me that Troy wanted me to speak on his behalf to get the young people involved."
"He went to high school with my auntie actually, he said he met me when I was eight years old but I don't remember that. My point though, is that guilty or innocent, there is just too much doubt. That is the basis of the whole trial... so to just put a man to death is just unjust."
And the hip-hop star is hopeful that his efforts will help to save Davis' life.
He says, "We are just going to show support for him. We are trying to let our voices be heard... Everything is possible with God... But, if you are in a position that I am, in the position to reach millions of people, I feel like it is necessary to use that voice not only to entertain but also to educate and just really bring awareness to this. Whether it goes through or not, we know we tried and we gave it a good try to push in his favour."
Other stars who have voiced their support for Davis include Mia Farrow, hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, rapper Sean 'Diddy' Combs, singer John Legend and socialite Kim Kardashian.
Meanwhile, civil rights activists Reverend Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton were reportedly among those protesting outside the prison where David is awaiting his death sentence.