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John Passant

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September 2011
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Me on Razor Sharp this morning
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Troy Davis: the US to execute another innocent man

By the time you read this Troy Davis may well be dead. Unless a miracle happens.

Troy was convicted of murdering an off duty cop in 1989. Nine witnesses testified he had killed the policeman. Since then seven of the nine have recanted. Six said police threatened them if they did not identify Troy.

One of those who has not recanted has told others he killed the policeman.

The cops mishandled the investigation, for example re-enacting the crime with witnesses and showing Davis’s photo to witnesses before a photo identification line up.  His photo had a different background. The policeman running the line-up was involved in the investigation. Witnesses conferred before the line up.

All of this renders any identification worthless.

There is no evidence linking Troy to the murder, other than the discredited identification process.

Further, new evidence showed that Troy was not involved in an earlier shooting. That earlier shooting was the supposed motive for the murder. 

Troy’s appeal to the Clemency Board was rejected a few days ago. His execution is scheduled for 7 pm Georgia time on Wednesday (about midday Thursday in Australia).

Although Troy is innocent, his execution is not out of the ordinary. Black men in the US are more likely to die at the hands of the State than any other group.

The death penalty is an obscene and extreme expression of the racism that pervades American society.

The brutality that the US ruling class unleashes against its own citizenry and its forms of control, like the death penalty and imprisonment, are spewed forth a thousand times greater against the innocents in other lands like Iraq and Afghanistan.

The US jail system has more black men in it than in University. According to Michelle Alexander, law professor and author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colourblindness ‘More African American men are in prison or jail, on probation or parole than were enslaved in 1850, before the Civil War began.’

Although crime has dropped in the last four decades, imprisonment has increased rapidly, mainly as a result of the war on drugs. Its twin, the war on terror, imprisons nations.

And so an innocent man, Troy Davis, will die to satisfy the blood lust of a regime hell bent on disciplining and controlling the ‘enemy’ within and the ‘enemy’ outside its borders. All to protect private property and profit.

Abolish the death penalty.

Here is a link to a statment by Troy.

Post Script. Troy was executed earlier today, Thursday Australian time.



Comment from Interested Bystander
Time September 22, 2011 at 11:31 am

The death penalty is wrong, but you or I don’t know if Davis is guilty or not. What you wrote is straight from media reports and to state that “an innocent man will die” without evidence to prove this is exactly what you’re saying is wrong.

He doesn’t deserve to be killed by the state, however that doesn’t make him innocent.

Comment from John
Time September 22, 2011 at 11:50 am

The problem with this logic is that if you accept that the process is OK, then he is guilty and then the consequence of the state abrogating to itself the right to kill is his death. In fact the Supreme Court has accepted that the death penalty might be applied in a racist manner or with a racist outcome and that must mean the high imprisonment and death penalty rate on blacks is about social control, not guilt or innocence.

Comment from Interested Bystander
Time September 22, 2011 at 5:03 pm

All’s I’m saying is that the death penalty is wrong, althouigh we can’t judge His innocence or guilt from media reports. Death penalty is probably given to more African-Americans than whites, but that doesn’t mean that all African-AMericans (or Hispanics) that get the death penalty are not guitly.

The crime rate among African-American and Hispanic people is very high and while there are factors for this, it shouldn’t mean we apply the law differently.

But the thing is this is state sanctioned murder and I support what you say about stopping this.

Comment from Abi
Time September 22, 2011 at 10:07 pm

Devistating and disgraceful.

Comment from John
Time September 22, 2011 at 10:17 pm

We can’t judge his guilt or innocence from the US injustice system either. Pretty irrelevant now since the legal lynching happened a few hours ago. But I agree the death penalty is an abomination.