Is it possible to feel great joy and terrible despair at the same time? It is, and it’s happening today. While the horrible policy that was Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is officially dead, it looks like another innocent man is likely dead too.
Yes, today, as we celebrate the end of another ugly chapter of discrimination in America, we continue executing people – even in the face of overwhelming doubt of their guilt.
Tomorrow, Troy Davis will be executed by the murderous state of Georgia. It’s looking more and more like that will be the tragic reality as this alert just arrived in my in box from the LA Times:
Two defense lawyers say Georgia’s board of pardons has rejected a bid to halt the execution of Troy Davis, who has attracted high-profile support for his claim that he was wrongly convicted of killing a police officer in 1989.
This morning, this was posted on the website of Amnesty International:
Outrageous. Simply outrageous.
Georgia’s State Board of Pardons and Paroles has rejected Troy Davis’ clemency petition. He faces execution on Wed., Sept. 21 at 7 pm EDT. We do not accept this decision and we will not quietly sit by. Join us by taking more action: demand that the Board reconsider its decision and demand that Chatham County (Savannah) District Attorney Larry Chisolm seek a withdrawal of the death warrant and support clemency himself.
This appalling decision renders meaningless the Board’s 2007 vow to not permit an execution unless there is “no doubt” about guilt. The Troy Davis case is riddled with doubt. Most of the witnesses who testified against him have recanted, while others have pointed to an alternate suspect as the real killer.
Nearly a million supporters of human rights and justice have called for clemency in this case, so far. They believed in the common-sense notion that you should not execute someone when you can’t be sure they are guilty.
Death penalty supporters like Bob Barr, former Texas Governor Mark White, and former FBI Director William Sessions also support clemency in this case, for the same reason. And at least three jurors from Davis’ trial have asked for his execution to be called off. Putting Troy Davis to death would be a grave injustice to those jurors who believe they sentenced Davis to death based on questionable information.
The Board chose to ignore this huge number and wide range of voices, so we must raise our voices even more. Demand that Georgia authorities Stop This Execution.
This morning, I’ll talk to Jasiri X, a very socially conscious rapper friend of mine who recently recorded “I Am Troy Davis”:
It’s not only rappers singing out for clemency for Troy Davis. Nellie McKay is doing it too:
It’s Tuesday, so we get to hang with The Political Carnival’s GottaLaff… we’ll talk about these stories and more: