Troy Davis

The Supreme Court has denied a stay for Troy Davis, so he will probably be executed shortly. America is less of a country whenever the state puts a needle in someone’s arm and methodically ends their life. If they’re certainly guilty, and more so if there is a chance the person is innocent. There’s no need for any state to keep killing people, and I hope here in Washington we can be the next to end it.

My heart goes out to his family, as well as the family of Mark MacPhail.

Comments

  1. 2

    Lee R. spews:

    So the POS drug dealing murderer about to face the death penalty gets a paragraph and a half out of you, but all you can spare the family of the police officer(murdered in cold blood while trying to protect an innocent person), is just “I feel sorry for them to” half sentence.

    nice to see where your priorities are.

    people that act savage need to be dealt with as such.

  2. 4

    Lauramae spews:

    When many people who know quite a bit about the case within the legal system indicate that there is significant doubt about his guilt, then the death penalty is fucking savage. People who call for such revenge are savage as well and no different than an animal that murders in the first place. Simple as that.

  3. 5

    Lee R. spews:

    @4

    can we put the next work release house and sex offender “treatment center” next to your place?

    cool…i know you wont mind since you are so civilized…lol

  4. 7

    Lee R. spews:

    How come none of you are boohooing the execution of Larry Brewer? He got needle-o-death this morning, but nobody raised a fuss.

    Larry Brewer got what he fucking deserved for the killing of James Byrd, but strangely none of you objected to that death sentence.

    could it be that you secretly agree with the putting down of larry brewer, but dont want to admit it to anyone else?

    ya, I think so.

  5. 8

    Michael spews:

    @7

    Aw… Just come right out and say the race baiting garbage. No need to hide it! Come on you can do it!

    I’m not boo-hooing the the death of Lawrence Brewer, there’s not a shred of doubt that he killed Jame Byrd. In Troy Davis’s case there was no physical evidence linking him to the crime and plenty of doubt about his guilt. I’ve got zero problem with sentencing someone that kills a cop or drags a man to death behind a pickup truck to die. I’ve got a big problem with sentencing the wrong man to die.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....74293.html
    Davis has maintained his innocence. No weapon or physical evidence was ever found linking Davis to the killing of officer Mark MacPhail in a Burger King parking lot. Seven of nine witnesses who initially fingered him have since recanted, some saying that they were forced by police to identify Davis as the shooter.

  6. 9

    Lee R. spews:

    @8

    but thats not what Carl wrote in his piece – Carl doesnt care of if there is any shred of doubt or not.

    Shall I remind you?

    America is less of a country whenever the state puts a needle in someone’s arm and methodically ends their life. If they’re certainly guilty, and more so if there is a chance the person is innocent. There’s no need for any state to keep killing people, and I hope here in Washington we can be the next to end it.

    race baiting? nah, I leave that for the progressives, they are experts at it.

  7. 10

    Michael spews:

    @9

    but thats not what Carl wrote in his piece

    Yeah, but I’m not Carl.

    Glad to hear you weren’t going for the race baiting angle. I’m so sick of that shit.

  8. 17

    Lee R. spews:

    @15

    euro man? LMFAO……oh, your one of those types…LOL

    im not the one bitching about a “miserable country”, now am I?

    you seem very confused.

  9. 19

    Lauramae spews:

    Lee R. Toying with people who spew rabid spittle as you do is a sport, of sorts.

    Assholes always like to formulate the choice as A. Put up with it and like it or B. Move out.

    It is evidence of a savage, uncivilized mentality to execute people. Doing so and cheering about it makes us a miserable country. The leading republican candidate wins conservative points for threatening physical harm against the fed chief.

    Empty cowboy rhetoric is celebrated as tough and decisive. Holding guns up in the air and screeching “woo hoo” a la Rick Perry is celebrated proudly by the troglodyte element.

    MISERABLE COUNTRY. “American exceptionalism” in fucking deed.

