Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Three Strikes You're Out! Die Boy Die!

Troy Davis has three major strikes against him. First, he is an African-American man. Second, he was charged with killing a white police officer. And third, he is in Georgia
The Georgia Clemency Board denied clemency for Troy Davis. The legal lynching will continue.
Early Tuesday morning, the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles elected to deny clemency to Troy Davis, letting his original punishment stand. His date of execution by lethal injection will take place September 21st as scheduled. The fate of Davis, 42 rested in the hands of the five board members. They are the only entity in Georgia with the power to convert Davis’ death sentence, outside of a last-minute appeal by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Well, I guess they showed us.
The Internet community has also been buzzing in support, with Twitter promoting the hashtag #toomuchdoubt bringing attention to the idea that Georgia may potentially execute an innocent man. Also, close to 1 million signatures have been collected in a petition supporting Davis attempt at clemency. Protesters have also been holding demonstrations outside the board meeting in Atlanta with posters saying “Justice for Tray Davis” and “I Am Troy Davis.” Demonstrations were also held in 300 towns across the globe, which perhaps shows a changing attitude towards executions.

The Georgia Clemency Board shines a harsh light on the American legal system for the world to see.
Davis’ case has garnered international attention, since his impending day of execution this week. While Davis was sentenced to death 20 years ago for the murder of Savannah Police Officer Mark Allen MacPhail. During the course of his time incarcerated, his case has caught the attention of various dignitaries, such as former President Jimmy Carter, Pope Benedict XVI, former Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Norman Fletcher and former FBI Director William Sessions, who all believe that Davis should receive clemency.

The board members, with their dates of appointment, are:

-- Gale Buckner (January 2005), a former GBI agent

-- Bob Keller (January 2007), a former Clayton County district attorney

-- James Donald (January 2009), former commissioner of the Department of Corrections

-- Albert Murray (May 2010), former commissioner of the Department of Juvenile Justice

-- Terry Barnard (May 2010), former state Representative

If I were a member of the Board, I would want to make damned sure that whomever is sentenced to death actually did the crime.I would not want to execute someone only to find out later that the condemned person was innocent. An execution does not allow for “do-overs” to get it right.

Troy Davis's fate is now in the hands of the United States Supreme Court and, President Barack Hussein Obama.
While Davis is set to go before the state board of pardons and paroles for a final review on September 19th, President Obama should consider granting clemency.
There are several arguments to support Obama's intervention in this case, not the least of which is salvaging the U.S.'s reputation with regard to the integrity of its justice system. We learn in school that the fair administration of justice is a fundamental value in our democracy. We speak of our justice system as if it sets us apart from other leading nations and reflects, at its the core, the presumption of innocence until guilt is proven and the guarantee of a fair trial, if someone has been accused of breaking the law.

And before the righty's start whining, two words, Terri Schiavo.
The legislative, executive, and judicial branches, of both the United States federal government and the State of Florida, were involved in the case of Terri Schiavo. In November 1998 Michael Schiavo, husband of Terri Schiavo, first sought permission to remove his wife's feeding tube. Schiavo had suffered brain damage in February 1990, and in February 2000 had been ruled by a Florida circuit court to be in a persistent vegetative state. Her feeding tube was removed first on April 26, 2001, but was reinserted two days later on an appeal by her parents, Bob and Mary Schindler.

I HOPE and PRAY someone will stop the judicial lynching of Troy Davis.
Despite evidence that he's innocent, Troy Davis faces execution on September 21. With a culture that cheers Rick Perry's execution record, what chance does he have?

What chance does anyone have? What will we tell our children?

And if the clemency bid fails, and Troy Davis is executed next week, I will tell her (and I will pray that it is so) that her message and all the other messages and all the well wishes of all the tens-of-thousands of people who have supported him these many long years were in his heart as authorities gave him those drugs -- that as his life ended, Troy Davis at the very least knew he was being held by tens-of-thousands of loving hands.

Amen and Amen.

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