Thursday, 22 September 2011
Georgia killed Troy Davis
After a torturous delay of more than 4 hours, the State of Georgia killed Troy Anthony Davis on the 21st September 2011. Davis was pronounced dead at 23:08 (03:08 GMT Thursday), 15 minutes after the lethal injection began.
"I am innocent," Davis said moments before he was executed. "I did not have a gun. For those about to take my life, may God have mercy on your souls. May God bless your souls. All I can ask... is that you look deeper into this case so that you really can finally see the truth. I ask my family and friends to continue to fight this fight."
Like many across the world my heart is heavy. I am sad and angry. The state of Georgia has proven what we already know. Governments cannot be trusted with the awful power over life and death. Today, Georgia didn't just kill Troy Davis; they killed the faith and confidence that many Georgians, Americans and Troy Davis supporters worldwide used to have in the criminal justice system.
The state of Georgia has proven that the death penalty is too great a power to give to the government. Human institutions are prone to bias and error and cannot be entrusted with this God-like power. The death penalty is a human rights violation whether given to the guilty or the innocent, and it must be abolished. While many courts examined this case, the march to the death chamber only slowed, but never stopped. Justice may be blind; but in this case, the justice system was blind to the facts.
The case against him consisted entirely of witness testimony which contained inconsistencies even at the time of the trial. Since then, all but two of the state's non-police witnesses from the trial have recanted or contradicted their testimony. Many of these witnesses have stated in sworn affidavits that they were pressured or coerced by police into testifying or signing statements against Troy Davis. One of the two witnesses who has not recanted his testimony is Sylvester "Red" Coles — the principle alternative suspect, according to the defence, against whom there is new evidence implicating him as the gunman. Nine individuals have signed affidavits implicating Sylvester Coles.
Troy said the day before he was executed;
"The struggle for justice doesn't end with me. This struggle is for all the Troy Davises who came before me and all the ones who will come after me. I'm in good spirits and I'm prayerful and at peace."
It is only perhaps in America with its addiction to violence, to guns and to retribution that killing a person who did not commit a crime makes sense and gives false closure to the family of the victim. It is only in American with its obsession with retribution and vengeance that the huge diversion of resources to maintaining a fallible and brutal death penalty and imprisoning 1 in 10 young black men that this makes sense. It is only in America does it make sense to station troops in 143 countries of the world, not ask what the motive was for the vicious attack on 9/11 and launch a murderous war on Iraq which had nothing to do with the events of 9/11 to keep America “safe.”
The vicious death penalty does nothing to keep Americans safe nor does the sad addiction to guns. Only in the Deep South does it make sense to keep a black man in prison for 22 years and then take him out and execute him when the case against him has fallen apart. This "Freedom Loving Democracy" which refuses to sign up to the International Criminal Court and kills innocents with "precision" drones well away from media coverage is in no position to lecture other brutal execution luvin' regimes in China, Russia, Iran, North Korea and Saudi Arabia (the place the 9/11 guys came from) on Human Rights.
Let's take a moment to honour the life of Troy Davis and Mark MacPhail. Then, let's take all of our difficult feelings and re-double our commitment to abolition of the death penalty.
I am Troy Davis. You are Troy Davis. We will not stop fighting for justice.
Don’t execute Troy Davis
The Troy Davis Campaign Website