Saturday, April 18, 2009

Capital Punishment: for Troy Davis, it's Personal

"3 leaders firmly in Davis’ corner 2 Ga. congressmen, NAACP leader say they are convinced of Davis’ innocence"
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (May 30, 2009)

"Ga. Reps Believe Davis' Innocence"
MyFOX Atlanta (May 29, 2009)

"Two Georgia congressmen are ramping up the fight to save the life of a death row inmate. Congressmen John Lewis and Hank Johnson are among several lawmakers now asking the U.S. attorney to intervene in the Troy Davis case.

" 'I came away convinced that this man is innocent man,' said Lewis...."

I am not completely convinced that Troy Davis is innocent. On the other hand, there's very good reason to believe that he is.

If he's executed - which he probably will be, soon - it'll be a little late for the state of Georgia to say 'oops. Sorry about that.'

As I pointed out in another post, courts are made up of human beings, and we've been known to make mistakes. While a prisoner can be released, the authority of state and federal courts doesn't extend to raising people from the dead. More at "Capital Punishment: Killing Those Who Deserve to Die," 'By the Power Vested in Me by the Supreme Court, Rise?!' (October 2, 2008).

Tony Davis Doesn't Have Much Time

A blog post, "Please help spare the life of an innocent man on death row"
BIG BLUE WAVE (April 18, 2009), has information about Tony Davis and the dubiously sound case against him:
"Troy Davis faces execution for the murder of Police Officer Mark MacPhail in Georgia, despite a strong claim of innocence. 7 out of 9 witnesses have recanted or contradicted their testimony, no murder weapon was found and no physical evidence links Davis to the crime. The Georgia Board of Pardon and Paroles has voted to deny clemency, yet Governor Perdue can still exercise leadership to ensure that his death sentence is commuted. Please urge him to demonstrate respect for fairness and justice by supporting clemency for Troy Davis...."
The post includes a plea to "keep flooding Governor Perdue's office with emails demanding justice for Troy." Along with links to Amnesty International that should make the task relatively easy.

The plea originates with Amnesty International's American branch. If you don't want to go though that organization, here is a more direct way of contacting Governor Perdue:

Why Bother?

In my case, it's because if I don't do something about my beliefs, there's not much point having them. Although I do believe that many people deserve to die, I also accept the Catholic teaching that killing people should be a last resort of the state - one that a country with the resources of America doesn't have to exercise.

I also know that innocent people can be - and have been - convicted. Since the Supreme Court of the United States of America can't raise people from the dead, I don't think it's a particularly good idea to kill them in the first place.

You don't have to do a thing about Troy Davis. The decision is yours. As for me, I'll be using the State of Georgia website's form as soon as I post this, asking the governor to give Mr. Davis time for another chance for justice.

Related post:In the news:
UPDATE (April 18, 2009, 4:37 Central)

A minute ago, I submitted a message to Georgia's Governor Sonny Perdue. The text of my message follows:
Troy Davis has been convicted of murdering Police Officer Mark MacPhail. This is an extremely serious offense: but execution is a serious matter, too. And, an irreversible one.

A Georgia paper ( ) and CNN ( ) have written that witnesses have recanted testimony, and given other details which cast doubt on the verdict.

I understand how appealing it can be to have 'closure,' by killing someone when a murder has been committed.

In this case, however, I believe that the State of Georgia may be about to kill an innocent man. That might prove to be embarrassing, as well as unjust.

I do not live in your state, but I am an American citizen - and am concerned with how America's version of justice is perceived.

I cannot see the harm in at least delaying Tony Davis' execution until the glaring irregularities in his conviction are resolved.

Please, Governor Perdue: allow another appeal before killing this man.

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Background:Posts in this blog: In the news:

What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.