ACTION ITEM: Troy Davis Has Twelve Days Left

Act now.

What follows is a comment about the injustice surrounding the Troy Davis case left by Stephen Matlock at Emily L. Hauser’s blog, In My Head:

Well, we had a short writing session yesterday in a symposium I attended, “Social Media for Social Justice.”

Here’s what I wrote:

More than 20 years ago on a hot muggy night Officer Mark MacPhail worked as a security officer at a fast-food restaurant. An altercation outside escalated, as often happens when people are tired and angry. Officer MacPhail intervened, and two shots ended his life.

A man now sits in a Georgia State Prison awaiting execution for that crime. All is in order, rules followed, jurors instructed, penalty phases adjudicated. And Troy Davis, 13 12 days away from his own death, awaits the response to his near-futile pleas for clemency.

Seven of nine witnesses against him have recanted. Physical evidence does not connect him to the crime. Indeed, one witness has boasted of the crime himself. There is doubt, more than reasonable doubt, that Troy Davis was responsible. We say that for a capital crime that beyond reasonable doubt must prevail for justice to be done.

But Troy Davis will not receive justice in Georgia. We all know this. A man – a police officer – was killed doing the honorable thing, and someone must pay for that.
Troy Davis knows that simply to be identified and arrested for the murder of a police officer means guilt. We all know this is true. We know that victims of violent crime often do not receive justice or protection. We know that an inordinate number of alleged criminals are freed, only to repeat their crimes.

We know that when we finally do find someone guilty we want them to pay the price for crime. Any crime. Because then someone is punished and someone is avenged and justice is done.

And in 14 12 days we can find the next person who must pay the price and be punished, so the cycle can continue.

I cannot even express how much this case distresses me. I just can’t. So, I’m just going to tell you what you can do to help. Here’s a form email that you can use to circulate to any friends or family that are lawyers or judges:

Hi Friends,

I’ve recently gotten very involved with advocating for a man on Georgia’s death row who is almost certainly innocent, Troy Davis.

There’s no physical evidence linking him to the crime, 7 out of 9 eyewitnesses have recanted, one of the remaining witnesses has been implicated as the shooter, the State itself has withdrawn evidence – it goes on and on and on, frankly, and yet he’s exhausted the appeals process and has been given a final execution date of 9/21. (Here’s a great 60 second video on the case: It opens with a juror saying “If I knew then what I know now Troy Davis would not be on death row”) [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMgARJjdOgc&feature=player_embedded]

Amnesty is asking members of the legal community to join a sign-on letter, and in fact I was told this morning that that’s one of their biggest focuses (focii?) right now – they feel they need a few more hundred signatures before they present it to the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles in the coming days. [http://tiny.cc/Amnesty4Troy]

And,
here’s a list of some prominent legal figures
, including several former state Supreme Court justices, who have already come forward in support of clemency for Mr. Davis: [http://www.amnestyusa.org/sites/default/files/troylegalsupporters.pdf]

Please consider joining the sign-on letter, and please consider passing Amnesty’s request on to anyone else you know who might be willing to do so – especially if they happen to be in Georgia!

Thank you and sorry to rope you into a cause – it’s just that I’m so horrified by it that I’m reaching out as far and as wide as I can.

If you have not yet done so, please write a letter to the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles. You can find templates here and here.

[image via Black Talk Radio Network]

UPDATE: Edited to remove an action step that has since been deemed counter-productive.






106 replies
  1. 1
    Mary Kneffel says:

    It’s always someone else’s fault.

    Guilty.

    End of the line.

  2. 2
    Shinobi says:

    Writing a letter.

    HEre is a great video from skeptchick talking about Rick Perry’s execution record: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....r_embedded

  3. 3
    Arclite says:

    Thanks ABL. I sent a letter back when you originally posted this. Greenwald better hurry if he’s going to cover this story.

    I hope this sentence is commuted. Given the number of times the death penalty has killed an innocent, it should be illegal.

  4. 4
    Steve says:

    I am still not convinced by anything I have read about this case – certainly not to the degree of some of my fellow liberals, who proclaim that they are 99% or even 100% confident that Davis is slam-bang innocent.

    I agree, of course, that we shouldn’t execute people if there is even room for doubt. But we shouldn’t send anyone to prison if there is room for doubt, either! This argument is a bit of a red herring. The question is whether there is really room for doubt.

    I think the average layperson thinks recantation of testimony is a really big deal but the law has good reasons, developed over centuries of jurisprudence, for seeing things otherwise. ABL, as an attorney, surely understands these reasons. Do we really want a system where as soon as an eyewitness recants (or as soon as X number of eyewitnesses recant), there is suddenly reasonable doubt and we have to undo the guilty verdict and let the defendant out of jail? What kind of behavior would be encouraged by that sort of rule? What kind of pressure would eyewitnesses face, potentially for the rest of their lives, to recant their sworn testimony?

    We’ve heard that one of the other eyewitnesses bragged about committing the crime himself, but we don’t know that. Davis’ defense team apparently didn’t even subpoena that person to testify when he was given a hearing to establish his innocence. That bothers me. Why would they not want to make every effort to confront the real killer?

    It also bothers me that Davis didn’t testify at his innocence hearing. Maybe this shouldn’t bother me, because it’s his Constitutional right after all. But while the state can’t punish him for exercising that right, I can still make judgments. I can understand the strategic reasons why even an innocent defendant might choose not to testify, but once you’ve already been found guilty, it seems to me that you would want to try everything to establish your innocence. I don’t see why he wouldn’t take the stand and tell his story.

