Troy Davis Execution
With the Troy Davis Execution hours away questions arise regarding his innocence
With the Troy Davis execution hours away, his attorneys and endless supporters are counting on Twitter to launch a social tsunami across the globe informing all those who will listen of the injustice that shall be served tonight.
Sentenced in 1991, Troy Davis received the death penalty after being found guilty of murdering Georgia police officer Mark McPhail. Troy Davis execution sentence was based largely on eyewitness testimony, which is not regarded as substantial evidence and in fact has led to many individuals on death row receiving new trials. (DeathPenaltyInfo.org)
According to the WSJ Law Blog several of the eyewitness accounts against Troy Davis, have since been recanted or altered, however neither the state or federal courts are agreeing to overturn the conviction.
Perhaps the power of Twitter will save Troy Davis, although University of Law Professor, Donald E. Wilkes Jr. told the WSJ Law Blog. “State and federal courts take the position that you can’t file a [new] petition in which you raise claims that you did previously raise or that you could have raised,” he said… “In my judgment, there are no judicial options left to Davis and there are no executive options,” he said. ” At 7 p.m., you can be sure he’ll be strapped to the gurney, and I’d expect that by 7:15 pm, Troy Davis will be dead.”
Back in June the NY Times released a story capturing the life of another death row inmate, whose fate ran a course similar to Troy Davis, although not exactly as down to the wire as this case. In comparison to the sentence for Troy Davis execution, Randall Adams spent only 12 years on death row until he was released after a filmmaker-uncovered evidence by the name of Errol Morris. Fueled on the belief that Randall Adams was an innocent man Morris created The Thin Blue Line, a documentary exposing the evidence that would prove the corruption within that specific Texas Court.
Arguments have arisen against the Troy Davis execution arguing he was the perfect scapegoat, not a criminal. Looking at the picture that has been painted, Troy Davis is the African American that shot a white cop in the south, he deserved to be sentenced to death, and justice is served. Wrong.
In the case of Randall Adams, Morris argued and identified that the teenager who provided eyewitness testimony, David Ray Harris, was in fact the guilty party. Morris argued that Harris was overlooked as a suspect because he was too young for the death penalty and therefore not even in the judge’s sight.
“With so much evidence seeming to suggest Mr. Harris’s guilt, many Texans believed prosecutors had gone after Mr. Adams and not Mr. Harris because Mr. Harris, who was 16, was too young to be executed under Texas law. In the murder of a police officer, the theory went, prosecutors almost always seek the most severe punishment.” (NY Times)
Is that what the State of Georgia is doing in the case of Troy Davis? Seeking someone to punish in order to say that it’s not right to kill a police officer? Well what does this say about our law system when the majority of major death penalty sentences have been contested? It seems that way when you sentence a man based on eyewitness accounts, of which were further tampered with when police re-enacted what happened. If the police officials who questioned those four witnesses that day knew what happened than why did they question if Troy Davis did it or not?
“The New York Times on the Troy Davis execution Today, Georgia plans to execute Troy Davis for the 1989 murder of a police officer. “The Georgia pardon and parole board’s refusal to grant him clemency is appalling in light of developments after his conviction: reports about police misconduct, the recantation of testimony by a string of eyewitnesses and reports from other witnesses that another person had confessed to the crime,” writes The New York Times editorial board.” (The Atlantic Wire)
LiveScience raised an interesting point, claiming scientific research supports that 30% of information from an eyewitness account is not right. However in the case of Troy Davis, no one seems to listen.
AJC reports that Troy Davis has been down this road now three times prior, however this time its different. Troy Davis and his lawyers pinned their hopes on the sole authority in Georgia to commute the death sentence, the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles, only to receive their rejection Tuesday. With many opinions surrounding the Troy Davis execution sentence, one can only hope Georgia realizes they are making a mistake before its too late.