  10. 20

    Lee R. spews:

    @19

    seems like you hate this country and all its “euro-men”..LMFAO.

    really, if you hate it that much, then just say adios and head to canada, or mexico, or some other place that fits your world view.

    and yes, America is exceptional, even with dregs like you living here.

    cheers!

  11. 21

    YellowPup spews:

    Agreed with Carl’s sentiment. I guess I had imagined to the end that the system would still work in a case like this.

    Can’t disagree here either:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....75109.html

    Laura Moye of Amnesty International said the execution would be “the best argument for abolishing the death penalty.”

    “The state of Georgia is about to demonstrate why government can’t be trusted with the power over life and death,” she said.

  12. 22

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @2, 3 – Real enlightened discussion of the innocence issue on your part, pardner. Good goin’, Ace.

  13. 23

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @7 “How come none of you are boohooing the execution of Larry Brewer?”

    Because, as you yourself put it, he “got what he fucking deserved.” Actually, he deserved more — he deserved to be chained to a pickup truck and dragged three miles on an asphalt road. But prefer judicial executions be painless and sanitary, and he benefited form that.

    Georgia more likely than not executed a guilty man tonight, but we don’t know for sure, and that’s the point. Troy Davis’ innocence claims, including the witness recantations, did get a hearing in the lower courts. He did get substantial due process. The question is, is that enough, or should society demand certainty of guilt before someone is put to death in the name of the state?

    That’s a serious issue that deserves more serious consideration than reflected in the ball-scratching, nose-picking, knee-jerk “hang-em-high!” attitude of meatheads like you.

  14. 24

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Public opinion has been manipulated before, notably in the Roger Coleman case. Coleman, like Davis, maintained his innocence. Ultimately, DNA tests conclusively proved Coleman’s guilt … long after his execution.

    A verified case of a wrongful execution of an innocent person has for a long time been the “holy grail” of the anti-death penalty movement, and so far there hasn’t been one, although the Willingham case raises serious questions about Texas justice (and equally serious questions about Rick Perry’s fitness to make life-and-death decisions). Our modern legal system does take great pains to avoid erroneous imposition of the death penalty, and mistakes are improbable — but not impossible. In earlier times, the system was not nearly so fastidious, and it’s highly likely that innocent people have been executed.

    A decade and a half ago, Congress passed a law called the “Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996.” This law makes tradeoffs: It offers “special review provisions” for states that enact “quality controls” for capital cases. States complying with these provisions would get “strict time limitations enforced” and “extremely deferential review” of their courts’ determinations of federal law issues in federal habeas corpus cases brought in federal courts by death row inmates. (Wikipedia) It is notable that, 15 years after these provisions were enacted, not a single state has qualified for these “special provisions.” What that tells me is that state judicial processes still have a distance to go before we can say with confidence that no innocent person will ever be railroaded into a state death chamber.

  15. 25

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Troy Davis had only a minor criminal record until the day of Officer MacPhail’s murder: A year earlier, he was arrested for illegally carrying a concealed weapon, and entered a plea bargain in which he was fined $250 and charges of carrying a gun with an altered serial number were dropped.

    On the day of MacPhail’s death, Davis was riding in a car with friends and allegedly shot a passenger of another car in the face after occupants of the other car yelled obscenities. He also allegedly pistol-whipped a homeless man — that’s when MacPhail, an off-duty cop working as a security guard, intervened and was killed. The jury that convicted Davis, who is black, consisted of 7 black and 5 white jurors.

    Troy Davis did receive a fair trial. The concern about his guilt or innocence arose later from the fact that a number of witnesses recanted their testimony and claimed they were coerced by the police. My knowledge of the case is superficial, but from what I’ve read and based on my nearly 40 years of experience as a lawyer, I doubt that Davis was a victim of miscarriage of justice, but I’m not sure — and that’s not, in my view, a high enough level of certainty to take someone’s life.

  16. 26

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @21 “I guess I had imagined to the end that the system would still work in a case like this.”

