Saturday, September 17, 2011

A personal ask to help stop the September 21st execution of Troy Davis!

Today was a global day of solidarity for Troy Davis.  

Its being reported that there were 300 events across the United States and around the globe, including in New York, Washington D.C., Paris and Oslo.  Reuters is reporting that the march that I attended here in Atlanta had about 2000 marchers.   

Catching this NYT's article (Digital Age Drives Rally to Save Troy Davis From Execution - reminded me that this day isn't over with until I pass along this "ask" of my social networks, blog readers, and friends.  

Then take a moment to send out one or two emails personal emails to friends, post to Facebook, blog, and whatever else you use, to pass along the petition and raise awareness about this case.  It may seem trivial, useless, redundant, or simplistic but its not.  Often the loudest impacts both online and off come when those who may be disinclined to comment or impose "politics" on others take the step of pointing out an injustice and asking others to act.  

Some of you may say, "but I did that yesterday!"  Good, now do it once more.

For those who don't know the case, Davis is set to be executed by the state of Georgia on September 21st for a crime he may not have committed.  In an opinion column published on Thursday in the Atlanta Journal Constitution newspaper, former FBI Director William Sessions called for Davis' sentence to be commuted to life in prison, saying the case was "permeated in doubt."  

...serious questions about Davis’ guilt, highlighted by witness recantations, allegations of police coercion and a lack of relevant physical evidence, continue to plague his conviction. Last summer, an extraordinary hearing ordered by the U.S. Supreme Court to answer these questions instead left us with more doubt.

At Davis’ evidentiary hearing, witnesses called by Davis recanted trial testimony and made allegations of police pressure. Others testified that an alternative suspect had confessed to them that he committed the crime. One eyewitness testified, for the first time, that he saw this other suspect, a relative of his, commit the crime. Police witnesses for the state of Georgia alternatively asserted that the original trial testimony was the true version of events and that it was elicited without coercion.

Some of these same witnesses also had testified at Davis’ trial but have since recanted their trial testimony. The judge at the evidentiary hearing found their recantations to be unreliable and, therefore, found Davis was unable to “clearly establish” his innocence. The problem is that the testimony of these same witnesses, whom the judge had determined were less believable, had been essential to the original conviction and death sentence.

What the hearing demonstrated most conclusively was that the evidence in this case — consisting almost entirely of conflicting stories, testimonies and statements — is inadequate to the task of convincingly establishing either Davis’ guilt or his innocence. Without DNA or other forms of physical or scientific evidence that can be objectively measured and tested, it is possible that doubts about guilt in this case will never be resolved.

However, when it comes to the sentence of death, there should be no room for doubt. I believe there is no more serious crime than the murder of a law enforcement officer who was putting his or her life on the line to protect innocent bystanders. However, justice is not done for Officer Mark Allen MacPhail Sr. if the wrong man is punished.

No matter what your position on the death penalty is, the idea that an innocent man may be murdered by the state in the name of justice should cause you to shudder.  

I'm merely asking you to take a small next step into action.  Sign the petition.  Send one or two personal emails to friends.  By all means send out that BCC "mass mail" too, but drop a line to a friend, it'll have more of an impact.  

Then go plaster your social network--Facebook, Blog, Twitter--with a request that others sign the petition and that they ask their friends to do the same.  Now is not a time to be silent.


"He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it."    --Martin Luther King, Jr. 

p.s. For your conservative friends who are passionately outspoken on their distrust of governments ability to do anything right--be it provide health care or even the most basic public services--ask them to take that outspoken rancor, distrust, and passion and direct it at this case and the question of whether government can be trusted to know if its about to murder an innocent man or not.

No comments:

Post a Comment