Troy Davis: Racial Disparities on Death Row

We have ancient habits to deal with, vast structures of power, indescribably complicated problems to solve. But unless we abdicate our humanity altogether and succumb to fear and impotence in the presence of the weapons we have ourselves created, it is as possible and as urgent to put an end to war and violence between nations as it is to put an end to poverty and racial injustice. Martin Luther King, Jr.

In 1989, Troy Davis was charged with killing an off-duty police officer and sentenced to death row.  His execution date has been set for September 21, despite the lack of evidence and a murder weapon.  During the original proceedings, seven of the nine eyewitnesses contradicted part of their statements.  In fact, one of the witnesses, Sylvester Coles, was an original suspect in the murder.  One person claimed that Coles bragged about murdering an off-duty cop, the night of the murder.   Ironically, the justice system in America has a long history of racial injustice.  Black defendants are 1.7 times more likely than white defendants to be given the death penalty.  There are too many unknowns to sentence this man to death.  Justice only means that someone pays for the crime.

Oh, by the way, Casey Anthony got off.

You can join the NAACP, and petition this injustice.

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2 Comments

Filed under Injustice

2 responses to “Troy Davis: Racial Disparities on Death Row

  1. Why the American Justice System continues to rely on eye witness testimony is beyond me. Evidence continues to mount time and time again that eye witnesses are unreliable – by fault of many reasons either malicious or unintentional. The usual reasons are a witness might simply lie under oath or a witness may be threatened. But a reason that one may forget is that witnesses often do not know what they saw yet inexplicably have a high degree of confidence in what they saw.

    An example of this is something called ‘weapon focus’. It essentially means when one is being robbed by gun point, they are probably staring at the weapon, not the facial features of the (probably masked) gunman. Therefore, their later account of this description is inherently flawed.

  2. You bring up a valid point. ‘Weapon focus’ is a crucial problem in this case. Ironically, the murder weapon has no connection to Davis (as far as this case is concerned). Several witnesses admitted to being coerced into naming Davis as the murderer. With that said, there is far too much doubt. This is no execution. It’s a murder. As you have stated, the judicial system in America is incredibly flawed. It doesn’t mean justice is served. It means someone pays for the crime.

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