    I’m not sure it didn’t; see my comments above. My issue with the death penalty is that it isn’t restricted enough. I think it should be applied only for exceptionally heinous crimes where guilt is not in doubt. This case wouldn’t meet my “heinous” test — Davis was executed for killing a cop, but this was a murder of only one person and there was nothing exceptionally cruel about this murder. MacPhail was shot through the heart and probably died instantly. For an example of what I would define as a “heinous” crime, Google “Wikipedia Wichita Massacre,” which involved the torture slayings of five people.

  17. 27

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @20 So far, you’ve had nothing intelligent to say, so please do us a favor and shut the fuck up.

  18. 28

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Even though I’m a confessed Democratic party hack and liberal propagandist, I stillt think for myself — and this thread proves it once again. I diverge from some of my liberal brethren by not categorically opposing the death penalty in all cases. I also diverge from rightwing stereotypes of liberal thinking by personally opposing abortion on moral and religious grounds. See, that’s the thing about us liberals, we figure things out for ourselves and tolerate honest differences of opinion. The GOP imposed orthodoxy from the top down; we Democrats are proud of the fact we’re a ground-up rabble. We don’t have, and don’t need, a multi-billion-dollar noise machine dictating what we’re supposed to think and say; we do have something Republicans lack, which is a belief in rational solutions to societal problems and enlightened debate over what those solutions are.

  19. 29

    spews:

    Just as important as to Davis’ guilt or innocence and perhaps more so is how the system handled this case. If we accept poor work in this case we will be more willing to accept poor work in others yet to come. Here is what Bob Barr, former congressman and U.S. attorney had to say. I think it is worth discussing, or at least thinking about.
    http://www.cnn.com/2011/09/20/.....?hpt=hp_t2

    Editor’s note: Bob Barr is a former U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Georgia and was elected to four terms in the U.S. Congress.

    (CNN) — Only the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles stood between life and death for Troy Anthony Davis, and the core principles of American jurisprudence should have been the board’s guide. But the board ignored those principles in denying Davis clemency.

    Davis was convicted in 1991 of the 1989 murder of Savannah police officer Mark MacPhail. But the trial included no physical evidence to support his conviction. The prosecution produced no murder weapon, no DNA evidence and no surveillance tapes.

    He was sentenced to death on the basis of nine so-called eyewitnesses, who testified in the trial. Seven of those witnesses, however, have since recanted or materially changed their stories. The jury, for instance, relied on two people who did not witness the crime but who testified that Davis had confessed to the shooting. Since then, both have said they were lying.

    The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles declared in 2007 that it “will not allow an execution to proceed in this state unless and until its members are convinced that there is no doubt as to the guilt of the accused.”
    And in the Davis case, a significant measure of doubt remained.

    The U.S. Supreme Court took the extraordinary step of ordering a lower court to conduct an evidentiary hearing in the case because of the witness recantations and the absence of hard evidence. But in that hearing, the federal judge established a much higher standard of proof than the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles. After finding — astonishingly for the first time — that executing an innocent man is unconstitutional, the court then required Davis to prove that he was innocent.
    Proving innocence is far more difficult than establishing doubts as to one’s guilt and flips our system of criminal jurisprudence on its head. Instead of the American system’s presumption of innocence and a requirement that the state prove guilt, Davis’ evidentiary hearing began with the court presuming guilt and required the condemned to prove his innocence.

    Even though the judge in the evidentiary hearing denied Davis a new trial, he conceded the standard was “extraordinarily high.”
    Davis was unable to meet this nearly insurmountable task. But while he fell short of “proving” his innocence, he established doubts as to his guilt, prompting the judge to concede the state’s case against him was “not ironclad.”

    I support the death penalty, and have for a long time. And I am not making a judgment as to whether Davis is guilty or innocent. But surely the citizens of Savannah and the state of Georgia want justice served on behalf of MacPhail, the police officer.

    Imposing a death sentence on the skimpiest of evidence does not serve the interest of justice. The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles did not honor the standards of justice on which all Americans depend by granting clemency. In doing so, it will allow a man to be executed when we cannot be assured of his guilt.

