a federal district court decision puts georgia death-row inmate troy anthony davis back on track for execution, despite doubts about his guilt raised during a june 24 evidentiary hearing. judge william t. moore, jr., ruled executing an innocent person would violate the united states con-stitution & davis didn't meet the extraordinarily high legal bar to prove his innocence. in '91 davis was convicted of killing police officer mark macphail.
larry cox, executive director of amnesty international usa, said, "nobody walking out of that hearing could view this as an open-and-shut case." cox further stated, "the testimony that came to light demonstrates doubt still exists, but the legal bar for proving innocence was set so high it was virtually insurmountable. it would be utterly unconscionable to proceed with this execution, plain and simple."
davis' hearing obscured the following: 1) four witnesses admitted in court they lied at trial when implicating davis & they didn't know who shot officer macphail; 2) four witnesses implicated another man as the one who killed the officer, including a man who says he saw the shooting & could clearly identify the alternative suspect, who is a family member; 3) three original state witnesses described police coercion during questioning, including one man who was 16 years old at the time of the murder & was questioned by several police officers without his parents or other adults present.
laura moye, director of aiusa's death penalty abolition campaign said, "the troy davis case is emblematic of everything that is wrong with capital punishment. in a system rife with error, mistakes can be made. there are no do-overs when it comes to death. lawmakers across the country should scrutinize this case carefully, not only because of its unprecedented nature, but because it clearly indicates the need to abolish the death penalty in the united states."
note: this writer disagrees with moye's assertion, "because of its unprecedented nature." mumia abu-jamal, whom, like davis, is a man of african descent, was convicted & sentenced in 1982 for the murder of philadelphia police officer daniel faulkner after a trial many viewed as racially biased. black men con-stitute over 45% of the death row population. jamal, once a peabody award-winning radio reporter & now critically-acclaimed author, has a case eerily similar to davis, yet remains on death row, 28 years later.
any wonder folks feel the justice system, is criminal...
since the launch of its feb '07 report, where is the justice for me? the case of troy anthony davis, facing execution in georgia, amnesty international has campaigned intensively for a new evidentiary hearing or trial & clemency for davis. aiusa has collected hundreds of thousands of clemency petition signatures & letters from across america & around the world. archbishop desmond tutu of south africa, pope benedict xvi, former us president jimmy carter, as well as lawmakers within & around georgia have joined the call for davis' clemency.
amnesty international is a nobel peace prize winning grassroots activist organization with more than 2.8 million activists, supporters & volunteers who campaign for universal human rights from more than 150 countries. aiusa investigates & exposes abuses, educates & mobilizes the public & work to protect people when dignity, freedom, justice & truth are denied.
- mark j. tuggle
- harlem, usa
- same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. firstname.lastname@example.org.