Wednesday, September 21, 2011

And Justice For All

(Courtesy of the Huffington Post)
“Davis has been on death row since 1991, convicted of the 1989 murder of a police officer. But pervasive questions about his innocence have plagued the case. Davis was convicted almost solely on eyewitness evidence, and seven of the nine witnesses who testified against him have recanted their testimony. There is no physical evidence tying Davis to the crime, and another man has even confessed to the killing. Nevertheless, after years of appeals and several stays of execution, the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles upheld Davis’ convictions and he is scheduled to be killed by lethal injection on Wednesday night.”

Troy Davis is an African American man facing the death penalty today for the murder of a white police officer in Georgia in 1989. He was convicted based on evidence including; a ballistics report that proved the gun that shot the police officer was the same one used by Davis in another shooting earlier that day. The weapon was however never recovered. Along with eye witness accounts that placed Davis at the scene of the crime and named him as the shooter, Davis was found guilty and sentenced to death. Since the conviction, 7 of the 9 eye witnesses have recanted their statements (not under oath in court) and the man that was with Davis has confessed to the shooting. This evidence has bought Davis more time, as his last appeal was denied he now is facing the termination of his life. Protesting has been coming from all over the globe; people who are screaming for justice for Davis as well as voicing their opinions on the holes in the capital punishment theory.

Law enforcement stands by the conviction. They feel they have the right man. Popular opinion begs to differ. But let us not forget our judicial system. From Casey Anthony to OJ both walking as a free man and woman with mounds of evidence against them to the BART officer in the Oscar Grant case getting a slap on the wrist for his executioner style shooting of a handcuffed man on film; there are so many intricacies in our legal system that don’t always lead to “justice”.

The first card thrown out in this discussion is Race. If Davis were white, many people feel he wouldn’t be facing the same outcome. Maybe, however there is a man named Scott Peterson currently sitting in prison for the rest of his life convicted for the murder of his wife Laci and unborn son, ONLY on circumstantial evidence. There was no physical evidence, DNA, or eye witnesses that saw him commit the crime yet Peterson is never going to see the light of day and he’s white. For the record…that’s b.s.

Truth be told Scott Peterson was convicted because he was cheating on his pregnant wife and was making plans to leave her for another woman. His character was destroyed and people wanted to see him go down. Troy Davis was involved in another shooting and an assault that same day. With a dead police officer, “justice” has to be served and he “fits the description”.

There will most likely be no divine intervention that saves Troy Davis’ life today. He will die not only for his convicted crime but for the life decisions he’s made that paints the picture of his character. His character is why he is going to die. If those other incidents hadn’t happened, he wouldn’t be facing the end of his existence. Is that fair? Is that justice? Do we weigh a man’s track record against his life? Davis had a rough youth and made a series of not so great decisions, ones that led him to where he is today. You can make the argument that he may have more likely than not committed the crime…but not beyond a reasonable doubt. He is not being judged for his involvement in a crime, but for what kind of man he has been.

Justice is balance. But is ending a man’s life prematurely for the premature ending of another’s really how we want the scales evened? A man is being executed with more question marks than the “Riddler’s” outfit surrounding the case. Why? It needs to be looked at closer.

“An eye for an eye and we both lose our sight”.


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