Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Death of Troy Davis

I followed the final hours of Troy Davis largely on Twitter along with a live feed from outside the prison provided by Democracy Now. As the end of his life came about I found myself with much to say, as did many others. We expressed ourselves in 140-character outbursts of dismay and disbelief. Below is a glimpse of an unforgettable day. - Roy Pickering 9/22/11

BREAKING NEWS: Ga. parole board denies clemency for Troy Davis, sentenced to death for 1989 murder of off-duty police officer

Since Troy Davis' conviction, seven of the nine witnesses against him have recanted or contradicted their testimony. There are many questions about conclusiveness of evidence, none of which is physical.

I know (having watched the GOP Presidential debate the other night) that there are people who break into applause at the mere mention of the words "death penalty", but even they must surely demand conclusive proof.

Perhaps Twitter truly can be used for good rather than merely socializing, bickering, promoting & self expression. We shall see. #TooMuchDoubt

RT @TheRevAl I was just notified that clemency was denied Troy Davis. This is the most blatant example of injustice I have seen in years. This is WRONG.

Perhaps only he & God know. Is that enough to kill? RT @SheSeauxSaditty: Did this Troy Davis cat actually not do what he was convicted of?

RT @esglaude The denial of clemency to Troy Davis is not only crude/crass Georgia politics; it is an evil act. US moral standing in the world is in question: we torture abroad and, at home, we execute potentially innocent people.

"An evil deed is not redeemed by an evil deed of retaliation. Justice is never advanced in the taking of a human life." - Dr. King

RT @goldietaylor There is no governor pardon in Georgia. The 5-member board is appointed by the governor. They are not w/o political and personal allegiances. #troydavis

"Capital punishment is the most premeditated of murders." - Albert Camus

"Blaming things on the past does not make them better." – Nelson Mandela

"That Justice is a blind goddess Is a thing to which we black are wise: Her bandage hides two festering sores That once perhaps were eyes." – Langston Hughes

Despite the truth behind Langston’s words, don't turn your anger about a particular situation into general, generic accusations based on criteria no more specific than melanin count.

RT @sofiaquintero Wow. The state of GA has set the murder of Troy Davis on International Peace Day. Don't let this happen.

Somehow 1 + 1 doesn't = 2 in this area RT @MHarrisPerry: Every member of every #ProLife group should be protesting execution of #TroyDavis.

RT @jeremyscahill After years of following #TroyDavis case, I'm horrified that it really seems Georgia's going to kill him. He is innocent.

RT @amnesty Eyewitness testimony often lies. At risk of executing an innocent person, 16 states ban capital punishment.

RT @dreamhampton While tweeting abt him wont save his life, some of us are hopeful that public outcry will. Twitter absolutely amplifies public outcry.

RT @Toure It's not really about Troy Davis so much as overstimating the power of Twitter. RT @goldietaylor << Tell that to ppl of Egypt, Iran

If you're a celeb by Twitter standards (at least 30,000 followers) consider reading about #TroyDavis case & decide if you wish to join cause

I actually agree with Toure in large part about Twitter activism. You need to get out in the real world to effect change, not stay behind keyboard. But I'm pretty sure many ppl only heard of Troy Davis on account of Twitter. Obtained phone #s, email addresses, made voices heard thanks to Twitter.

In between jokey joke hash tags & award show recaps & quips about celebrities & whatnot, substantial things are brought to light and examined and debated on account of Twitter. It's the spotlighting of substantial issues that makes Twitter worthwhile IMO. MySpace, FaceBook & other sites serve just fine for the silly stuff and lighter fare.

RT @momsrising 130 Death Row Inmates Have Been Found Innocent Since 1973.

Yes, not in as great abundance but the outcry is universal. RT @Jazzzyone: Does #WhiteTwitter care about #TroyDavis? Not on my TL. Yours?

This isn't about who is tweeting and who is not. Author of blackness book need not speak. White/Latinos/Asians welcome in fight for justice

Sadly in the end it may all be what Shakespeare coined sound and fury signifying nothing. Or perhaps it will be the beginning of a new day.

