Savannah Talks Troy Anthony Davis No. 17: 1st Anniversary of the Execution – by Aberjhani

Mosaic poster of executed prisoner Troy Anthony Davis. (Courtesy of NAACP)

From the time he was first placed on trial for the murder of Savannah police officer Mark Allen MacPhail in 1989 until his death by execution one year ago, September 21, 2011, more questions than answers have tended to accumulate where the case of Troy Anthony Davis was and is concerned.

As far as any observers––including such trained onlooker as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Amnesty International, and Color of Change–– have been able to tell, Davis was not executed because he was proven guilty.  He was executed because technicalities of applied legal practice and questionable choices in regard to his defense failed to confirm his innocence. For the average person, such a distinction is murky at best. For Troy Anthony Davis––and for an as yet undetermined number of individuals––it literally meant the difference between life and death.

The case of Troy Anthony Davis is not one that shall gently disappear inside the shadowy annals of American history. It generated while it lasted too much pain for too many people. Moreover, prior to culminating in the highest dramatic fashion with the executed prisoner’s death, there was that of his mother Virginia Davis only a few months before. And after his death, his courageous sister Martina Davis-Correia succumbed to the cancer she had been battling at the same time she fought on her brother’s behalf.   

It shall also continue to linger, inform, and influence because too many issues associated with it remain dangerously relevant. Considerations of race in the American judicial system represent only one such issue. The increasing use of DNA forensics testing ––a technique which the lack of physical evidence in regard to the Davis/MacPhail case rendered inapplicable––under suspiciously unclear circumstances is another.

According to the Innocence Project founded in 1992, “To date, 297 people in the United States have been exonerated by DNA testing, including 17 who served time on death row. These people served an average of 13 years in prison before exoneration and release.”  

Troy Davis served 22 years in prison before his execution.

In the case of the slain teenager Trayvon Martin, the shooter George Zimmerman has steadfastly maintained he shot Martin because the teenager had grabbed his gun and was trying to shoot him. This past week, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement issued a statement that none of Martin’s DNA was found on the grip of the gun.

The Capital Punishment Debate

To read the full article by Aberjhani please click the following link:

Savannah Talks Troy Anthony Davis No. 17: 1st Anniversary of the Execution – National African-American Art | Examiner.com.

Savannah Talks Troy Anthony Davis No. 16: Davis Executed | Aberjhani | Blog Post | Red Room

Rev. Raphael Warnock talks with hostess Amy Goodman of Democracy Now during livestream broadcast. 

Rev. Raphael Warnock talks with Amy Goodman of Democracy Now during livestream broadcast.

 

After many people had made their peace with the idea of Georgia death-row inmate Troy Anthony Davis’ life ending at 7 p.m. on September 21, 2011, the U.S. Supreme Courts just after 7 p.m. issued a call for a “temporary delay” of his death, but then again at 10:20 said it would not block the execution.  Officials then announced that Davis was executed at 11:08 p.m. 

The planned execution of Davis for the 1989 murder of police officer Mark Allen MacPhail  topped news broadcasts on every major American television station Wednesday. Protests against the execution were staged globally in cities from Oslo and Paris to New York and Atlanta. The online television and radio program Democracy Now had scheduled a live stream broadcast from outside the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison at Jackson, where Davis was executed, to last from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The broadcast instead, with host Amy Goodman, lasted for four hours beyond that scheduled time.

For more please click this link:
Savannah Talks Troy Anthony Davis No. 16: Davis Executed | Aberjhani | Blog Post | Red Room.

Savannah Talks Troy Anthony Davis No. 14: Death Order Signed | Aberjhani | Blog Post | Red Room

Savannah Talks Troy Anthony Davis No. 14: Death Order Signed | Aberjhani | Blog Post | Red Room.

Martina Davis-Correia (left) with the late Virginia Davis, sister and mother (respectively) of Georgia death-row inmate Troy Anthony Davis. Please click link above for story.

Savannah Talks Troy Anthony Davis No. 12: U.S. Supreme Court Denies Appeal

Troy Anthony Davis (photo by AP and Savannah News Press) 

Troy Anthony Davis (photo by AP and Savannah News Press)

Having attempted to obtain his freedom for more than twenty years, Georgia death-row inmate Troy Anthony Davis may have lost his final chance when on March 28, 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it would neither review Davis’s requested appeal itself nor order the Federal Appeals Court in Atlanta to do so.

Davis and supporters have been battling for his freedom since he was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1989 murder of off-duty police officer Mark Allen MacPhail in Savannah. He has been scheduled to be put to death three times but each time obtained a stay of execution pending further investigation into his case. Davis had long contended that a review of new evidence would establish his innocence, and when seven out of nine witnesses recanted their testimonies against him, it appeared the legal tide might eventually turn in his favor.

However, although the Supreme Court did order an evidentiary hearing held for Davis last summer, Judge William T. Moore ruled in the hearing that revised statements and the proposed new evidence were not sufficient to confirm Davis’s innocence. He publicly chided Davis’s defense team for their handling of the case even as he himself acknowledged that as yet some doubt did remain regarding the likelihood of Davis’s guilt.

“Passing the Buck”

While Davis’s family and supporters have understandably been fighting for his release, the family members of slain Officer MacPhail have expressed their belief that Davis is guilty and have rallied for his execution.

Upon hearing the news of the Supreme Court’s most recent decision, Davis’s sister Martina Davis-Correia told news reporters, “It’s troubling, it’s upsetting, it’s like everyone wants to pass the buck and no one wants to address the real issue of actual innocence.”

That “passed buck” now sits in the hands of the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles, a five-member board known to almost never postpone executions.

At this point, Georgia state officials are basically free to move ahead with Davis’s execution. Ironically enough, earlier in March federal regulators seized the state’s supply of the drug sodium thiopental, which is one of the key drugs used to administer lethal injections. Doubts have been raised about how the state obtained its supply of the drug and consequently all executions in Georgia have been placed on hold.

Despite the current outlook, Davis-Correia, who has been waging her own personal battle against cancer, has vowed on behalf of her brother “to continue to fight.”

This is the twelfth installment of Aberjhani’s Savannah Talks Troy Anthony Davis Series.  For part one, please click here . To make sure you catch future installments, please sign up for a free subscription.

by Aberjhani

Continue the discussion on redroom.com

Savannah Talks Troy Anthony Davis No. 11: Judge Moore says “Not innocent”

Savannah Talks Troy Anthony Davis No. 11: Judge Moore says “Not innocent” – National African-American Art.

Savannah Talks Troy Anthony Davis No. 8: Date Set for Evidentiary Hearing

Savannah Talks Troy Anthony Davis No. 8: Date Set for Evidentiary Hearing

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