    That was the final admirable principle standing between Davis and his scheduled death by lethal injection Wednesday. And the parole board did not uphold it.

  20. 30

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @29 I agree the burden of proof should be on the state at all steps of the legal process, including clemency review.

  21. 31

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Although it has been 40 years since I attended law school, even back then we knew eyewitness testimony is notoriously unreliable. Why our legal system, in this age of DNA and advanced forensic science, still relies on it so much is inexplicable. I believe there is a place for witness testimony, but the fallibility of human beings must be taken into account. Now, if the witnesses were rabbits, that would be a different matter …

  22. 32

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @29 Far more despicable than any failings of the George Board of Pardons was Texas Governor Rick Perry’s refusal to read a report calling into question the competence of the arson investigator whose testimony sent Cameron Todd Willingham to that state’s death chamber — and then trying to cover up the possible (dare I say likely?) execution of an innocent man by replacing members of the state board investigating the case with his handpicked political hacks. By these two actions alone, Perry demonstrated he is not remotely fit to be President of the United States.

  23. 33

    Mark1 spews:

    Whiny little tender-handed Carl, queefing about the poor condemned little Cop killing parasite. Not shocking.

    Perhaps we could offer such germs “treatment”, right Carl?

    OK then, can we build the rehabilitation complex next to your house?

    Didn’t think so asshole.

    Typical Libtard mindset, along with College Professors that couldn’t make it out in the real world and hide in the comfort & safety of academia. Tenure=safety net. Run along now and resume cowering you pussy.

    So long Troy Davis, enjoy that nice long dirt nap. And no, that’s not a sunburn you feel. :)

    Good day all.

  24. 34

    YellowPup spews:

    @26: Sure, every convict swears they are innocent, and I haven’t looked at both cases in detail, but did the Coleman case have so many witnesses recanting, jurors expressing regret, so many legal experts finding basic fault with the process, and so forth? Davis’s seems like a very unusual case.

    The specifics here aside, I would go beyond restriction and just abolish the death penalty, because it is so tainted by emotion (much in evidence in these comments) and morally and monstrously retarded concepts of justice.

    Even if it were restricted as you suggest, it would require the state/process to make a determination of heinousness, which can be very subjective.

  25. 35

    Pro-Arbortion spews:

    Interesting that Lauramae is worried about a convicted murderer who has orchestrated this last minute ruse, yet she is happy about killing innocent life?
    The libs will fall for any lame-ass story. I doubt you would be all worked up if this was some white guy.
    He’s a convicted Cop Killer for crying out loud.
    What about the Cop’s family? They have been waiting 22 years for justice. How is 22 years justice? Lots of time to orchestrate, pressure witnesses. There were numerous eye-witnesses. If there was just one, you may have a point. But there were numerous. Years later, they develop amnesia. Overturning this would be OJ Simpson revisited. Yes, the Davis Legal Team has created a wonderful, tear-jerking story to paint Davis as a victim. They’ve had 22 years to glue it together.

  26. 36

    Pro-Arbortion spews:

    Roger Rabbit @ 26–
    I understand your point. But I disagree. Cop-killers need to be held accountable to the highest standard. Killing a cop may not fit your definition of “heinous”, but it’s a whole lot worse than some drug-dealer killing another dealer. The Cops are there to protect & serve us. We need to demand they be protected with the full-force of the law.
    Kill a cop…and you will die.
    That ought to be the message and backed with action.

  27. 37

    Liberal Scientist wonders when Republicans will be done with the charade and finally just start using the Hitler Salute spews:

    35 and 36 above illustrate the definition of ‘bloodthirsty’
    These people live to see killed, preferably painfully, those they see as ‘other’. And they frequently wrap themselves in the flag and ostentatiously wave a Bible around.
    Nauseating.

