By this point many of you have probably heard the name Troy Davis. If not, here is a quick run down:
Troy Davis was convicted in 1989 for killing an off-duty police officer (Mark MacPhail) in Georgia. He was convicted with little evidence actually pointing at him being the killer. No murder weapon was ever found, however, bullets at the scene were ballist teste and proved to be bullets that Davis had used at another shooting scene. The major action in his original trial that led to his conviction was testimony of several witnesses that put him at the scene.
As the year passed, though, several of the witnesses recanted their testimony. One witness in particular, Dorothy Ferrell, not only recanted her testimony but later said that she was pressured by the police to identify Davis as the shooter. Three other witnesses also later testified that they had been coerced and strong armed by the police to identify Davis as the shooter.
He and his defense team attempted several times throughout the years for a new trial and succeeded in staying his original death sentence date. The situation surrounding Davis was very similar to the West Memphis Three. In both cases evidence presented in the original trial proved to be circumstantial at best. In both cases it became exceedingly hard to get a judge to actually listen to the sides or decide in favor of the "guilty" for a new trial. In both cases despite the fact the witnesses recanted their testimony and the "evidence" was not fire proof, the prosecuting attorneys in both cases still claimed that the men were the murderers. The difference is that while the West Memphis Three were set free after pleading guilty (which still makes absolutely no sense), Davis was put to death.
In a last ditch effort, Davis' team went to the Supreme Court to not only get a stay but to order a new trial. The justices apparently could not be bothered to even consider the case as they declined to even listen to arguments from the two sides. This is the same Supreme Court that decided that Corporations are people but they could not find the time to decide if a man had been incorrectly convicted of a crime he did not commit.
He was put to death last night (September 21) at 10:08 local time.
In his final words he maintained his innocence:
"I'd like to address the MacPhail family. Let you know, despite the situation you are in, I'm not the one who personally killed your son, your father, your brother. I am innocent.
The incident that happened that night is not my fault. I did not have a gun. 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.
For those about to take my life, God have mercy on your souls. And may God bless your souls."
It is my belief that an innocent man was put to death simply because of police department's rush to judgement to find the killer of one of their own and a prosecuting attorney that once Davis was put up as the killer looked at no one else. This is the primary reason why I believe that that putting people to death should be outlawed in this country. The rush to make people pay for their crimes is putting too many innocent people to death. One is too many.
Davis had several high profile people supporting his cause at the end including former presidents, celebrities, countries, the UN, and the pope.
Our justice system in this country is simply unjust and will put people to death on flimsy evidence just to do it.