    I am humble enough to acknowledge that I could be wrong, but I am just trying to draw the best conclusions I can. I see a lot more groupthink than analysis in these discussions, to be honest. People see someone they trust (like ABL) proclaim Davis’ innocence and they spend about 5 seconds deciding that they agree. I know from experience that it’s dangerous to draw firm conclusions about these cases from just reading a one-sided presentation, without benefit of the full record that the judge and jury saw.

  5. 5
  6. 6
    Darkrose says:

    @Steve:

    I am humble enough to acknowledge that I could be wrong, but I am just trying to draw the best conclusions I can. I see a lot more groupthink than analysis in these discussions, to be honest. People see someone they trust (like ABL) proclaim Davis’ innocence and they spend about 5 seconds deciding that they agree. I know from experience that it’s dangerous to draw firm conclusions about these cases from just reading a one-sided presentation, without benefit of the full record that the judge and jury saw.

    For all that you say you’re humble, you’re making an awful lot of arrogant assumptions, namely, that you’re the only one who’s thoughtful enough to do research.

    I’ve been following this cast for three years, at which point I was late onto the bandwagon. There is compelling evidence that Troy Davis is not guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the crime for which he’s to be executed.

    Your comments about Davis’ defense not wanting to make every effort to confront the real killer display a stunning amount of naivety about the process, as does your not understanding why a black man convicted of kiilling a white cop in Georgia might feel that taking the stand in his own defense would hurt rather than help his case.

  7. 7
    Cermet says:

    @Steve: When you say

    that we shouldn’t execute people if there is even room for doubt. But we shouldn’t send anyone to prison if there is room for doubt,

    you are so wrong it is amazing you think you said something that makes sense. The difference between guilt of a crime to get prison time vs. guilt that gets death are vastly different and the legal system holds very, very different criteria. This fact is so often talked about by people, shows and experts that no one could possibly confuse the two and say something so wrong as you did.

    As for the rest of your statements, you are free to judge as you please and points are as valid as anyones.

    The real issue is our system that – once a jury says death, no evidence can change that after the fact – even if someone else claims to have done the crime and is even convicted for it – still, the inocent person will die unless a pardon is granted. That is stupid and unjustifiable and needs to be changed.

  8. 8

    @Steve:

    I agree, of course, that we shouldn’t execute people if there is even room for doubt. But we shouldn’t send anyone to prison if there is room for doubt, either

    Um … dude … you DO know that if someone is executed, they can’t be brought back to life later, right? Whereas if someone is sent to prison, they can always be released.

    I mean, that’s just retarded. It is.

    Innocent people get sent to prison all the time. That’s THE FUCKING POINT of abolition. We don’t have a perfect system. We NEVER will have a perfect system because we are imperfect people. Let’s at least not KILL the people we do send to prison because hey — that person claiming their innocence with their every breath might actually turn out to be right.

  9. 9
    Redshift says:

    @Steve:

    I agree, of course, that we shouldn’t execute people if there is even room for doubt. But we shouldn’t send anyone to prison if there is room for doubt, either! This argument is a bit of a red herring. The question is whether there is really room for doubt.

    Yeah, those two things are exactly alike, because if exculpatory evidence emerges, we can let the prisoner out of their coffin, just like we can let them out of prison! This is the reason there is just a wee bit of difference between the evidence required to convict and the evidence required for the death penalty (if the considerable number of people who have been exonerated and the copious research on how the race of the suspect and the victim on the likelihood of a death sentence doesn’t convince you that the system is too flawed to be allowed to continue.)

    I think the average layperson thinks recantation of testimony is a really big deal but the law has good reasons, developed over centuries of jurisprudence, for seeing things otherwise.

    I guess I have less respect for those reasons considering the resistance of the law to mounting research about the unreliability of eyewitnesses.

    I am humble enough to acknowledge that I could be wrong, but I am just trying to draw the best conclusions I can. I see a lot more groupthink than analysis in these discussions, to be honest. People see someone they trust (like ABL) proclaim Davis’ innocence and they spend about 5 seconds deciding that they agree.

    But apparently you’re not humble enough to avoid believing that you know everyone else’s thought processes in coming to a conclusion you disagree with.

  10. 10
    JGabriel says:

    OT: Just got a call from family, and apparently the Susquehanna River has crested yesterday higher than it did during Hurricane Agnes in 1972. That means major flooding.

    I’m not sure why I haven’t seen any coverage of this from the major online media outlets, but there’s huge flooding up and down the Susquehanna from NY to Chesapeake Bay. Wyoming Valley in PA is particularly hard hit, and I hear some parts of the Susquehanna in upstate New York are flooding pretty badly too.

    .

  11. 11
    JPL says:

    @JGabriel: I’m on antenna and the nightly news yesterday and morning shows covered it today. There have major evacuations in both NY and PA.

  12. 12

    @Southern Beale:

    … adding:

    Everyone involved in capital cases knows they are executing innocent people. They KNOW this. That is why it’s so fucking hard to get someone on death row off of death row, even when DNA evidence completely exonerates someone. The system is set up to present a false sense of security to the people. If there are too many innocent people exonerated, too many people on death row released, people will start to question the entire system. And they can’t have that. That CANNOT happen.

    Why?

    Because then people will question the entire system. The United States incarcerates more people per capita than any other country in the world. More than China, for god’s sake. A huge number of those people are not guilty of the crimes they are in prison for. But if we don’t lock up 10% of the population, then what happens? Where will we get our cheap labor. How will CCA make a profit? Where will all of those poor people go?

