Troy Davis was to be executed tonight at 7 P.M. in a Georgia prison after being accused of killing Savannah police officer Mark MacPhail in August 1989. While spending 22 years on death row, Davis has been steadfast in stating that he was innocent.
Since his 1991 trial, witnesses who testified against Davis have since then contradicted their testimony, or recanted their testimony. Some have cited police coercion during their testimonies. Last year, a jailhouse informer admitted that his testimony against Davis was fabricated.
The prosecutors knew that people were lying in their testimonies, but they continued with their case against Davis. Davis’s innocence didn’t mean anything to the prosecutors. The police wanted revenge, and if that means taking Davis down—then so be it.
The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles had denied clemency for Davis, even though there is no hard evidence linking Davis to the crime. State prison officials even denied Davis an opportunity to tell the truth, rejecting his request to take a polygraph test.
Not even Former President Jimmy Carter and Pope Benedict XVI could do anything to help Davis.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Black men and women are still the victims of an unjust legal system that sees more of us reaching through prison bars instead of reaching for diplomas and degrees. Troy Davis’ life will be taken away from him for being the wrong color at the wrong place and time.
There is a reason why Black communities don’t trust police officers. “To protect and serve” is a paradoxical statement to us who have seen or experienced police brutality and racial profiling. Maybe if the property value of our neighborhoods was higher, than we’d be treated like people instead of prisoners. Maybe if he were the same complexion as the prosecutors, the judge, the jury and the police then it wouldn’t have been so hard to overturn this decision.
In the same year where a lack of evidence will see an innocent black man put to death, a lack of evidence and a very farfetched and blatant cover-up saw Casey Anthony, a young white woman, walk away a free woman after being held in prison for the death of her infant child.
It is beyond a reasonable doubt that racial prejudice still exists in this country. We’ve seen Rodney King beaten, we’ve seen Sean Bell murdered, and we’ve seen Troy Davis executed. Something has to be done. We cannot let the Troy Davis story be forgotten.
If we don’t do something, Jim Crow will always be the one holding the gavel.
“But they try and project the image to the public that this is being done by thieves and thieves alone, and they ignore the fact that no, it is not thievery alone. It’s a corrupt, vicious, hypocritical system that has castrated the Black man and the only way the Black man can get back at it is to strike it in the only way he knows how.” – Malcolm X
UPDATE: Troy Davis’ execution delayed as Georgia waits on the Supreme Court’s decision.
UPDATE: The Supreme Court has denied Troy Davis’ request for a stay of execution. He was executed by lethal injection at 11:08 P.M. Thursday night. Rest in Peace Troy Davis.