Troy Davis may not once again be saved from lethal injection at the last minute, but maybe as partial result of today's outcry, outcome will differ in next case.

If outcry over death of Troy Davis creates more vigilant rules in future death penalty cases, much less shadow of doubt, it won't be in vain.

There's always a next case. The most important battles tend to be long, drawn out ones. Good things come to those who wait, but not idly.

Ultimately, more important than addressing "need" for death penalty is addressing issues that put men on death row in the 1st place.

People are not necessarily campaigning for Troy Davis to be set free, just for him not to be executed in light of reasonable doubt over his guilt. Perhaps he must remain jail, but at least alive.

I'm gonna need folks to stop comparing Troy Davis to Casey Anthony no matter what your take is. Only similarity is both are high profile. One had a lawyer who was able to provide jury with reasonable doubt of guilt prior to the verdict, one did not. I've spent far more time than desired requesting that people stop comparing every criminal case to Casey Anthony, Michael Vick & OJ. 85% of arguments would quickly run out of steam if people stopped comparing apples to oranges to bicycles.

RT @KoodaB If Casey Anthony was black and #TroyDavis was white the situations are still tragic... Justice don't have a color. Neither should injustice.

I don't care how big your bank account is, nothing is more valuable than TIME. If you don't believe me, ask Troy Davis.

While doing what you can on behalf of Troy Davis, the pain of the family of police officer who was killed should also be considered. Davis execution won't bring him back though, just eye for eye.

Last minute is when many learned of the situation RT @ArtGotti: Just like yall to become advocates for #TroyDavis AT THE LAST MINUTE!

RT @arrianamaria It does not matter how long you have been calling & signing petitions on behalf of #TroyDavis, it matters that you know & care now.

Why stand up, even if just with a few tweets, for Troy Davis if you believe there's #TooMuchDoubt to kill him? Cuz if u stand 4 nothing u'll fall 4 anything.

The election of Barack Obama may have been the day I was most proud of America. Today may become the day I was least proud. #TooMuchDoubt

The killing of Troy Davis will not prevent a single future murder. What will the sparing of his life do? Perhaps encourage more activism. And when I say activism I don't mean silly "white privilege", "black men ain't shit, only 3 decent ones to 100 good black women so perhaps black women should consider thinking outside the box", "natural hair or bust" type nonsense. I mean real issues that need to be tackled head on.

It's my understanding that enough evidence exists for reasonable doubt, but post conviction GA insists on proof of innocence. The reason why the pope, Jimmy Carter, European orgs, etc. have weighed in is because needing to prove innocence rather than provide doubt of guilt isn't what America is about.

It's not a hard and fast rule but in general if the pope (I’m not Catholic btw) & Jimmy Carter are on the same page about something, I tend to be on it too.

The #TroyDavis execution is not about one man, one cop killing, one literal execution of retribution. It's about how justice is supposed to work in this country.

Presumption of innocence system is one of America's defining characteristics. If we don't stand up for it what else will we let slide?

You think there are a lot of people in jail who really shouldn't be there now? If innocence must be proven rather than guilt, look out!!!

There may be enough evidence to keep him in jail for life, but the death penalty should require 100% certainty. Not even 99% should suffice.

Two American hikers were freed from an Iranian prison today. I bet Troy Davis wishes he had their negotiators.

“Vengeance is mine.” That quote is only supposed to be credited to the one and only.

Hope AC's account was hacked. Something seriously wrong with whoever wrote this: RT @AnnCoulter: ONE TROY DAVIS FLAME-BROILED, PLEASE

Just checked link that accompanied statment. @AnnCoulter definitely owns up to that heinous thought. I probably shouldn't be surprised given her track record but I TRY to think best of people if they allow me to. I know we live in the era of shock value for shock value's sake, but there's crossing the line and then there's sick in the head/heart/soul.

RT @christor If you wouldn't bet your own life that Troy Davis is guilty based on this evidence, you shouldn't be willing to bet his. Simple as that.