    If the truth about this travesty we call criminal “justice” were to be revealed the whole house of cards would come crashing down. And that strikes fear in the hearts of a lot of people. To our shame.

  13. 13
    j low says:

    @Arclite: The death penalty should be illegal. Because our justice system is imperfect and demonstrably racist AND because it is barbaric. The State should not kill people. Also, too I’m sure GG hasn’t written about this because he’s off at a KKK rally somewhere.

  14. 14

    @JGabriel:

    Just saw something on my local ABC affiliate about it. They showed a house floating down the river and crashing into a bridge. A fucking HOUSE. I hope your family will be OK.

    I think as news starts to spread you’ll be seeing more about it.

    I’d like to know how many of these devastating storms and floods we’ve had in the past 10 years and if it’s unusual. Seems to me we were all told that climate change would lead to disastrous flooding and violent storms and bizarre weather patterns. No one is talking about THAT. Someone needs to.

  15. 15

    @j low:

    However, I also agree with j low that opposition to the death penalty can’t be just because of innocence. I don’t think the state should be deciding who lives and who dies, either. If someone is guilty of a horrible crime beyond a shadow of a doubt then they should be sent to prison, locked away forever if need be. Period. The death penalty is barbaric.

  16. 16
    Mary Kneffle says:

    ABL refused to post my last comment, and will likely refuse this one, because opinions that don’t parrot her own or give due deference to her ego don’t make the cut.

    But I say again:
    1. Guilty
    2. Has been granted more opportunities for reviews, do-overs, etc. than any convict I’ve ever heard of.
    3. The most recent additional hearing decided that Mr. Davis is “not innocent”
    4. But HE’S BLACK, so it must be the racist justice system.
    5. Even if he was innocent, he was doing the wrong thing, at the wrong time, with the wrong people, and in those situations bad things happen. A police officer’s family lost a husband and father, but no, it’s always someone else’s fault. Always.

  17. 17
    JPL says:

    ABL, Davis had an appeal hearing, why didn’t the defense take the opportunity to call more witnesses? I remember reading at the time that it was a weak defense. I tried to pull up the articles in the AJC but they are behind a pay wall.

  18. 18

    @JPL: I would recommend that you watch the video series on his case, it’s a great place to get all the basics, including what went wrong in his evidentiary hearing (boils down to the narrow approach taken by the judge).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....38;index=2

  19. 19
    JGabriel says:

    Southern Beale:

    They showed a house floating down the river and crashing into a bridge. A fucking HOUSE. I hope your family will be OK. I think as news starts to spread you’ll be seeing more about it.

    They should be fine. They live in that area but none of them live in the flood plain. Thank you for your concern.

    I looked at some of the local coverage and was simply very surprised that I hadn’t read about it elsewhere online. It’s not as if the Susquehanna is tiny podunk stream.

    I guess you’re right and the coverage will probably increase over the next 24 hours or so. It looks pretty bad.

    .

  20. 20
    jnc says:

    There is compelling evidence that Troy Davis is not guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the crime for which he’s to be executed.

    If so, you might want to try to say what this “compelling evidence” is, because the list in the OP wasn’t very compelling.

  21. 21
    ppcli says:

    @Southern Beale:

    Everyone involved in capital cases knows they are executing innocent people. They KNOW this. That is why it’s so fucking hard to get someone on death row off of death row, even when DNA evidence completely exonerates someone.

    Anecdotal, one-off support for this: When I was a kid, popular support for the death penalty in Canada was around 70%. Parliament had given up the death penalty on a “free vote” (a quite rare event, where party discipline is not enforced, and every member is free to vote their conscience.) The high popular support remained until the late 1990s. Currently there is more opposition to capitol punishment than support for it. The main factor turning the tide was the publicity attached to three separate cases of prisoners (Guy Paul Morin, Donald Marshall, David Milgaard) vindicated by DNA evidence after spending long stretches for murder. People realized that every one of these people would have been put to death under the old system.

    Edit: For thumbnail information on these and similar cases see:
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/.....icted.html

  22. 22
    Makewi says:

    Maybe someone can help me out. What was the DNA evidence on the shorts? Was there a match between the bullet taken from the jaw of the earlier shooting victim and the murder victim?

  23. 23
    Dennis SGMM says:

    ABL, on your last Troy Davis thread I asked if the DOJ, particularly the cognizant U.S. Attorney had involved itself in this case. Have you found out anything on this topic? Although I’m in no way a lawyer I find it hard to believe that one of the civil rights statutes hasn’t been violated here. Even if the violation is a minor one it might at least provide a pretext for involvement by the U.S. Attorney.

    I know that it hasn’t been at all unusual for a person to be incarcerated or executed for Being Black at the Scene of a Crime. This case seems to merit something more from from the federal government than hand wringing.

  24. 24
    Svensker says:

    It sounds like there’s evidence that he’s not guilty. But I don’t fucking care. The death penalty is barbaric. There’s no excuse for it. The fact that ABL had to make this post and Amnesty had to go to work because there is a human being who will be put to death by his government in a few days just makes me want to vomit. The fact that the guy is black and has been convicted of killing a white cop in Georgia just ices the vomit cake — no, there have never been any miscarriages of justice given those particulars, have there, amirite? God.

    And Makewi wants to know all the details of evidence. As if it fucking matters whether you know or not, Makewi. Just say to yourself, there’s a living, breathing, thinking human MAN who’s heart will be deliberately stilled in a few days. After that, the review of the DNA evidence will be strictly an intellectual exercise, because the guy it involves will be dead. So just examine all the evidence you want, internet lawyer, and debate whether it meets your very important fake lawyer criteria. But no matter what your fine fake lawyer sensibilities tell you, in 13 days that human being will not be fake dead.

