Troy Davis' Execution: Murdered by America

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The American judicial system is a flawed one, underpinned with inequality by color and class. The fact is: Troy Davis is dead today because he was poor and Black and lacked adequate funds to acquire the services of high-paid lawyers.

[Speaking Truth To Power]

Wednesday night, another Black man was murdered in America.

He wasn’t killed by a gangbanger, drug-dealer or blood-thirsty street thug.

This man wasn’t even, like Sean Bell or Amadou Diallo, killed by trigger-happy cops who police Black communities.

No, this time the murder was committed by the State of Georgia, with the silent blessing of those who are supposed to be the leaders of this nation. With America—and the rest of the world watching—those who we’re told represent “law and order,” like the Justice Department, Supreme Court, Congress and White House stood by and allowed it to happen.

They all have the blood of this man on their hands.

On Wednesday, at 11:08 p.m. Eastern Time, 42-year-old Georgia Death Row inmate Troy Anthony Davis’ life was extinguished by the State of Georgia, after the Supreme Court refused to grant a last minute stay of execution.

Davis, whose case was a cause celebre worldwide, defiantly maintained his innocence to the very end telling the family of Officer Mark MacPhail “I'm not the one who personally killed your son, your father, your brother. I am innocent. All I can ask is that you look deeper into this case so that you really can finally see the truth.” He also told his family members and supporters “to continue to fight this fight.”

Davis was killed by lethal injection, in Jackson Georgia, for the August 19, 1989 killing of Officer Mark MacPhail in Savannah, Georgia.  Officer McPhail, who was working as a security guard at a local Burger King, was shot and killed when he intervened to stop the beating of a homeless man.

At his 1991 trial, several witnesses claimed to have seen Davis shoot Officer MacPhail. Two witnesses testified Davis had confessed to the crime. Consequently, although there was no forensic, or, DNA evidence linking Davis to the crime, he was nonetheless convicted by a Georgia jury and sentenced to death.

However, over time, especially as new evidence emerged, many people began to realize Davis’s guilt was in serious doubt. For, one thing seven of the nine key witnesses who identified Davis as the perpetrator of Officer MacPhail’s murder recanted their earlier testimony and said Mr. Davis was not the perpetrator.

Several of these witnesses cited police intimidation for their earlier testimony. Others, with pending criminal charges, insinuate they were coerced with promises of lesser sentences. Several other witnesses identified one of the two remaining witnesses, Sylvester “Redd” Coles, as the real murderer of Officer McPhail.

One of these witnesses, 27-year-old Quianna Glover, told CNN, on Wednesday, that Coles admitted to the killing and threatened her life. Glover said she informed the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Parole about this. She has since fled the Savannah, Georgia-area.

Besides groups like Amnesty International and the NAACP, Davis was supported by numerous prominent personalities like: former President Jimmy Carter, South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Pope Benedict XVI, former U.S. Congressman Bob Barr and former FBI Director William Sessions.

Sessions said: "Serious questions about Mr. Davis' guilt, highlighted by witness recantations, allegations of police coercion, and a lack of relevant physical evidence, continue to plague his conviction."

“There has been very substantial evidence of innocent that has been raised in this case,” Congressman Barr said on Wednesday MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews show. “And I don’t think that it is morally or legally correct for the state of Georgia to execute a man against whom there is very substantial evidence of innocence.”

On CNN, Barr said “I support the death penalty, and have for a long time. And I am not making a judgment as to whether Davis is guilty or innocent. But surely the citizens of Savannah and the state of Georgia want justice served on behalf of MacPhail, the police officer. Imposing a death sentence on the skimpiest of evidence does not serve the interest of justice.”

We’re often told that Lady “justice is blind.” Apparently, she’s also deaf, dumb—and racist. This case debunks the notion that American justice is somehow fair and equitable. That’s nothing more than fanciful fiction.

The American judicial system is a flawed one, underpinned with inequality by color and class. The fact is: Troy Davis is dead today because he was poor and Black and lacked adequate funds to acquire the services of high-paid lawyers.

Although, Blacks comprise a mere 13 percent of the population, they represent half of America’s prison population and half of those on Death Row.

Many often talk about fighting for justice. But, how many prosecutors really give a damn about real justice? The lives of people are nothing more than a game to many of them to be tallied up as wins and losses on a chalkboard. And those who do well playing this game, with the lives of the Black and poor, can advance their political careers.

There are many instances where prosecutors hide evidence they know will hurt their chances to obtain a conviction. Why won’t government crackdown on those who engage in prosecutorial misconduct?

Unfortunately, many Americans seem to think the death penalty is an appropriate form of punishment. During the first Republican debate for president, a few weeks ago, many cheered the fact that presidential wannabe and Texas Governor Rick Perry presided over some 200 instances of state-sponsored murder in Texas. Ironically, many of those cheering are the same ones who lecture that abortion is wrong because it violates the “sanctity of life.”

Yet, these same, supposedly, “small government” advocates support the taking of life by the state.

Many people, like Perry, pretend the criminal justice system isn’t fallible. It is. For example, because of the stellar work of journalism students at Northwestern University, in Illinois, over 11 innocent men convicted of murder have been exonerated, since 1999, including five who were on Death Row.

In fact, in part, because of their work former Republican Governor George Ryan instituted a moratorium, in 2000, on death penalty cases in Illinois saying “"there is no margin for error when it comes to putting a person to death.” One would think these students would be rewarded. Instead, prosecutors in Illinois are currently targeting these very students from the Mendill School of Journalism’s Innocence Project—not to be confused with New York’s Innocence Project—with judicial threats in an apparent attempt to disrupt the program. Why isn’t the establishment media covering this judicial outrage, which amounts to nothing more than a vendetta to impede brilliant work that has saved lives?

The execution of Troy Davis was a barbarous act that belies any notion of civilization. All of the players in American politics aided and abetted in Davis’ death with their silence and inaction.

They are all guilty of the murder of Troy Davis.

"Speaking Truth To Empower."

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