TROY DAVIS: Justice Served?

Many flocked to their social media sites this morning expressing their outrage over the Troy Davis case, and the real potential for an innocent man to be killed senselessly for a crime that he didn’t commit. While some argue, too little too late, others are stepping up to the socio-political plate. Celebrities and concerned citizens alike cited phone numbers of Georgia state officials and attorneys, as well as the email addy for the judge overseeing the case, in a last ditch effort to save Davis from the lethal injection process. Will justice be served?

Words: Aimstar with excerpts from Kevin Powell

Set to be killed by lethal injection tonight at 7PM Eastern Standard Time, the attorneys for Troy Davis filed a last minute appeal urging the US state of Georgia to offer Davis Clemency. While seven out of nine, the witnesses who testified against Davis, have either recanted or changed their stories, and there remains no evidence to support that Davis was in fact the killer of slain Officer MacPhail, unfortunately, the final plea by Davis’ attorneys was denied.

Meanwhile, Davis supporters have been protesting outside the courthouse, signs in tow, since yesterday. Tweets by those in opposition to the death warrant attempt to set #TroyDavis and #toomuchdoubt as high-ranking Twitter trending topics to no avail, which as one writer suggests, seems to allude to a greater “black out conspiracy” to quel national debate over the issue (read the story HERE. Even outspoken Rapper Lupe Fiasco made it a point to address his concern over Davis’ fate at a recent concert:

The following excerpts were taken from Why Are We Killing Troy Davis?, a piece written last night by noted activist, public speaker and author Kevin Powell:

“To take a life when a life has been lost is revenge, not justice.”—DESMOND TUTU

Unless something God-like and miraculous happens, Troy Davis, 42, is going to be executed tomorrow, Wednesday, September 21, 2011, at 7PM, by lethal injection at a state prison in Jackson, Georgia.

Let me say up front, I feel great sorrow for the family of Mark MacPhail, the police officer who was shot and murdered on August 19, 1989. I cannot imagine the profound pain they’ve shouldered for 22 angst-filled years, hoping, waiting, and praying for some semblance of justice. Officer MacPhail will never come back to life, his wife, his two children, and his mother will never see him again. Under that sort of emotional and spiritual duress, I can imagine why they are convinced Troy Davis is the murderer of their beloved son, husband, and father.

But, likewise, I feel great sorrow for Troy Davis and his family. I don’t know if Mr. Davis murdered Officer MacPhail or not. What I do know is that there is no DNA evidence linking him to the crime, that seven of nine witnesses have either recanted or contradicted their original testimonies tying him to the act, and that a gentleman named Sylvester “Redd” Coles is widely believed to be the actual triggerman. But no real case against Mr. Coles has ever been pursued.

So a man is going to be executed, murdered, in fact, under a dark cloud of doubt in a nation, ours, that has come to practice executions as effortlessly as we breath.

Be it Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry, governor of Texas, and the 234 executions that have occurred under his watch (that fact was cheered loudly at a recent Republican debate), or the 152 executions when George W. Bush was governor of that state, we are a nation of an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a life for a life. Spiraling so far out of control that we are going to execute someone who may actually be innocent tomorrow.

I say ‘we’ because the blood of Officer MacPhail and Troy Davis will be on the hands of us all. We Americans who fail to use our individual and collective voices to deal with the ugliness in our society that leads to violence in the first place, be they for economic crimes or because some of us have simply been driven mad by the pressures of trying to exist in a world that often marginalizes or rejects us. Thus our solution for many problems often becomes force, or violence. But it has long since been proven that the death penalty or capital punishment is not a deterrent, contrary to some folks’ beliefs. Murders continue to happen every single day in America, as commonplace as apple pie, football, and Ford trucks….”


“…And if you think Troy Davis’ cause has nothing to do with Jim Crow, then either you’ve not been to an American prison lately, or you simply are blind. I’ve been to many, across our country, and they are filled to the brim with mostly Black and Latino males (and some poor White males), including the majority of folks sitting on death row.

For sure, given my background of poverty, a single mother, an absent father, and violence and great economic despair in my childhood and teen years, but for the grace of God I could be one of those young Black or Latino males languishing in jail at this very moment. I could be, indeed, Troy Davis.

So I cannot simply view the Troy Davis case and execution as solely about the killing of Officer MacPhail. Yes, an injustice was done, a killing occurred, and I pray the truth really comes out one day.

But I am just as concerned about America’s soul, of the morality tales we are text-messaging to ourselves, to the world, as we move Troy Davis from his cell one last time, to that room where a needle will blast death into his veins, suck the air from his throat, snatch life from his eyes.

While the family of Mr. Davis and the family of Officer MacPhail converge, one final time, to witness a death in progress—

Now two men will be dead, Officer MacPhail and Troy Davis, linked, forever, by the misfortune of our confusion, stereotypes, finger-pointing, and history of passing judgment without having every shred of the facts. I am Officer MacPhail, I am Troy Davis, and so are you. And you. And you, too.

And as my mother would say, have mercy on us all, Lawd, for we know not what we do—”

* To read Kevin Powell’s full editorial, visit Kevin’s blog HERE.

* Tune into Amy Goodman and @democracynow, who will be broadcasting live from the prison tonight from 6-8PM Eastern Standard Time.

* If you haven’t signed the petition in support of saving Troy Davis’ life, text “TROY” to 30644.

* Call the Georgia State Parole board at (404 )656-5651. Leave a message stating that “Troy Davis has a right for a new trial and that he should not be killed.”

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