  25. 25
    EJT says:

    @Svensker: You know who else isn’t fake dead? The cop who was shot twice, once through the front of his face, while chasing after Davis, who (regardless of whether or not he shot the officer) was fleeing the scene, a crime in and of itself.

    But, no, let’s not worry about that.

  26. 26
    Makewi says:

    @Svensker:

    I edited my comment. I’m just seeking information and not looking to start a fight on this thread.

  27. 27
    lacp says:

    @Svensker: Wrong answer. This thread is about executing an innocent man, not about whether capital punishment is barbaric.

  28. 28
    Darkrose says:

    @jnc:

    Here you go.

    There is no physical evidence; the gun used in the shooting hasn’t been found. The entire case rests on the testimony of eyewitnesses. multiple witnesses reported that police pressured them to identify Troy Davis as the shooter. At least one says he was told to sign a statement he wasn’t allowed to read.

    That’s more than enough to meet the “reasonable doubt” standard.

  29. 29
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .
    I signed the Amnesty International petition for Mr. Troy Davis with enthusiasm, after which I was automatically, and against my will, presented with a page asking me to send them some money. According to ABL, that’s known as “grifting.” And “grifters gonna grift.” I think it may be her personal mantra.

    Now, I want all of you to get up out of your chairs, go to your computers and get over your disgust with ABL’s hate screech and SIGN THAT PETITION. Donating money to Am Intl is optional but recommended.
    .
    .

  30. 30
    opal says:

    @Makewi:

    As long as you’re being honest…Rick Perry or Mitt Romney?

    Keep it simple and show your work.

  31. 31
    j low says:

    @lacp: Svensker probably forgot that you are the thread monitor.

  32. 32
    Elliecat says:

    @Southern Beale:

    If there are too many innocent people exonerated, too many people on death row released, people will start to question the entire system. And they can’t have that. That CANNOT happen.

    Uh….I think that happened here in Illinois. Gov Ryan (now in prison himself) declared a moratorium on the death penalty. It has not been reinstated here. So it can happen occasionally.

  33. 33
    karen marie says:

    @Steve:

    Davis’ defense team apparently didn’t even subpoena that person to testify when he was given a hearing to establish his innocence.

    The person has a Fifth Amendment right to decline to answer questions if he might incriminate himself. It would be my guess that there was a determination that he would claim Fifth Amendment privilege and, thus, there would be no point to a subpoena.

  34. 34
    opal says:

    @Uncle Clarence Thomas:

    Big Dawg was a centrist with a nagging and ultimately irrelevant wife.

  35. 35
    Arclite says:

    @j low:

    Also, too I’m sure GG hasn’t written about this because he’s off at a KKK rally somewhere.

    Yup, you’re right, how silly of me. GG is a grand dragon of the KKK. What was I thinking?

  36. 36
    Kerry Reid says:

    @Elliecat: Ryan put the moratorium into place, and then this spring Governor Pat Quinn (a Dem) signed the bill outlawing it altogether in Illinois. Ex-Mayor Daley spoke out against the ban. Which pisses me off, given that when he was state’s attorney, he failed to investigate the torture allegations against Chicago cop Jon Burge — allegations which led in part to the moratorium in the first place. The Chicago Reader covered this for years — John Conroy, the reporter who first started investigating Burge, is one of my journalistic heroes.

  37. 37
    Arclite says:

    @Southern Beale: Well, the mainsteam media isn’t talking about it, but climate sites sure are.

  38. 38
    Cromagnon says:

    Everyone ever convicted of a crime is innocent, didn’t y’all know that? At least according to them that is…

    Look up the case of Roger Keith Coleman, executed in my home state of Virginia in the early ’90s for rape and murder. Ole Keith managed to sucker a whole bunch of well meaning, but totally naive people that he was in fact innocent. Proclaimed it to the high heavens. Said people raised holy hell and tried to get his sentence commuted. VA executed him anyway…

    Fast forward a number of years, new DNA evidence is made available on the case. Said people pressure then Gov. Mark Warner to test the DNA to see if it was in fact Roger Keith Coleman, convinced VA had executed an innocent man. Warner did, and the DNA was a match for guess who? Roger Keith Coleman

  39. 39
    gwangung says:

    @Cromagnon: This, of course, says nothing.

    More rigor, please.

  40. 40
    Makewi says:

    @Darkrose:

    Thanks. I’ve not seen if there was ever a match made between the bullets in the victim shot in the jaw and the murder victim, since the claim was made that the same gun fired both. I also understand that the prosecution was going to be allowed to submit the shorts as evidence in the innocence hearing (trial?) and that there was supposedly DNA evidence – but never heard where that went.

    GA has executed 51 people since 1976 – and granted a commutation of the sentence to 7 in the same time period. That’s 1 clemency for every 7+ people executed – not exactly encouraging.

  41. 41
    Steve says:

    @karen marie: I find it really, really hard to believe that the reason they didn’t even bother trying to put the real killer on the stand is that there would be no point. For one thing, I don’t even know if he would be entitled to take the Fifth because he already voluntarily testified in the same case. For another thing, seeing a guy who fingered Davis as the killer suddenly take the Fifth and refuse to answer any questions would be enormously powerful. That theory does not make sense to me on either legal or strategic grounds.

    @Darkrose: Here’s an example of the same thing: people trying desperately to come up with excuses for why Davis didn’t do very simple things that an innocent person would be expected to do. Oh, he didn’t take the stand at his innocence hearing because he’s a black man! Well, fine, then he’s a black man who missed his one chance to present powerful testimony in his own behalf. Racism is not dead, but this is federal court in 2010 we’re talking about, not 1964 Mississippi.

