Five Years After Troy Davis Execution: The Problem Remains

I Am Troy Davis was published on the anniversary of his execution in 2013. (Cover under copyright used to raise awareness of the book).

I Am Troy Davis was published on the anniversary of his execution in 2013. (Cover under copyright used to raise awareness of the book).

Troy Anthony Davis was executed five years ago in America among international controversy for the slaying of a police officer.

There was controversy over whether there was enough evidence to convict him.  Many people, including Former FBI Director William Sessions, said there was not. And there was controversy over whether or not the death penalty was appropriate to a free nation in the 21st century.  Put a man in jail, and if you made a mistake you can release him. Kill him and it’s over.

Most witnesses against him recanted; one of the two remaining allegedly said he, not Davis, was the killer of police officer Mark MacPhail in Savannah, Georgia, in 1991.

The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, passed in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing, made it much more difficult for a convicted person to get appeals.  Proponents claim it makes it harder for the guilty to postpone their execution with appeals; opponents claim it makes it harder for the innocent to postpone their execution and to show their innocence.

It largely comes down to a matter of priorities over life: would we rather let the guilty postpone their death, or the innocent be killed?

 

I Am Troy Davis to be Published

Cover of I Am Troy Davis

In spite of an international outcry that severely questioned his conviction, Troy Anthony Davis was executed by the state of Georgia in America on 21 Sept. 2011.  There was no physical evidence against him; the murder weapon was never found; seven of the nine witnesses who had testified against him recanted their testimony, some saying they had been coerced by the police; and one of the two remaining witnesses was said to have confessed to the killing of Savannah, Georgia police officer Mark MacPhail.

Jen Marlowe wrote the book with Troy’s sister Martina Davis-Correia and Troy himself.  Martina was battling breast cancer at the same time she was battling for her brother’s life.  Sadly, she lost both battles.

The book has been praised by Maya Angelou, Amy Goodman, Eve Ensler, Susan Sarandon, Gloria Steinem, Cornel West, and others.

The execution of Troy Anthony Davis is more than the death of one man, it’s the continuing tragedy of a severely damaged criminal justice system.  It’s anybody’s guess how many innocent people have been killed and how many are scheduled for execution right now.

I Am Troy Davis (Haymarket Books) is scheduled to be released on September 21, 2013 to mark the two-year anniversary of the execution of Troy Davis.

http://donkeysaddle.org/index.php/i-am-troy-davis

The book cover is used to illustrate the book.  No threat to its copyright is intended.  An opinion of an individual member of The Loveshade Family does not necessarily reflect the views of the whole family.