Thursday, September 22, 2011
The execution of Troy Anthony Davis has been felt around the world, and reports are already calling Davis the poster boy for the global movement to end the death penalty. His name will go down in the record books as the hero who stopped the death penalty in the United States if the last 10 states that support the death penalty abolish it.
So who was pushing for a stay in execution for Troy Anthony Davis. How about Pope Benedict XVI, along with President Jimmy Carter, along with a flock of human groups and commentators that urged to no avail that the Davis execution be halted. What was President Obama's stand on this execution? Will President Obama give a statement regarding the execution of Troy Anthony Davis? For what purpose did the execution serve? Surely not for the sake of implementing justice, as the State of Georgia put to death a man whom there was extreme reasonable doubt regarding his guilt in the 1989 death of a police officer.
There were angry reaction and protests around the world as well a outrage expressed by the local medias around this country and other countries globally. Now Troy Anthony Davis has made history at the expense of his life. The complete story surrounding his guilt or lack of will come out for the entire world to see, and the United States will again hold their heads in shame for the world to see, once it has been proven beyond the shadow of a doublt that he did not kill anyone. In matter of fact, a person who claims to be the killer has spoken out, but noone seems to listen.Now as stated by the EU, "The abolition of that penalty is essential to protest human dignity." Another organization called Amnesty International also condemned the execution in their statement saying "The U.S. justice system was shaken to its core as Georgia executed a person who may well be innocent. Killing a man under this enormous cloud of doubt is horrific and amounts to a catastrophic failure of the justice system," Amnesty said.
A reporter from a Britain newspaper that traveled to Georgia to cover the execution gave 10 reasons why he believed the death sentence for "a man who is very possibly innocent" should be commuted.
Here are 10 reasons why the board – which decided on Tuesday to allow the execution to go ahead – has failed to deliver on its promise and why a man who is very possibly innocent will be killed in the name of American justice.
1. Of the nine witnesses who appeared at Davis's 1991 trial who said they had seen Davis beating up a homeless man in a dispute over a bottle of beer and then shooting to death a police officer, Mark MacPhail, who was acting as a good samaritan, seven have since recanted their evidence.
2. One of those who recanted, Antoine Williams, subsequently revealed they had no idea who shot the officer and that they were illiterate – meaning they could not read the police statements that they had signed at the time of the murder in 1989. Others said they had falsely testified that they had overheard Davis confess to the murder.
3. Many of those who retracted their evidence said that they had been cajoled by police into testifying against Davis. Some said they had been threatened with being put on trial themselves if they did not co-operate.
4. Of the two of the nine key witnesses who have not changed their story publicly, one has kept silent for the past 20 years and refuses to talk, and the other is Sylvester Coles. Coles was the man who first came forward to police and implicated Davis as the killer. But over the past 20 years evidence has grown that Coles himself may be the gunman and that he was fingering Davis to save his own skin.
5. In total, nine people have come forward with evidence that implicates Coles. Most recently, on Monday the George Board of Pardons and Paroles heard from Quiana Glover who told the panel that in June 2009 she had heard Coles, who had been drinking heavily, confess to the murder of MacPhail.
6. Apart from the witness evidence, most of which has since been cast into doubt, there was no forensic evidence gathered that links Davis to the killing.
7. In particular, there is no DNA evidence of any sort. The human rights group the Constitution Project points out that three-quarters of those prisoners who have been exonerated and declared innocent in the US were convicted at least in part on the basis of faulty eyewitness testimony.
8. No gun was ever found connected to the murder. Coles later admitted that he owned the same type of .38-calibre gun that had delivered the fatal bullets, but that he had given it away to another man earlier on the night of the shooting.
9. Higher courts in the US have repeatedly refused to grant Davis a retrial on the grounds that he had failed to "prove his innocence". His supporters counter that where the ultimate penalty is at stake, it should be for the courts to be beyond any reasonable doubt of his guilt.
10. Even if you set aside the issue of Davis's innocence or guilt, the manner of his execution tonight is cruel and unnatural. If the execution goes ahead as expected, it would be the fourth scheduled execution date for this prisoner. In 2008 he was given a stay just 90 minutes before he was set to die. Experts in death row say such multiple experiences with imminent death is tantamount to torture.
If you happen to be one of the people who support the death penalty, you should be outraged that this kind of act could happen on a most likely innocent man. He is innocent in my mind because there is reasonable doubt. Now death penalty supporters now face the possibility that the death penalty may now be reversed in the last 10 states to have it placed as law, as Davis will now become the symbol why the death penalty should and most likely will be abolished.
The facts are all here. Did the State of Georgia commit a criminal act, as they most likely killed an innocent man, someone who has been proven beyond a shadow of doubt that there is ample reasonable doubt that Davis killed a police officer. Yes, this is a cloudy-black day for the U.S. justice system.