    @Cermet: You wrote: “The difference between guilt of a crime to get prison time vs. guilt that gets death are vastly different and the legal system holds very, very different criteria.” Can you cite any support for that remarkable claim, whatsoever?

    @Southern Beale: Yes, it’s true, if we send an innocent person to prison they can in theory be released. But as I think you acknowledged in a later post, that’s a pretty weak argument against the death penalty even so. The great work of my friends at the Innocence Project notwithstanding, the vast majority of wrongfully imprisoned people are never getting out, and the fact is that depriving someone of 10 years of their life is not a lot more defensible than depriving them of their whole life, even though I would choose the former option. By far the greatest priority is making sure we get verdicts right; keeping people alive “just in case” is about the worst backstop imaginable. Consider the case of Troy Davis, for example: 20 years later and he’s still not getting out. They could cancel the execution and he wouldn’t be out in another 20 years. Unless there’s DNA that is usually how it is going to go.

    @Darkrose: I never said I was the only one who had researched this case, so please don’t put words in my mouth. But if you don’t think a lot of people are simply jumping to conclusions after a few seconds of reading a blog post, I guess I respectfully disagree.

  42. 42
    Arclite says:

    @Cromagnon: No one is saying set the man free (yet). Just stay the execution. Once executed, there is no remedy. If after further investigation the man turns out guilty, then fine. If not, then remedies can be made: he can be set free and compensated. Can’t do that if he’s dead…

  43. 43
    Cromagnon says:

    @gwangung:

    Actually it says beware of those convicted of crimes who proclaim their innocence. More often than not, probably way more often than not, they are in fact guilty and deserve their just rewards.

    JMO, your mileage may vary

  44. 44
    Slowbama says:

    Troy Davis (street name Rough As Hell) has had every opportunity for appeal within our justice system for 20 years, including the US Supreme Court. It’s over and he will die for his crime under the law of the state where he committed it. It is sad but hardly surprising that so many of you are so blithely callous about the death of a cop guilty of the “sin” of being white. those of us in the community look forward to McPhail’s family finally seeing justice done.

  45. 45
    Triassic Sands says:

    Can’t President Obama commute his sentence?

    I sent a message to the White House calling on the president to prevent this injustice.

  46. 46
    LT says:

    Signed the AI list. Thanks for this.

  47. 47
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Triassic Sands:

    That’s a great idea though the chance of it happening is slim.

    I sent a letter (my own, not the copypasta) after your first post on this ABL, though I believe that it probably won’t help based on where this is happening. I don’t know the particulars of the case but I do know that an innocent person (or someone actually guilty of a lesser crime) can’t be brought back to life if evidence is later found that exonerates them.

  48. 48
    clayton says:

    a cop guilty of the “sin” of being white

    seriously? This is what you take from this situation?

    Here in Texas, we have had more than one black man proven not guilty (notice I didn’t say innocent) in the past few years who had been convicted on eyewitness IDs.

    Do you really think it had anything to do with the race of the cop?

  49. 49
    Slowbama says:

    i am obviously responding to the multiple comments above insinuating that the only reason Davis was busted is because a white cop got shot. Don’t worry, there will no doubt be more cops of all races shot down here for you and ABL to cheer about.

  50. 50
    Darkrose says:

    @Slowbama: Because pointing out that there may have been a rush to judgement based on race means cheering for cops to get shot down.

    Right.

  51. 51
    clayton says:

    @Slowbama: I’m sorry, but that is just wrong.

    Each case deserves a close look. Our country, especially in the South but not altogether so, has had a deep and unyielding problem in our criminal justice system.

    You must realize that not all cops are good. Cops have been guilty of killing handcuffed suspects, torturing suspects and framing suspects.

    If you worship cops at all costs, you are not much different than those (not anyone here) who champion every person who challenges a conviction.

    Wait, maybe you are. Folks who want to make sure every conviction is correct are less fanatical than you are.

    The cops aren’t always right. This fact has been proven over and over again.

  52. 52
    Slowbama says:

    “Rush to judgment?” Holy balls, the case has been on appeal for 20 years. It’s over and so is Troy Davis.

  53. 53
    clayton says:

    @Slowbama: It’s obvious that you don’t understand our legal system. Clue bat: it’s not like teevee.

  54. 54
    Slowbama says:

    Yawn, more strawmen, of course cops are not always right. What is in dispute here is Davis’s guilt, which multiple courts hAve upheld for 20 years. But of course we are now supposed to throw all that away because somewhere sometime there was a racist cop. Anyway, Davis is a goner and I am sure you will find another cause celebre

  55. 55
    Slowbama says:

    clayton: You mean I don’t understand the justice system which has a 20 year record of ruling against your “friend” the cop killer? Seems to be working pretty well as far as I can see. Are you seeing something I’m not? Perhaps it’s not me that doesn’t understand what is going on here and what is about to happen to your dear martyred cop killer?

  56. 56
    clayton says:

    @Slowbama:

    somewhere sometime there was a racist cop

    You are the one who brought the cop’s race into this, as far as this thread goes.

    My point was that not guilty people have been executed and it has happened in the South now for a long time, though not just here.

    Anyway, Davis is a goner and I am sure you will find another cause celebr

    Says someone who has never thought of the possibility of being in the same situation.

    How nice for you. You must be the nicest person in the world. Are you sure there are no people hoping that you trip up and get a DUI or worse? Are you sure your friends and family, much less strangers would defend you?

