Troy Davis

Troy Anthony Davis was convicted almost 20 years ago for the murder of an off-duty policemen. A lot of doubt has accumulated about his guilt and the methods used by the police (pressurising witnesses to testify against Davis) and the prosecutors to obtain his conviction. The majority of the witnesses have since retracted their statements. One of the last two witnesses who have not retracted their statements, 'Red Coles', happens also to be the principle alternative suspect, and there has since come to light new evidence implicating him even more.
The Board of Pardons and Paroles of Georgia have nonetheless refused Troy Davis clemency, and he is to be executed tomorrow.

Maybe those who assume the power of God to be able to decide whether a person should live or die, the illustrious members of the Board of Pardons and Paroles, should have taken time off to read Dostreoyeski's Crime and Punishment, which so well describes the horror of waiting to be put to death. More often than not, this horror,
a terrible punishment in itself, totally out-weights that of the actual crime, of which by all accounts there's considerable doubt regarding the guilt of Davis in any case.

But above all, where is that fine, American principle so nobly extolled by Cyrus Vance Jr., and on which basis the ex-General Director of the IMF was freed without the minimal charge for any offence?
He declared that American justice prides itself on its preference to free the accused when there is any measure of doubt regarding their case, rather than condemn them..

If Troy Davis is thus to be put to death tomorrow, despite the important measure of doubt and the retraction of a majority of false statements against him, then he must be an exception to this noble rule, perhaps along with too many others that await their end on death-row.

"Why?" would be a stupid question when we already know the answer. It makes a great deal of difference in certain States of America, if not generally in the USA and elsewhere, if one is black and not rich.

Who one is, and how much one is worth, seems more than ever to weigh heavily on the Balance of 'Justice', these days, although needless to add, such a balance of justice neither represents a balance nor has it anything to do with justice. And this is not limited to the USA, although the US certainly has a far worse reputation for such injustice than Europe.

For we have recently seen the practice of injustice also here, in France. Incomparable with that inflicted on Troy Davis of course, but injustice all the same.

Maybe Justice is being put on death-row too. To be slowly condemned to death. The establishment clan members who should be moral examples in all respects, seem, on the contrary, to be rubbing their dirty hands together, and not even bothering to hide their cynical smirks of arrogant self-satisfaction.

In spite of all the last minute efforts, Troy Davis was executed by lethal injection at 23h08 (03:08 GMT, Thursday 22nd September, 2011). His last words were,  "(...) I wasn't armed. To those about to take my life, may God have mercy on your souls. May God bless your souls."
The French Foreign minister has sent an official statement stressing that France deplores the execution of Troy Davis, reaffirming France's opposition to capital punishment.

(Shame on you Georgia. Shame on you America. Shame on you Cyrus Vance Jr., for not having made any stand to defend what you claim to be the famous, 'prided principle of American justice'. And shame on you Obama, for not having had the courage to make some form of public address regarding this abomination, to reassure the American people by either expressing your disapproval, or your approval, assuming that as President of the USA you have an opinion, and feel that this is not only the concern of Georgia, of the American Justice system, of the American people, of the United States of America and world opinion, but it's also directly your concern).
God bless America.

Text by Mirino. Photo by David Shankbone, from Wikimedia Commons, with thanks. 
20th September, 2011


Anonymous said...

Hi, I am from Australia.

Please find an essay which was written in response to the execution of the former number 1 bad-guy in Iraq

Plus references on Art & Culture

Mirino said...

Thank you Anonymous for your contribution. I especially agree that art is also inseparable with love, an intrinsic part of its expression.