Thursday, September 22, 2011

the fight will not STOP. Troy Davis

Troy Davis was convicted of the August 19, 1989, murder of Georgia police officer Mark MacPhail, who was working as a security guard at a Burger King when he intervened in an argument between several men in a nearby parking lot.
He was shot in the heart and face without having drawn his gun.
One of the men, Sylvester Coles, went to police and implicated Davis in the killing, and he was arrested four days later.
During Davis’ 1991 trial, many witnesses testified they had seen Davis shoot MacPhail. Two others testified that Davis had confessed the murder to them. The murder weapon was never found, and no physical evidence linked Davis to the crime.
Throughout his trial and subsequent appeals, Davis has maintained his innocence but was

sentenced to death in August 1991.
Seven of nine witnesses to the murder changed or recanted their testimony in recent years. Several stated they had felt pressure by police to implicate Davis.
New witnesses implicated Coles in the crime.
Many appeals in state and federal courts followed. Davis and his lawyers argued that the racial composition of the jury and poor advocacy from his lawyers had affected his right to a fair trial.
In an August 2010 decision, the conviction was upheld, with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia declaring that the new evidence cast only 'minimal doubt on his conviction'. Subsequent appeals, including to the Supreme Court, were rejected.
In July 2007, September 2008, and October 2008, execution dates were scheduled but stayed shortly before the events took place.
Death row inmate Troy Davis maintained his innocence to the end last night as he told the family of slain policeman Mark MacPhail, 'I'm innocent. I didn't kill your son.'
Strapped to a gurney, awaiting lethal injection, Davis lifted his head and looked at the dead man's family, to repeat his claim that he was not responsible for the police officer's 1989 murder.
His last words were: 'I'd like to address the MacPhail family. Let you know, despite the situation you are in, I'm not the one who personally killed your son, your father, your brother. I am innocent.
'The incident that happened that night is not my fault. I did not have a gun. All I can ask ... is that you look deeper into this case so that you really can finally see the truth.'
Davis then asked his family and friends 'to continue to fight this fight.'
He added: 'For those about to take my life, God have mercy on your souls. And may God bless your souls.'
The execution went ahead despite a dramatic intervention minutes before he was due to be put to death.
Lawyers for the death row inmate had made a last ditch appeal to the US Supreme Court. But after four hours deliberation, the nine justices unanimously decided to uphold the execution.
Minutes later Davis was strapped to the chair. He was declared dead at 11.08pm.
Davis' lawyer Thomas Ruffin denounced the execution as 'a legalised lynching'.
Davis' case was riddled with doubt, the lawyer maintained.
Ruffin described the process of execution as 'sickening'. He said: 'I saw the tube inserted into his arm, and then fluid, then jerking.
'It's sickening. It's worse than any film adaptation. It's more macabre and horrible than anything on film and television.'
The last minute appeal by Davis' lawyers challenged ballistics linking the death row inmate to the 1989 murder of off-duty policeman Mark MacPhail and eyewitness testimony identifying Davis as the killer.But after more than four hours the appeal was denied by all nine Supreme Court judges. Five were needed to stay the execution.
September 17:  Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles  receives 600,000-signature petition asking for clemency. 
September 19 - The board holds a clemency hearing.
September 20 - Board  denies clemency for Davis, reportedly by a majority of three to two
Today am: Defence attorneys' last ditch request for a lie detector test is denied by the board.
Today 5pm: Georgia Supreme Court judge denies a final appeal 
Today 6pm: Lawyers for Davis 'hit send' on an application to US Supreme Court
6.50pm: Dramatic last minute intervention halts proceedings.
7pm: Georgia is within its rights to execute Davis but awaits Supreme Court decision
10.18pm: Lawyers say the Supreme Court have denied Davis' appeal
10.53pm: Execution begins
11.08pm Davis is declared dead

Many people have raised their heads and explain their feelings on this case, among them there is russell simmons, who says on his blog that "it possible that we are known for feeding war machines, lining the pockets of the rich and killing innocent men and women? Is this what our great republic has been reduced to? Murdering with mountains of reasonable doubt? I wish that they would have televised the execution of Troy Davis, so we could watch the barbarianism that we sanctioned. We have spiraled into a "revenge" culture, thinking that the only way to reach closure in our lives is by hurting others. Revenge is a "slow burning" form of hatred and anger that many carry with them throughout their lives, which can weigh heavily on your personal spiritual, physical, mental and emotional growth. Although we might think it is difficult to forgive someone, it is actually much more difficult to hold all that anger and hatred inside of you. As a nation, we must rid ourselves of this mentality of "revenge," for if we do not, I am sad to say that we will continue to kill people like Troy Davis without much remorse. Tonight as a nation, we lost. We lost our way and we lost a big piece of our moral good standing with the rest of the world. How are we going to defend ourselves against the worst governments on this planet if we can’t commit to justice at home? It is shameful that we allowed state-sponsored murder to destroy our aspirations and our interests around the world. Is this the America we want? Experts, leaders, opinion leaders – all said – DO NOT KILL THIS BLACK MAN. But, we did. We put him to death, knowing full well that this whole thing didn't seem right. "

Kimberly Davis, right, along with NAACP Fellow Kirin Kennedy, left, work at her kitchen table to organise upcoming marches and vigils in support of her brother's innocence
The execution chamber at Jackson prison, Georgia, where Troy Davis was sedated and strapped to the gurney, while the US Supreme Court took more than three hours to come to a decision
Brian Kammer, left, and Jason Ewart, members of the Troy Davis legal team who have asked for a polygraph test for their client

Amnesty International says nearly 1 million people have signed a petition on Davis' behalf. His supporters include former President Jimmy Carter, Pope Benedict XVI, a former FBI director, the NAACP, several conservative figures and many celebrities, including hip-hop star Sean "P. Diddy" Combs.
"I'm trying to bring the word to the young people: There is too much doubt," rapper Big Boi, of the Atlanta-based group Outkast, said at a church near the prison.

my deepest condolences to the family of Troy Davis and Mark MacPhail.

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