  57. 57
    Darkrose says:

    How silly of me. It’s not like no one’s ever been executed for a crime they didn’t commit in this country. Multiple courts say you’re guilty, then you’re guilty. The system’s perfect, and mistakes are never made.

  58. 58
    clayton says:

    @Slowbama:

    your “friend” the cop killer

    Don’t know him.

    I have known bad cops.

    Those two things don’t intersect, I know, but are you sure this man is guilty? Given all of the evidence that has surfaced, and that death ends everything?

    Isn’t a more rational system one that errs on the side of NOT killing someone when there is a doubt?

    Or do you just support cops all in?

  59. 59
    clayton says:

    I’m a big supporter of this group.

  60. 60
    DaBomb says:

    @Slowbama: I guess ery person who lands on death row and appeals their case for 18 years is guilty without a shadow of a doubt huh?

    http://anthonygraves.org/index.html

    I know this man personally and my professor was the leader of the Innocence Project team that helped released Mr. Graves.

    Why was he convicted? Because he was poor and black and he isn’t the only one on death row suffering from that same calamity.

    We have an imperfect and racist justice system.

  61. 61
    clayton says:

    @DaBomb: The Innocence Project has done wonders here in Texas.

  62. 62
    Tde says:

    @Slowbama: Because pointing out that there may have been a rush to judgement based on race means cheering for cops to get shot down….Right.

    Did the 7 African Americans on the jury rush to judgement based on race?

  63. 63
    Slowbama says:

    This is getting really boring, so let me cut to the chase: I live here where this crime happened, you don’t. Those of us who know the situation and the players much, much better than you all or Joan Baez does are cheering the slow but inexorable wheel of justice. Obviously the justice system is imperfect — can you name a perfect one? — but guess what folks? It’s what we’ve got and you don’t get to overturn it by yourselves because of circumstances that happened somewhere else outside of the case. Of course there’s racism. But you know what else? Sometimes there are black guys who shoot cops and are caught and held accountable. Deal with it. Anyway, Davis got another 20 years longer than McPhail did, so at least you all will always have that…

  64. 64
    Slowbama says:

    And just to be clear, I am not at all the first person to bring up race here, as a simple perusal of the prior comments will show to anyone who cares.

  65. 65
    clayton says:

    @Slowbama: Have you ever run into this case?

  66. 66
    sb says:

    @Mary Kneffle:

    5. Even if he was innocent, he was doing the wrong thing, at the wrong time, with the wrong people, and in those situations bad things happen.

    This is exactly the kind of rationale criminals use when they break the law.

  67. 67
    Slowbama says:

    Reading comprehension is our friend. I am not talking about other cases, I am talking about this one. Are you guys seriously proposing that each case be adjudicated based on circumstances in other, unconnected cases? And I’m the one that “doesn’t understand our legal system?” This really is the B team in here tonight.

  68. 68
    clayton says:

    @Slowbama: Seriously? No one before you brought up the race of the cop. You assumed that a black man killed a white man — not a black man killed a cop. You made it racial. Which is it? A black man killed a cop or a black man killed a white man?

    Of course this is all just playing along with his scenario.

  69. 69
    DaBomb says:

    @Slowbama:

    This is getting really boring, so let me cut to the chase: I live here where this crime happened, you don’t. Those of us who know the situation and the players much, much better than you all or Joan Baez does are cheering the slow but inexorable wheel of justice.

    So you were there at the scene of the crime and saw Troy Davis shoot the cop in the face?

    @clayton: It has. I was amazed by Mr. Graves’ case and I remember meeting with him and talking to him, and he stated that there were others who were not guilty, just like him.

  70. 70
    clayton says:

    @Slowbama: Answer: no. Am I and others pointing out that there is a big ass problem with our legal system? Yes.

    If you can’t figure that out, sorry.

    Not all cops are good.

    Not all eyewitnesses are reliable.

    Not all cases are final — unless you kill the person.

    Why can’t you understand those clear points?

  71. 71
    DaBomb says:

    @Slowbama:

    Reading comprehension is our friend.

    You are the one who uses the handle “Slowbama”.

  72. 72
    Darkrose says:

    @Slowbama: I object to your assumption that the people who question whether this is justice are fine with McPhail being killed because he’s white. I object to your assertion that those of us who think that when a majority of eyewitnesses recant their testimony and cite pressure from police to identify a suspect are in any way “cheering” the murder, for whatever reason.

  73. 73
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @DaBomb:

    So you were there at the scene of the crime and saw Troy Davis shoot the cop in the face twice?

    Dead white cop. Black gangbanger seen at the scene. Obviously the black guy is guilty! It makes perfect sense to Slowbama and all his cracker friends at the Stacey Koon Memorial Trailer Park! (Slowbama being a perfectly racially neutral name as well.)

  74. 74
    clayton says:

    @DaBomb: It is the one thing that I think will change the “cheering” at the number of death penalty cases here. I was disappointed that Brian Williams wasn’t prepared to ask Perry about in the face of the cheers the other night.

    Keep it up. At some point we will have an end to the death penalty.

  75. 75
    DaBomb says:

    @clayton: We should at least place a moratorium on it here in TX.

    I struggle with my feelings about the Death Penalty constantly.

    I can understand being angry and wanting revenge, but I just don’t know. I hope the McPhail family gets closure.