Obviously if you believe somebody is guilty of murder you won’t hold them in the warmest regard. But since it isn’t any more possible for Ann Coulter to know with absolute certainty who killed Mark MacPhail in 1989 than it is for me, to call for a man’s death in the name of vengeance in such cruel mocking fashion is nothing short of reprehensible. But drawing attention to themselves via outrageous behavior is of course what such people do best.

I believe 5 countries total have a legally sanctioned death penalty and in the case of Troy Davis the other 4 nations are probably thinking WTF?!!

So not a word yet from our President? Can't say I'm not disappointed, regardless of whether or not the power of intervention is within his hands.

Head of NAACP just said Obama is indeed aware of the case and feels there is nothing he can do. That job seems less powerful every day.

Not yet executed as of 7:12 PM EST. Temporary reprieve granted by Supreme Court. Certainly better news than confirmation of death.

RT @carolynedgar Why Presidential elections matter: It's the Supreme Court, stupid.

Just learned that the white supremacist who killed James Byrd by dragging him with his truck was executed today. What a day!

A reprieve lasts for a maximum of 7 days. Then what? To be continued.

Not very long at all if true RT @mpoppel: BREAKING -- Mother of MacPhail told the US Supreme Court will decide by 8.30 p.m., reports WTVM-TV

30 minutes and then...?

I don't know what's more amazing, this Troy Davis situation or the fact that the majority of tweets on my timeline are about other matters. This is not an every other day kind of deal, though in a sad way I suppose it is.

This case is in the hands of Clarence Thomas?!!

Hopefully there won't be much if any rioting if the execution does indeed take place. Never helps.

RT @7Akil According to Ben Jealous on @DemocracyNow we need 2 reduce the number of death penalty states from 34 to 24 n order to have it abolished

RT @jennykemp Dear Georgia, I'm watching from Edinburgh, Scotland, in disgust at your barbarism and inhumanity #thewholeworldiswatching #troydavis

RT @_Kristiana_ A court that acknowledges corporations as people obviously has little regard for actual persons. #SCOTUS

Lights flashing, sirens blaring. Increased police presence at an event like this is rarely a good sign. Usually neither is the presence of Clarence Thomas. But any port in a storm.

Via @richardkimnyc On January 26, 2011, Emmanuel Hammond, also a prisoner in Georgia’s Jackson prison, was granted a temporary reprieve by Justice Thomas, who has issued the reprieve in Troy Davis’ case. Hammond was scheduled to be executed at 7 pm. He was put to death a little over four hours later at 11:39 pm. This is sobering news, and we should not necessarily expect Davis to live through the night.

The Supreme Court has refused to stay the execution of Troy Davis.

Time of death 11:08 EST #RIPTroyDavis Live in peace those left behind.

“Strange Fruit” – written by Abel Meeropol, sung by Billie Holiday

The fight continues...perhaps with additional soldiers on the side of true justice now.

RT @KayFusion: People keep saying America is racist, however it was actually 7 Black jurors who in less than 2 hrs convicted Davis of murder.

RT @_Basiyr_ That's the genius/insidiousness of a racist system, it gets upheld even when they don't take part.

"People who are well represented at trial do not get the death penalty."-- Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Justice is available to all of us here in America regardless of race, color or creed. But it'll cost you. $$$

RT @danielabrams My take on #TroyDavis? He certainly got due process, but when it comes to the death penalty, sometimes due process may not be enough. That's not to say I'm convinced of #troydavis innocence, but with "reasonable doubts" or questions, there has to be a way to delay death.

Lawrence Russell Brewer, convicted of the heinous murder of James Byrd, was also executed 9/21/11. He'll be mourned by far fewer than the thousands upon thousands who prayed and kept fingers crossed for Troy Davis. They both professed innocence but Brewer didn't have very many takers. Neither Brewer nor Davis convinced those who most mattered.

If the death penalty is done away with, monsters such as serial killers & those who prey on children get to live. So be it.

If not done away with, you'd think capital punishment would be used only in the most extreme cases where psychologists/psychiatrists felt the person would surely kill again.

And you'd think the death penalty would only be used in cases where absolute certainty was present.


First they came for the communists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the
trade unionists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the
Jews, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.