Troy Davis…We Gotta Be Careful About the Death Penalty

Last week I was on Kontrolled Kaos on iwatchradio.com (you can see the HERE!) and we had a great discussion on various topics. They asked me to come back this week to discuss some more topics. You can catch it LIVE and in COLOR at 10 PM CST at iwatchradio.com.

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The death penalty has been a form of punishment in society since the beginning of time from the crucifixions in Roman society, the Spanish Inquisitions, hangings, beheadings, and the gas chamber. We have always had a form of punishment that would be ruled by death. Today not too much has changed where the death penalty is still an institution in our society. This post isn’t one where I want to talk about the death penalty but of the application of the death penalty….enter Mr. Troy Davis.

When I first saw the email about Troy Davis the Iowa State Alum in me kicked in and said “Sweeeeetttt Baby Jesus….not Troy Davis”. I was thinking this was about the former Heisman trophy nominee and Iowa State football player Troy Davis. After I sighed in relief that it wasn’t a fellow Cyclone I delved more into the story and this is what the article said:

In 1991, Troy Davis was convicted of murdering a white police officer. Though there’s major evidence that Davis didn’t commit the crime, Georgia is prepared to put him to death. We have a good chance of stopping this — but only if we speak up now.

The fact is, no physical evidence connected Davis to the murder. Seven of the original nine witnesses have recanted, with many saying their testimony was a result of law enforcement pressure. Of the remaining witnesses, one is highly suspect and the other could be the actual culprit in the officer’s murder.

Now, despite these and other facts, the state of Georgia has taken the first steps toward Davis’ execution — and only the Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole stands between Davis and the lethal injection chamber.

Since Troy Davis’ 1991 conviction, numerous facts have emerged that introduce significant doubt as to his guilt. These facts include:

    • All but two of the original witnesses against Troy Davis have signed affidavits recanting their earlier testimony. Most claim that their testimony was coerced by police officers.1
    • Multiple witnesses say that another man — one of the original witnesses against Davis — has claimed to have slain the fallen officer.2
    • The weapon used in the murder was never found. The only physical evidence connecting Davis to the crime was indirect, circumstantial — and new testimony disputes Davis’s connection to that evidence.3

    In light of this evidence, the Supreme Court granted Davis another chance. But instead of an actual new trial before a jury, which would mean the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt is on the prosecutor, he got an evidentiary hearing before a single federal judge where Davis’ lawyers had the burden to meet an impossibly high and undefined legal standard.

In light of this, it was sad — but no surprise — when the judge rejected the new evidence and cleared the way for Davis’ execution. However, even he acknowledged lingering doubt, noting that the case against Davis was not “ironclad.”

But “ironclad” is exactly what the evidence should be in order to put someone to death. If the Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole doesn’t act to stop Davis’ execution, they’ll run a serious risk of putting an innocent man to death. That is not acceptable. (source)

The death penalty has been a form of punishment in society since the beginning of time from the crucifixions in Roman society, the Spanish Inquisitions, hangings, beheadings, and the gas chamber. We have always had a form of punishment that would be ruled by death. Today not too much has changed where the death penalty is still an institution in our society. This post isn’t one where I want to talk about the death penalty but of the application of the death penalty….enter Mr. Troy Davis.

When I first saw the email about Troy Davis the Iowa State Alum in me kicked in and said “Sweeeeetttt Baby Jesus….not Troy Davis”. I was thinking this was about the former Heisman trophy nominee and Iowa State football player Troy Davis. After I sighed in relief that it wasn’t a fellow Cyclone I delved more into the story and this is what the article said:

I have always had a personal problem with the Death Penalty in many ways because of shotty detective work and District Attorney’s who are more interested in conviction rates than protecting justice. Let’s take for instance the state of Texas where the have had almost 40 convictions overturned in the last few years because of DNA evidence. There are a few cases where someone may need to executed but unless there is beyond a shadow of a doubt that the man (or woman) committed the crime than the death penalty should always be taken off the table. There have even been many wrongful executions in the last few years. Some of these include the wrongful executions of Jesse Tafero, Larry Griffin, Joseph O’Dell, and Ruben Cantu.

As an African-American and understanding the disproportionate amount of black men in prison and the sentences handed down (this in itself is another post discussion) one has to really investigate the nature and the situation of the crime committed.  We need to be as through as possible in our investigations if we are going to give someone the death penalty. If you look at the case of Troy Davis it is obvious that there are some details that make it cloudy if he really did the crime so why is the hell-bent on putting this man to death?

Those people who are always willy nilly about handing out death penalties all the time I ask you this. Do you think the death penalty should be handed down to the Bernie Madoffs, Tom Petters, Bernard Ebbers, and the Jeffrey Skillings of the world should be given the death penalty as well? They have destroyed millions of people’s lives and are part of the reason some of our economy is crippled. So are we effectively using the death penalty then? Does it seem if the death penalty is regulated to the poor and disenfranchized criminals? This is just something to think about when it comes to your judgment of the Death Penalty and the application of it. But while you think about that make sure you head over to ColorofChange.org and support Troy Davis and his attempts to be taken off Death Row.

How do you feel about the Troy Davis case? How do you feel about the death penalty?

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11 responses to “Troy Davis…We Gotta Be Careful About the Death Penalty

  1. The Troy Davis case is one that is far too common. When you’re under represented or represented poorly, you often run into cases that loop holes remain open. No evidence, yet you’re still convicted!?!?! I don’t necessarily agree with the death penalty, because when does killing ever justify killing? But thats neither here nor their because it’s in place. So with that being said, why does the death penalty only apply to alleged murderers, but every other crime can receive roughly the same sentencing? No justice, no peace. Good write!

  2. Yo! This dude has gotta get off! Great idea highlighting this man’s plight. It goes to show how fucked up our judicial systems is

  3. If Davis is innocent, why didn’t he testify at the special evidenciary hearing? That was a perfect opportunity to prove Davis’ innocence. That is, if he is innocent. He isn’t.

  4. Interesting piece here D! The part listing the white collar cime men and if they need to have the death penalty is a very intereting look of it

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  7. seriously people, the shell casisngs in this murder match 100% to another murder he was responsible for earlier in the day (shot the guy in the face – nice guy your “man” is). It doesn’t matter about eyewitnesses when the gun casings match and he already killed another guy that same day!! THE GUY IS EVIL YOU MORONS!!!!

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