  76. 76
    Slowbama says:

    I adopted the name Slowbama for his achingly slow response to the Gulf Oil spill. Your pathetic need to see racism in everything will have to remain your problem. Anyway back to the case that has consumed you all, at least for a couple of hours this one evening: Davis killed the cop, many courts have upheld the ruling, and at this point he has exhausted all options available to him. And again I state for the record: I was far from the first one to bring up the subject of race, though it has been grimly entertaining to see how quickly most all of you decided that was the main issue of this case, and not the death of a police officer.

  77. 77
    Darkrose says:

    @Steve: Your initial comment certainly read as if you were the only one smart enough to do more research, and that torqued me off because I’ve been following this case for over three years. Based on everything I’ve read, there is enough evidence to show reasonable doubt of Troy Davis’ guilt.

  78. 78
    clayton says:

    @DaBomb: I have never struggled with it. Perhaps it is just me. The death penalty is final. If we as a community, state or country get it wrong, then we have done something worse than the original crime.

    Life, when we know for certain, is better than death when we are not sure. Given the inclination in many of our communities to have the same mindset as the commenter making such a big deal here, we have a long way to go.

  79. 79
    DaBomb says:

    @Slowbama:

    I adopted the name Slowbama for his achingly slow response to the Gulf Oil spill. Your pathetic need to see racism in everything will have to remain your problem.

    This statement is filled with epic fail.

    Nowhere in my comment have I indicated that I see racism in everything. Since, I am the one who brought up race as a faulty construct within the judicial system, you have seem to hold on to it.
    But I am the one who sees race in everything? Hit dog will holler!

    And there’s this reply back button, that you could use “Slowbama” so commenters know who you are talking too.

  80. 80
    Slowbama says:

    Sorry, at the risk of belaboring the point, but I can’t resist: This thread was posted by someone with the handle “Angry Black Lady.” The defense rests…

  81. 81
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @Slowbama:

    Your pathetic need to see racism in everything will have to remain your problem.

    Nothing’s more pathetic than just another mighty white Southerner trying to pretend he’s above it all.

  82. 82
    Slowbama says:

    I do not see a reply button, sorry to offend your delicate and recently acquired sense of etiquette. Must be those backward computers we have here in the ol’ cracker South… that’s a very original and incisive critique by the way, calling white southerners racist by virtue of where they live. Never seen that on them ol’ interwebs before, nossireebob.

  83. 83
    DaBomb says:

    @Slowbama: “Recently acquired sense of etiquette.”

    LOL WUT?

    Yes, Angry Black Lady is angry and that why’s she wrote about Troy Davis, because he is black and possibly angry….

  84. 84
    clayton says:

    @Slowbama:

    Davis killed the cop

    Again, you were there?

    I was far from the first one to bring up the subject of race

    Far is a bit too far. You were the one who turned it. Stop trying to deny that you framed this in terms of a black man killing a white cop. You did.

    grimly entertaining to see how quickly most all of you decided that was the main issue of this case, and not the death of a police officer.

    Nice choice of words . . . casting people who are advocating for true justice — people who are wrongly accused — as cop haters.

    Well done, asshole.

  85. 85
    clayton says:

    @Slowbama:

    I do not see a reply button

    HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAAAAA

    It’s right there. Just like you see yourself as reasonable.

  86. 86
    Baron Jrod of Keeblershire says:

    Don’t you all understand? When a cop is killed we have no choice but to string up the nearest darkie. I mean, they’re all guilty of something, so what’s it matter if they actually pulled the trigger? After all, the point of an execution isn’t to do justice, but to slake our thirst for nigger blood.

    /Slowbama

  87. 87
    Slowbama says:

    It’s true I wasn’t there when Davis, uh, I mean someone shot the cop in the face. It’s just as true that you weren’t there either. Which leads us to… the legal system, perhaps?

    I don’t think y’all are getting this. I don’t have to explain anything. I support the 20-year legal record leading up to the inevitable execution of Davis. I don’t have anything to prove or not prove — he’s a goner as I think he should be.

    If you think the case is wrong, fine. You have to do better than “white people in the south are racists” and “sometimes black people are poorly treated by the system.” Frankly so far very few of you seem to have any grasp of this case beyond the talking points issued by ABL via Amnesty International.

    I will avoid mentioning that if he’s so innocent why did his defense so badly screw up the last time they were in court… racist white attorneys, perhaps?

  88. 88
    clayton says:

    @The Sheriff’s A Ni-:

    mighty white

    I have found that this one phrase sets the racists off like no other. Well done.

  89. 89
    clayton says:

    @Slowbama:

    someone shot the cop in the face

  90. 90
    Slowbama says:

    Devastating retort.

  91. 91
    clayton says:

    @Slowbama: Still can’t find the reply button?

    You are slow.

  92. 92
    clayton says:

    @Slowbama: No need to blame it on our president.

  93. 93
    Baron Jrod of Keeblershire says:

    @Slowbama:

    If you think the case is wrong, fine. You have to do better than “white people in the south are racists” and “sometimes black people are poorly treated by the system.”

    How about “there is no physical evidence and 7 of 9 eyewitnesses recanted, claiming that the police pressured them to lie on the stand.” I guess you think a minor thing like that shouldn’t get in the way of murdering a man.

    I’d prefer to see the actual gunman punished for the crime, but I guess that makes me weird.

  94. 94
    Slowbama says:

    As was obliquely mentioned above, witnesses recanting often simply means they were coerced. I’m an old dude but even I have heard of “stop snitchin'”. As the poster above stated, it’s not necessarily indicative of a need to throw out the verdicts of multiple appeals in multiple courts. If we did that every time a witness recanted… ah well it was said much better further up the thread.

    Again, the point is, all sophomoric hipster regional prejudice aside: I don’t have anything to defend or explain. I support the multiple verdicts. You can call me a racist for doing so if you like, as well as all those courts and judges and jurors. But Davis is set to die regardless.

