Monday, July 16, 2007

Execution Of Georgia Man Near Despite Recantations

Howling Latina has written several posts about the impending execution of an innocent man in Georgia.

She is thrilled to see the story has gathered front-page headlines, the most recent being the Washington Post tomorrow morning.

A Georgia man is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on Tuesday for killing a police officer in 1989, even though the case against him has withered in recent years as most of the key witnesses at his trial have recanted and in some cases said they lied under pressure from police.

Prosecutors discount the significance of the recantations and argue that it is too late to present such evidence. But supporters of Troy Davis, 38, and some legal scholars say the case illustrates the dangers wrought by decades of Supreme Court decisions and new laws that have rendered the courts less likely to overturn a death sentence.

Troy Davis came from a middle-class family and had signed up to join the U.S. Marines. The actual killer was the one who fingered him. Corroborating witnesses say they were strong-armed by the police and threatened with jail time if they didn't come forward with 'information.'

For instance, Jeffrey Sapp, "a neighborhood acquaintance of Davis" said in an affidavit that police told him, "If you don't talk, we can take you to jail for withholding evidence."
Sapp eventually told them that Davis had bicycled by his house and confessed to shooting MacPhail
Now, this sorry narrative makes Howling Latina physically sick from rage. For every person who supports executing criminals, read the article, for God's sake. And then try to argue that capital punishment is just deserts for the worst of the worst and our criminal justice system is just hunky-dory.

The system is broken; and the only way to fix it is to stop the killing. State-sanctioned murder must be abolished.


Let's hope the nation leaders are paying close attention to tomorrow's headlines as they read their unofficial newspaper of record.

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