On the NCADP site (National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty), to which I belong as a member, they released the bad news for Troy Davis. It's not only bad news for his, but it's bad news for all of us.
Troy Anthony Davis is currently on death row in Georgia and his execution was scheduled for September 23rd, 2008. Two hours before he was to be killed he received stay from the U.S. Supreme Court pending its decision as to whether it will hear his appeal. On October 14, 2008, the Court denied his request for relief so that his evidence of innocence could be heard in a legal proceeding. Troy Davis' execution may be scheduled at any point and carried out within weeks.
We discussed this case a few weeks ago, here, when the Stay of Execution was granted in practically the last minute.
The same questions persist: if there is any doubt that the sentence is just, shouldn't the government do everything within its power to correct that? With so many witnesses recanting their testimony, doesn't this sound like a case that merits deeper scrutiny?
Also, what benefit is there in carrying out a death penalty anyway? Does it not diminish our cultural and societal advancement? Neanderthals perhaps needed such measures 30,000 years ago, but I really don't think we do. Today the only understandable reason for capital punishment is revenge, and I don't consider that acceptable.
Here's the New York Times report.
The case has led to an outpouring of support for Mr. Davis, largely because seven of nine witnesses against him have recanted their testimony, with two claiming that the police had pressured them to testify against him. Prosecutors presented no physical evidence and no murder weapon, and three witnesses have said another man admitted to the murder.
My opinion is that the death penalty is wrong. But, even for proponents of capital punishment, I would expect the supreme consideration to be the avoidance of a wrongful execution. This could be one of them.
What's your opinion?