Poll

Does capital punishment serve a useful purpose?

Yes
11 (39.3%)
No
14 (50%)
Undecided
3 (10.7%)

Total Members Voted: 22

Author Topic: Troy Davis - Execution of an innocent man?  (Read 7978 times)

Offline Xerika

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Re: Troy Davis - Execution of an innocent man?
« Reply #15 on: October 20, 2008, 07:26:40 PM »
UPDATE: THE EXECUTION OF TROY DAVIS HAS BEEN RE-SCHEDULED FOR 27TH OCTOBER.

This follows the refusal of the Supreme Court to intervene despite the facts that:

- the murder weapon was never found;

- there was never any physical evidence to link Troy Davis with the murder;

- he was convicted purely on the evidence of nine witnesses, seven of whom have subsequently retracted their original testimonies.

Even though the scheduled execution is less than a week away, I understand that it is not too late for the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles to take action and avert a tragic miscarriage of justice.

As I said in my first post, Amnesty International is urging people to send emails and letters to to the Board. It only takes a couple of minutes to send the pre-written email at http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org/siteapps/advocacy/index.aspx?c=jhKPIXPCIoE&b=2590179&template=x.ascx&action=11330.
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Re: Troy Davis - Execution of an innocent man?
« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2008, 04:31:51 AM »
Done x

Offline Margarett

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Re: Troy Davis - Execution of an innocent man?
« Reply #17 on: October 22, 2008, 04:36:04 AM »
Well I am on the side of capital punishment for more than one reason. See I have lost someone to senseless murder she was 24 and in her own home. Harming no one when she was stabbed repeatedly and left for dead, crawled 1/2 mile and almost made it before bleeding to death while the police held her moma back to get the names of who did it she took her last breaths with a cop yelling who did this to you.  They got them and still they sit in jail no trial yet because they have to see about them breaking parole how to handle the twenty years they had been given before they got paroled and killed her. They stole a car worth two hundred dollars and her purse with 40.00 and killed her cause she had no more.
Dance in the raindrops. Slide down a rainbow. Make our world a more beautiful place. Keep a smile handy and give them away.
After all they are free!  " SMILE "

Offline Conanthedoylarian

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Re: Troy Davis - Execution of an innocent man?
« Reply #18 on: October 22, 2008, 07:27:37 AM »
Also, capital punishment in my view, should only be served, when all doubt about the perpetrator of the crime, has been removed. Such as undeniable DNA evidence and indisputable proof.
This is obviously lacking in the case of Troy Davis, ....

This gets to the heart of the matter for those who believe that capital punishment is acceptable.  There never will be a case where there can be no doubt.  Today's science is tomorrow's superstition (ESDA test, analysing DNA for "unique" evidence in criminal cases BEFORE they'd finished cataloging the whole strand((yes they only test bits in criminal cases - might you have bits of your DNA identical to someone else's?)), fingerprints ((Which are easily transferable with sellotape, and ALWAYS subjectively identified)) ).  Remember people used to be executed because they floated.  Cats used to be executed for refusing to turn back into people.  We laugh now, just as we laugh at scientists who claimed it was impossible for a human traveling at more than 30mph to breathe.  Future generations will hold our standards of science in equal contempt.


As Ellie says, there have been far too many miscarriages of justice, this being just one, for the death penalty to be acceptable. If an innocent person is executed, then two wrongs have been committed; not only has an innocent person died, but the real killer has got away with it. I'd rather see just the killer go free. Yes this means he/she is free to kill again, but so does the first scenario.

And of course, whole families have to live with the stigma and shame of having their relative executed, not to mention the distress of losing them.

Interestingly, the last time reintroduction was debated in Parliament, the then Home Secretary had to give, as is customary, recent stats.  In the 12 months prior to the debate, only one person had killed again having been released.  Since his previous crime was manslaughter (a UK offence covering some killings that are not premeditated), the death penalty would not have prevented this.  So in the UK that year, the risk of being killed by someone who had been released was 55million to 1.  You're far more likely to be killed by a pop up toaster.  Since miscarriages of Justice seem to be more prevalent than 1 in 55m, the risk of being murdered by someone at large because another has been executed in his place would be a serious risk were we ever stupid enough to reintroduce the death penalty.

Well I am on the side of capital punishment for more than one reason. See I have lost someone to senseless murder she was 24 and in her own home.

Lest anyone think I am against capital punishment because I'm untouched by events, I would point out that three people I have known have been murdered.  One by the IRA, one in a mugging, and one going to the aid of someone else in trouble.

Offline Margarett

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Re: Troy Davis - Execution of an innocent man?
« Reply #19 on: October 22, 2008, 11:50:46 AM »
knowing one who was killed is way different than Loving a child from birth and seeing her killed for no good reason! Those are very different things I held my niece when she was one minute old and I also hold the little urn in my mind and will from now on.

Now I will not have this beautiful child in my life anymore and she will never raise a child or know about growing old, falling in love,  that was her right.

She died scared and reaching for her momma. Tell me they should be forgiven? Set free to once again run their drugs and kill again.

Death penalty of an animal disguised as human is just.

A mistake or misscariage of justice is  awefull and everyone should be given as many appeals as it takes to make sure they are guilty. However if they are guilty then family will be better off without the monsters in their life.