  28. 38

    Right Stuff spews:

    Once again, the court of public opinion, whipped up by agenda driven groups, race entreperneurs, and the willing media get it wrong. It’s the Duke lacrosse team, Struasse-Kahn, justice of the mob all over again.

    IMO the only folks unsure of this case are those trying to make a profit on it…

    20+ years of trial, appeals, review upon review upon review of the case, testimony, witnesses and evidence found zero deffect with the verdict or sentence.

    I’ve read how the “US Justice system is broken” and that narrative is feeding the profiteers listed above…

    I disagree. In the face of major agitation and special interest, media driven emotional outcry, our justice system performed as it should have. Based on facts, evidence, rules, appeals, reviews and the law. This was not a failure of our justice system, it was a success.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T.....62010b-103

  29. 39

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @35 “He’s a convicted Cop Killer for crying out loud.”

    Which is not necessarily the same thing as a Cop Killer.

    “What about the Cop’s family? They have been waiting 22 years for justice.”

    Executing the wrong guy doesn’t get them justice.

    “How is 22 years justice?”

    How is executing the wrong guy justice?

    Hey, look, I’ve already expressed my doubts about Davis’ innocence claims. But let’s make sure they’ve got the right guy before we let them go ahead and kill someone, okay? Pretty please?

  30. 40

    Blue John spews:

    20+ years of trial, appeals, review upon review upon review of the case, testimony, witnesses and evidence found zero defect (spelling error fixed) with the verdict or sentence.

    I would rather we err on the side of caution. Some people we can tell, without a doubt, that they did what they were convicted for. In the Davis case it appeared there was serious doubt as to whether he did it. The system seems to be heavily weighted so that once convicted, the person is guilty, regardless of the subsequent evidence, the system does not admit it made a mistake.

    Reading the minutes of his parole board hearing, you see the awful trap he’s in. At one point in the transcript, Collin says he’s innocent. Then Commissioner Rafelli, who’s conducting the meeting, responds like this. Quote “As far as we’re concerned, the parole board, you are guilty of murder. The parole board does not determine issues of guilt or innocence. If you want to continue to fight that issue, by all means get yourself an attorney and appeal it. Take it to the court of appeals. Take it to the US Supreme Court, wherever you will. But until a court of higher jurisdiction tells us you are innocent, as far as we’re concerned, you’re guilty. And that’s all there is to it. So I want you to be aware that your protestations of innocence, as far as we’re concerned, fall on deaf ears.” Unquote.
    http://www.thisamericanlife.or.....de/282/DIY

    I do hope that Right stuff and the rest of you are never wrongly convicted.

  31. 41

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @36 MacPhail wasn’t an on-duty cop. He was off duty and working as a private security guard when he was killed. This is beside the point, though.

    Many states have laws making cop killers subject to the death penalty. The idea is to deter cop killings. Every time a cop killer is executed, what does that tell you about how well this deterrent works?

    Nobody advocates open season on cops. Convicted cop killers don’t go free nor are they coddled in any way. Killers themselves tell us they see life without parole as a harsher penalty than death. You see this when they ask juries to impose death and order their lawyers not to pursue appeals.

    You seem to have completely missed the point. The question in the Davis case was not what the penalty for cop killers should be, but whether the guy’s innocence claims had validity or were just so much hot air.

    You do have a problem when so many witnesses recant their testimony, and an even bigger problem when they claim their testimony was coerced. You don’t send someone to Death Row just so police can say they “solved” the case and prosecutors can notch up another conviction.

    The real issue of the Davis case is whether, once a person is convicted, and deck is so stacked against him that new evidence of an exculpatory nature doesn’t carry the weight it should. The real concern here is whether the legal system values the finalty of convictions above truth about guilt or innocence. That the drive for speedy justice obliterates any concern for correcting the justice system’s mistakes.

    But that’s too deep for someone of your mentality to comprehend, isn’t it?

  32. 42

    Blue John spews:

    I think we have tamped down so much on critical thinking and imagination thus many people don’t have the capacity to imagine that something like this could happen to them, so the system seems to be just fine.