Thursday, 22 September 2011

Troy Davis

Last night at 11:08pm the state of Georgia killed Troy Davis. A tragedy and travesty of justice. Troy Davis spent twenty years in jail accused of killing a police officer. Despite a lack of concrete evidence connecting him to the crime and witnesses recanting their statements (claiming that police had coerced them into pointing the finger at Davis), he was still killed. Troy Davis maintained his innocence right till the very end. I heard about the case late but the minute I knew he was a black man in the south on death row accused of killing a police officer? I knew it was all over. My heart sank. There was no way the racist juidicial system would have granted him that appeal or admit they convicted the wrong man. In Savannah Georgia? In the south? They live in the past.

Race plays a massive part in this, had Troy Davis been white I don't believe he would have been convicted or killed, not with the huge outpouring of support he had. Black people and other minorities face discrimination and inequality at all stages of the criminal justice system. Had he not been given the death penalty and life instead, he could have continued to challenge the legal system to give him a fair trial. For twenty years a massive movement has been lobbying and fighting for him. Color Of Change, NAACP, Amnesty International, National Action Network, former president of the US Jimmy Carter, Desmond Tutu and former Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Norman Fletcher amongst others.The case sparked yet more debate about the death penalty but it's also about oppression and injustice. I hope the movement doesn't end with Troy's death. My heart goes out to Troy Davis and his family, may God eternally punish those who insisted on his death.

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