Troy Davis is set to be executed tomorrow, 23 September, at 7pm EST.
Davis, 39, sits on death row for the Aug. 19, 1989, murder of Officer Mark Allen MacPhail. But since Davis’ 1991 trial, seven key prosecution witnesses have recanted their testimony.
This isn’t actually the first time that Davis has been this close to his execution date, in July 2007, the state Board of Pardons and Paroles stepped in and stayed Davis’ execution less than 24 hours before it was to be carried out. However, just today, the board rejected pleas to reconsider its recent decision to deny clemency on grounds there is too much doubt as to whether Davis shot and killed a Savannah police officer. Here is a link to the fact sheet about Davis.
As of right now, Davis is waiting to see if in fact the Supreme court will step in and stay the execution. And while I hate to say it, I have very little hope that they will. And what’s worse, if Obama doesn’t win, the shifts on the US supreme will effectively mean that anyone on death row for the next 50 years will get little help from them.
Seriously, death penalty? I remember reading a story about a famous author who after watching a public execution was horrified. At that moment he commented that one could tell much about the morality of developed nation by their approach to the death penalty. Is death penalty really what it means to be developed? Is the death penalty really what it means to be moral? Then again, those of us who would stand up against it are the ones who might be considered out there on the left in the US.
If you want to try to do something for Davis, you can click here. In the event that the Supreme court doesn’t step in, please take some time remember his life, and to pray for the justice of the many others on death row at this point in history.
Finally, here is a question to ponder: who would Jesus execute?
take action. seek justice. love mercy.
ps. here is the European parliament’s resolution on Davis’ case:
European Parliament resolution of 10 July 2008 on the death penalty, particularly the case of Troy Davis
The European Parliament,
– having regard to its previous resolutions on the abolition of the death penalty and the need for an immediate moratorium on executions in those countries where the death penalty is still imposed,
– having regard to UN General Assembly Resolution 62/149 of 18 December 2007 on the moratorium on the use of the death penalty in the world,
– having regard to the updated and revised version of the EU Guidelines on the Death Penalty, adopted by the Council on 16 June 2008,
A. having regard to the case of Troy Davis, sentenced to death by the Georgia State Court in 1991 for the murder of a policeman and scheduled to be executed at the end of July 2008,
B. whereas, according to Troy Davis’ lawyers, there is abundant proof of his innocence, material evidence against him has never been produced and seven witnesses for the prosecution have retracted their testimony,
C. whereas on 4 August 2007 the Supreme Court of Georgia agreed to reconsider new elements casting doubt on Troy Davis’ guilt,
D. whereas on 17 March 2008 the Supreme Court of Georgia denied Troy Davis a retrial, although the Chief Justice dissented,
E. whereas since 1975 more than 120 people have been released from death row in the United States, having been found innocent,
F. whereas in the United States the power of clemency in cases where a capital sentence has been imposed exists as a failsafe against irreversible errors that the courts are unable or unwilling to remedy,
G. whereas New Jersey is the first US State to have abolished capital punishment by legislation since the reintroduction of the death penalty in the United States in 1972, citing the inescapable risk of executing those wrongfully convicted,
1. Calls upon those countries where the death penalty is imposed to take the necessary steps towards its abolition;
2. Asks that Troy Davis’ death sentence be commuted and, in view of the abundant evidence which might lead to such commutation, for the relevant courts to grant him a retrial;
3. Appeals urgently to the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles to commute Troy Davis’ death sentence;
4. Calls on the Presidency of the Council and the Delegation of the Commission to the United States to raise the issue as a matter of urgency with the US authorities;
5. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Government of the United States, the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles, and the Attorney General of Georgia.