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Its not just us… its for JUSTICE

Image courtesy of Harvard Law News bulletin

Today’s post is dedicated to the ongoing outcry of justice for Troy Anthony Davis. After more than 20 years on Death Row, 3 stays of execution and countless attempts at defending his innocence, it appears Davis will in fact be executed on this day, September 21, 2011.  The dubious nature of his conviction has always cast a nasty shadow on this case. Creating even more doubt and outrage is that Davis maintains his innocence and has frequently been denied a voice. Seven of the 9 original witnesses who testified against Davis have recanted their testimony citing being coerced, pressured and in some cases deceived by police to give statements implicating Davis. There was never any physical evidence or weapon found to substantiate Davis’s conviction or sentence.

Truthfully, my heart goes out to the family of the officer Mark MacPhail, who was unjustly murdered on that night in 1989. I sympathize with his then small children, who are now young adults and who had to bear the burden of a parent violently snatched away- a story I know far too well.

But there is no justice in taking another life- especially when it has not been proven that the one you’ve decided to punish is indeed responsible. There is no justice in a system that supposedly abides by the idea that “reasonable doubt” is enough to spare the life of the assumed guilty. You see, there is a double standard at play in this scenario, a justice system flawed by racial tension. Too often we find that white people are tried against reasonable doubt of their guilt, while all others are tried based on the  reasonable doubt of their innocence.

There is much too much doubt and controversial evidence to support the idea that Troy Davis in fact is NOT GUILTY of the crime for which he is accused. And for that reason alone, we must insist on justice. Not just for us or for Troy Davis. The rammifications of slaying a potentially innocent man would be tragic, a clear statement of US justice system that says: We do not care if you are innocent or guilty. When we want you gone, you will leave this place and there is nothing you can do about it. In that scenario… none of us are safe from tyranny or oppression.

Let us not merely martyr Troy Davis or his plight. May he serve to activate a docile community… one that has been far too lenient on injustices, one that has allowed itself to lose the spirit of UBUNTU (I am because of others). We are all Troy Davis… including those on the side which could spare his life.

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