Troy Davis and the Folk in Georgia

The Troy Davis incident sparked interest not seen in years.  Some blamed the system, some blamed Davis himself, some even blamed President Obama!!!!

No doubt, an officer lost his life.  There is no question his killer should be prosecuted.  The question regarding Davis and those who pleaded with officials to halt his execution were based on what appeared to be motivation to punish “anybody” even though the evidence raised doubts of Davis’ absolute guilt.

Hopefully that interest can be sparked and put into action.  People hopefully learned a keen lesson…….politics is LOCAL.  For all those looking for something or someone to blame, perhaps the plea from President Obama and others about participating in last year’s mid-term elections…….finally make sense.  On the other hand, it was the D.A. who was swept in the Obama wave of ’08, which got him into office.  How will the voters respond during his next election?

In addition to voting, as that is simply how the U.S. system is.  Regardless of your position on whether it’s legitimate or not, or why bother………the last I checked, it’s the voters who must demand democracy via their ballot.

There’s no way Davis should have gone through such a debacle given the entirety of the case.  By the way, for those who have knee-jerk anger or frustration…..first things, first —— read up on the case and discover the merits of how/why it went down, then you are more prepared to respond.  Davis got snakebit by a flawed system and sheer politics.

Dr. Wilmer Leon, III has penned a very interesting perspective.  READ IT and share with others.

Troy Davis: The Price of “Justice” Was Too High

by: Dr. Wilmer J. Leon III

Supporters of Troy Davis react to news of his execution across the road from the prison where the execution took place in Jackson, Georgia, September 21, 2011. Davis was executed at 11:08 PM., after the US Supreme Court declined to grant a stay after four hours of deliberation. (Photo: Grant Blankenship / The New York Times)

When protecting the systems in a society becomes more important than the people the systems are designed to protect, that society is in great peril.

Troy Davis languished on Georgia’s Death Row for four additional hours until the stay of execution he hoped and prayed for was denied by the US Supreme Court. At 11:08 PM (EST) Davis was executed for the murder of Officer Mark MacPhail, even though recent evidence indicated that he might not have committed the murder. Members of the Georgia Supreme Court, a Butts County Superior Court judge, the Georgia Pardons Board, prosecutors, and others were more concerned with conviction rates and reputations than justice. They wanted “justice” at any cost, but many in this country and around the world demonstrated because the price that was paid was too high.

The execution of Davis when so much exculpatory evidence has come to light will only provide a short period of satisfaction for the justice seekers. At some point in time, the reality that another innocent life has been taken (the first being Officer MacPhail) coupled with the reality that the actual murderer is alive, well and walking the streets of Butts County, Georgia, will begin to weigh heavy on all of their hearts.

The question is very simple: once a person has been convicted and sentenced to death, if evidence is presented that destroys the prosecution’s case, should that individual be executed? No! Look at it this way, since seven of the nine prosecutions witnesses have recanted their eyewitness testimony, the prosecution would not be able to get the conviction if the case were retried today. If the prosecution could not win this case today; why did Davis lose his life?

This calls into question the validity of “eye-witness” testimony, police investigatory practices, and many of the assumptions that Americans have used to base their faith in the judicial process. The ugly reality that this case forces many Americans to grapple with is, if the Davis case has fallen apart, how many other cases are called into question and how many innocent people have been executed?

This should be a clarion call to all those citizens of conscience in Georgia. All of those elected officials who touched this case and elected to weigh in on the wrong side of history should be defeated in their next elections. Nationally, this should beg the questions, what type of nation are we? For what do we really stand? Do we execute human beings just because we can, even when more than reasonable doubt has now been presented? Carrying out a questionable and tainted death sentence actually damages the “system” that these officials claim to hold so near and dear.

In the last Republican presidential debate, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas said he sleeps well every night even though he has signed the death warrants of 234 death row inmates. He stated, “I’ve never struggled with that at all … The state of Texas has a very thoughtful, a very clear process in place of which – when someone commits the most heinous of crimes against our citizens, they get a fair hearing, they go through an appellate process, they go up to the Supreme Court of the United States, if that’s required.” The problem with Perry’s sense of security is that, since 1994, 44 innocent people have been exonerated and released from Texas prisons based upon DNA evidence that was not available or admitted at trial. Those who have been executed don’t get a retrial, do over or exoneration.

This is class warfare. In America, the poor and the ignorant go to jail, while as the late Gil Scott-Heron said, “the rich go to San Clemente.”

Dr. Wilmer Leon, III is a political science professor, as well as lecturer, author and radio personality.  His international Tall-Show “Insides the Issues” is part of XM 128 THE POWER.  The station provides a wide-range of topics from the African-American perspective.

One Response to “Troy Davis and the Folk in Georgia”
  1. Rick Gleason says:

    Unfortunately we hear so little about the real victim, 27-year old Mark MacPhail, the father of two young children. MacPhail had served as an Army Ranger for six years and was shot through the heart and in his face without drawing his weapon. All in an effort to aid a homeless man being pistol whipped at the time.

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