If there was one positive to come out of Wednesday night, it was the sight of all the people rallying on behalf of Troy Davis – not just in Georgia, but at the White House and the Supreme Court; in Europe; and online, where it became just a bit suspicious to some that Twitter seemingly did not recognize the #TroyDavis and #occupywallstreet hashtags. (One explanation I read Wednesday evening was, because there actually is a Troy Davis username on the service, it could not be a trending topic. No word yet on #occupywallstreet.)
But, as Joel mentioned above, the question for many going forward is, what now? Continue reading →
Just two weeks ago, the live audience at the Republican presidential candidate debate cheered in gleeful support of the death penalty. At the time, sensible Americans, secure in their own polite disapproval, bookmarked the incident as another harrowing YouTube amusement, and returned to normalcy the next day. The climate has changed, and there will be no such return to normalcy after Troy Davis’s death. We cannot make up for the blood spilled while the death penalty languished as mere speck on our political radar, but we can and will work to eradicate it.
Desperate for redemption in this dark hour, we have to believe that history will reveal the Davis execution as the spark that eventually incinerated the death penalty in the United States. I worry, though, that the worthy goal of eradicating capital punishment, even if achieved, will distort and erase the tormenting racial subtext of this incident. The very possibility of even characterizing the racial meaning baked into this case as “subtext,” speaks to the suppression of the truth about racism in the United States. Continue reading →
A decision is expected today on the fate of Troy Davis, the Georgia man seeking to avoid the death penalty for the 1989 murder of Savannah, Ga., police officer Mark MacPhail.
Davis is currently scheduled to be executed on Wednesday. But even as Davis’ past attempts to clear his name have been rejected in the court system, seven of nine witnesses in his case have recanted their prior statements, with many of them saying their testimony was tainted by police pressure.
One of the two witnesses who has not recanted his story, Sylvester “Red” Coles, has been implicated in the crime by the other seven in subsequent affadavits. Continue reading →
Race, Culture, and Identity in a Colorstruck World