Monday, May 25, 2009

I am Troy Davis and you could be too

These kinds of stories get to me, stories of men and women who've been put into prison for crimes they didn't commit, and are kept there even after evidence emerges to support not guilty. Troy Davis of Savannah, Ga., has such a story, and you can read about it at AmnestyUSA and also take action to stop his death by the state. You can ask Governor George Perdue of Georgia (Republican) to grant Troy Davis clemency.

Other bloggers have written about Troy Davis such as Marva of Conversations with Marva, SJP at Sojourner's Place, and MsLadyDeborah at My Brown Eyed View, and as you can see in the video below, a number of media outlets have covered his story.

Two days ago, Bob Herbert writing in Op-Ed at the New York Times said:
It’s bad enough that we still execute people in the United States. It’s absolutely chilling that we’re willing to do it when we’re not even sure we’ve got the right person in our clutches.

... I’m opposed to the death penalty, but I would have a very hard time finding even the faintest glimmer of sympathy for the person who murdered that officer. The problem with taking Mr. Davis’s life in response to the murder of Officer MacPhail is the steadily growing mass of evidence that Mr. Davis was not the man who committed the murder.

Nine witnesses testified against Mr. Davis at his trial in 1991, but seven of the nine have since changed their stories. ... (Herbert, "In the Absence of Proof")

Wayne at Electronic Village wrote last week:
He lost his appeal to the federal appeals court in April. The Supreme Court jumped in about 90 minutes before Davis was set to be executed back in September 2008. However, they turned down a hearing on his appeal in October.
When I hear stories like this, I think also of the Innocence Project, a social justice nonprofit that also has spoken up for Troy Davis, and consider that knowledgeable attorneys, such as best-selling author John Grisham, believe that far more people in this country are behind bars for crimes they did not commit than we are willing to admit.

I'll wager that for black men and women, that statement is even more true.


msladydeborah said...

What is most disturbing to me about Capital Punishment is the fact that if an error is made-there is no way to correct it.

I remember listening the Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmon talk about the death penalty. He was concerned that too many of the men and women on death row might not be guilty. He was opposed to state's using it because of the number of Black males who were waiting to be executed. I believe that Blackmon was right.

What pisses me off about cases like this one is the save face factor. Someone is going to bust hell wide open because they refuse to admit that they were wrong. The officials are willing to see an innocent man remain on death row before admitting that the error was made on their end.

SjP said...

Much obliged for this important post. Your points are right on! What gets me about this case is the lack of media coverage. There has been virtually nothing in msm on this. I just don't understand.

I've added your post to list over at the old SjP's here. Much obliged!