Friday, September 12, 2008
Why are we killing Troy Davis?
*Update: Troy Davis received a stay of execution less than two hours before he was scheduled to die on Septemebr 23rd. The US Supreme Court issued the stay to allow it to meet to consider whether to hear Troy Davis’s appeal.
I am a strong believer in the death penalty. I believe there are some subhumans that do not deserve to breathe the same air as their victims and that the only way to find justice for horrible crimes is to rid the world of these monsters, such as Jeffrey Duncan, the BTK, Scott Peterson and many others. However, there comes a time when the option for the death penalty is dangerous.
Below is the story of Troy Davis, who is due to be executed on September 23, 2008 for a crime he says he did not commit. Many criminals say this, but if there is no evidence that he actually did commit the crime and there is a huge elephant in the room called reliable and reasonable doubt, then why oh why are we going to take this person to the extreme of death?
Here is the Troy Davis Story - you be the judge and the voice for him:
Late one hot August night in 1989, Troy Davis was standing in a Burger King parking lot in Savannah Georgie, he was not the only man in the parking lot, there were several other young black men, a homeless man and one white off-duty police officer named, Mark Allen McPhail, who fell victim and died of gunshot wounds.
The homeless man was getting beaten over a can of beer, Troy Davis tried to intervene but was threatened with a gun and fled after the gun was shown to him. Next to intervene was off-duty police officer Mark McPhail, he tried to help the homeless man, but instead was shot dead in front of several witnesses.
The state of Georgia produced 9 witnesses that placed Davis as the gunman. The murder weapon was never found or linked to anyone, there was no physical evidence linking Davis to the crime, but Davis was still sentenced to death by lethal injection in 1991.
Since that time he has served almost 20 years and since that time almost all of the witnesses have recanted their original testimonies.
The homeless, Larry Young who was getting beaten has since come forward and said he never even saw Troy Davis in the parking lot and he is unsure who did what, however he was the star witness in the Davis trial and initially said it was Davis that struck him in the head with a gun.
Another witness says he was 16 years old and the police told him if he did not cooperate he would be charged with accessory to murder and spend his life behind bars, he said he was a kid and was terrified and so he complied. Another witness came forward to say he was asked to sign a sworn statement confirming his account of the night in question that placed Davis at the scene and as the gunman, the problem was he didn't know how to read or write and had no idea what he was signing. Yet another witness says he was a police informant and made most of his money giving police false information and lying for them in exchange for cash, so he read the headline and then made some cash by pointing the finger at Davis.
All of these witnesses have sworn under oath in front of a parole board about their recantations.
Martina Correia, Davis' sister has been fighting to keep her brother from being executed. In 2007 she was diagnosed with breast cancer and was given an estimate of 6 months to live, since then she has fought the cancer because she is compelled to save her brother and will not give up on him.
The last two witnesses who refuse to recant their testimony are two that some of the witnesses originally also suspected of the crimes, one of these witnesses is Sylvestor Cole. Larry Young, the homeless man has stated that Cole was the first initially to approach him and ask for one of his beers, Larry said no and he says Cole began to curse at him, the story gets fuzzy after that, but many have said that Cole the very witness who will not recant, was indeed the real shooter and not Davis, this is just speculation, however at this point so is Davis as the shooter.
The courts insist that they are unable to disregard the original testimonies, just because these individuals have come forward to say they are now unsure of what they testified to, does not mean they lied and were coerced by police. But I ask you, even if they are unsure, even if there is a small chance Davis was the shooter, is that enough to kill him? Isn't the chance of him NOT being the shooter greater?
Isn't the risk of putting an innocent man to death a risk they are not willing to take and should at least listen and give him a new trial?
Troy will be executed on September 23, 2008. Friday the parole board will again decide if he should die on the scheduled date. I say NO.