    If you oppose the verdict of these multiple US courts over 20 years, however, you now have 12 days to summon a miracle. Don’t worry, I’m sure the president will pardon him, he’s known for risky bold moves!

  95. 95
    clayton says:

    @Slowbama:

    Shot a cop in the face.

    That’s what you said.

    Regardless, you have never been a part of our criminal justice system.

    Your input is acknowledged, but it is labeled as stupid.

    Shot a cop in the face.

    You said that.

  96. 96
    clayton says:

    @Slowbama:

    You can call me a racist

  97. 97
    Baron Jrod of Keeblershire says:

    @Slowbama: Haha, we’re totally gonna fry that negro. That’ll show those elitist hipsters what for!

  98. 98
    Slowbama says:

    I see from the reliable pivot to the let’s-call-the-southerner-a-dumb-racist motif that the arguments against the Davis verdict are so weak as to not even merit being brought up anymore in this thread, which I suppose is for the best.

    I will say that the comically over-the-top assignations of KKK-style racist motives on my part — and by extension I guess anyone who supports the verdict — are mildly entertaining in their flailing, ineffectual nature. Mildly.

    A man’s life is on the line, unfairly according to most of you, yet here you are wasting time.

    If this is the best you guys can do, Troy really is toast. Shot a cop in the face!

  99. 99
    clayton says:

    @Slowbama: You win.

  100. 100
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @Slowbama:

    As was obliquely mentioned above, witnesses recanting often simply means they were coerced.

    Police coerces witness into testifying: Justice in action.
    Witness recants: They were coerced!

    I’m an old dude but even I have heard of “stop snitchin’”.

    Yep, just dem pesky negroes doin’ the devi’s work again, eh hoss? Where’s Lester Maddox when we really need him?

  101. 101
    G says:

    these kid of cases always make me conflicted. we execute people, that itself is troubling. some prosecutors are people like nancy grace (google her record on appeal)
    race plays a signifigcant role.

    we do live in a world where people do really evil things, and it’s pretty normal to want to punish the evil in the most severe way possible. (google Charles Ng for an example of that, I won’t repeat that story)
    based in part in that this democracy wants to kill people like Charles Ng
    and juries, cops, defense attornies, judges, prosecutors, jouranlists are all people
    and they all at minimum make mistakes, or at worst lie and cheat (see nancy grace) I really don’t know what an actual solution is. the projects that try and sometimes win at overturing a verdict, often will tell you a case wasn’t sent back for trial after a victory for the defendant was won on appeal. what is often left unsaid when they point that out is that our system can be so darn slow that 25 years have passed by.
    and in 25 years, people die, move overseas and forget things, retrying a case that old is darn harder than it was when witnesses could be found, could remember and weren’t dead.
    But here’s what really has me at a loss, that perhaps the most persuasive argument against killing people by the state, that the state might kill the wrong person, just doesn’t sway the republican primary voter. They cheer.

    From reading this is a Georgia case, and that’s where Nancy has the appeals record of a corrupt prosecutor. It’s not hard to think Georgia can be pretty fucked up. It’s also not hard to believe that someone who would shoot a cop would lie about it.

    I suppose if Amanda Knox was not guilty and Italy killed her it it might make the USA care, I mean it’s the pretty white woman thing… but they don’t have a death penalty

  102. 102
    Socraticsilence says:

    @Slowbama: Out of curiousity what is the derivation of our screen name I mean I guess I’d have to assume its about Obama’s perimeter defense in basketball as clearly someone so offended by imputation of racism couldn’t be calling a former head of Harvard law Review slow as to do so would obviously be fucking moronic.

  103. 103
    Socraticsilence says:

    @Slowbama: Out of curiousity what is the derivation of our screen name I mean I guess I’d have to assume its about Obama’s perimeter defense in basketball as clearly someone so offended by imputation of racism couldn’t be calling a former head of Harvard law Review slow as to do so would obviously be fucking moronic.

  104. 104
    wonkie says:

    @EJT: @EJT:

    It is fundametally wrong to approach a murder trial as a means of not forgeting the victim, mourning for ther victim or getting revenge for the victim. That leads to a predisposition to find the defendent guilty for emotioal reasos rather than factual one. The discussion here is about the guilty or innoswcence of Troy Davis. The victim is nnot relvant to that discussion. Troy Davis is not guilty because the victim is dead. Somebody is guilty but the need to remember and hoor the victim doesn’t make Troy Davis the guilty party.

  105. 105
    Fred Fnord says:

    It startles me every time I visit this site how many people spend enormous amounts of time feeding the trolls. I mean, one guy with one hand on his dick has this entire thread tied up in knots. Sure, he might believe what he’s saying, or he might not, but he’s clearly a lot more interested in provoking extreme reactions and pissing people off than he is in any kind of actual dialog.

    Why do y’all let him get away with it? I mean, if it was provoking you to new heights of insight and eloquence that’d be one thing, but it’s basically all of you and him just saying the same crap over and over. And I could understand if each of you replied to him once and then gave it up as a bad job, but over and over? Long after it’s obvious what he’s doing?

  106. 106
    Mark Hide says:

    Why didn’t Davis testify at the special hearing? If innocent, wasn’t that the perfect opportunity to recall what happened, in detail, at the murder scene? How did blood get on Davis’ shorts? Who shot Cooper? Why did Davis flee to Atlanta?
    If I were in his position, I’d admit my guilt and beg the MacPhail family to ask the Georgia Board to spare my life.

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