When the death penalty is abollished I can not imagine what will happen. But at least everyone who does get revenge will not have to worry about the death penalty either.
Dance in the raindrops. Slide down a rainbow. Make our world a more beautiful place. Keep a smile handy and give them away.
After all they are free!  " SMILE "

Offline Ninny

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Re: Troy Davis - Execution of an innocent man?
« Reply #20 on: October 22, 2008, 12:40:41 PM »
Margarett, I'm so sorry for your loss!  I have some extremely close friends whose son was murdered, stabbed to death by a brute in the street,and for no reason.  This young man was only 18 years old, a wonderful kind hearted soul who used to help out in the local mencap society, just for the love of it.  I saw the pain his mother, father and sister had to go through, and still do all these years later!
I also had a friend who was shot dead for his car!  Funny thing is, that if they'd have asked him, Dennis would have given them the darn thing.  I had to watch his little girl scream at the crematoriam to have her daddy come back!
So I do not take capital punishment lightly, it's a hotbed of emotion for all of us!  As I stated, I do understand that my own feelings may be borne from wanting revenge, but I also stated that if it were one of my own on death row, I would feel differently! 
But I do speak from my own experiences.  Also statistically, one murder in 100 million would be too many in my mind.  These are only my feelings, and as stated, I signed Troys petition because I can see there is a miscarriage of justice.

Offline Conanthedoylarian

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Re: Troy Davis - Execution of an innocent man?
« Reply #21 on: October 22, 2008, 01:26:53 PM »
knowing one who was killed is way different than Loving a child from birth and seeing her killed for no good reason!
Death penalty of an animal disguised as human is just.

A mistake or misscariage of justice is  awefull and everyone should be given as many appeals as it takes to make sure they are guilty. However if they are guilty then family will be better off without the monsters in their life.

One of the people I "knew" was at school with me, he was shot in the back.  One was a work colleague, he was killed for his wallet.  The third was a friend's nephew.  He was killed for going to the assistance of someone who was being violently attacked.  Only one of them was older than 20.  I am still angry and grieved (in one case, 32 years later) when I think of the details of these incidents, and would cheerfully rend the culprits limb from limb.  That is my emotional reaction to the events.  I do not want a "justice" system that acts, or panders to emotion though.  This is not good for society.  No more than government by emotion rather than reason.

I used to think of these killers as animals until I realised that this is a part of us, a psychological defect of our species, that allows us to treat other human beings in inhuman ways (think of how the Nazi's portrayed Jews etc. in order to get ordinary men and women to deal with them as less than human if you want a sense of what I mean).  This is not a personal criticism of anyone, as I have just stated this defect is part of us, and I possess it too.  It takes time and effort to overcome.

Part of my point is that in many (I would argue most, if not all) cases there can never be certainty about guilt.  Everyone ever executed was "guilty" based on the standards applied at the time or they wouldn't have been killed.  That includes the dogs and cats hung or burned for refusing to turn back into people and answer for their "crimes."  I include this ridiculous, but accurate, historical example to show how distorted emotional thinking can get.

I have profound sympathy for the friends and families of murder victims, and for the friends and families who lose people to judicial murder, especially those who are wrongly convicted.

The death penalty is a triumph of emotion over reason, and should be consigned to the past along with ducking stools, trial by ordeal, execution for thought crime (e.g. heresy), especially as there are now effective, non lethal, ways to prevent killers reoffending if we choose to use them.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2008, 04:56:06 PM by Conanthedoylarian »

Offline Ninny

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Re: Troy Davis - Execution of an innocent man?
« Reply #22 on: October 22, 2008, 01:57:46 PM »
So between us already, counting the people who I have known to be murdered and haven't mentioned on this thread, we have personal knowledge of seven people who have died at the hands of brutal killers!  That makes a mockery of the government figures because, I don't know about you but I don't think I've known even 1million people in my life, let alone 55 million, released or 1st timers only! 
I respect your views my dear Conanthedoylarian, I even agree with a lot of the points you raise, but the current penal system does not work.  Period!
Ps..when I was a little girl, a child a couple of years above me was murdered on her way home from school, by someone who had been released for a previous murder!

Offline Conanthedoylarian

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Re: Troy Davis - Execution of an innocent man?
« Reply #23 on: October 22, 2008, 04:45:40 PM »
I even agree with a lot of the points you raise, but the current penal system does not work.  Period!
Ps..when I was a little girl, a child a couple of years above me was murdered on her way home from school, by someone who had been released for a previous murder!


Absolutely.  There are far more effective ways to deal with this problem than we currently use.  Rehabilitation will always be an experiment as we do not understand ourselves enough to know whether someone is, or can be, no further risk.  So the system is unlikely to become perfect, certainly in my lifetime.  I always think of the criminal justice system as a necessary evil.

Clearly, given our attempts to improve the system, the risk of reoffending will always exist.  The risk of being murdered in these circumstances is small though, and there are far more important threats to concern ourselves with as we go about our business.

My mother, an 80 year old widow was mugged recently. Whilst physically she is fine, the incident has caused significant psychological harm.  I cannot begin to voice what I would like to see happen to this offender, but I accept that reason will prevail should he be caught, and my emotionally preferred penalty will not be administered.  This is something to be grateful for in my mind.

Offline Xerika

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Re: Troy Davis - Execution of an innocent man?
« Reply #24 on: October 23, 2008, 05:22:36 PM »
Whilst I can scarcely begin to imagine the horror of having a loved one murdered, I firmly believe that capital punishment is almost entirely ineffective as a deterrent. Legal systems which still retain the death penalty justify doing so for this reason alone, and there is almost no evidence to support this justification.

On the contrary, one of the last Official Executioners in Britain, Albert Pierrepoint, concludes his autobiography by saying:

"I now sincerely hope that no man is ever called upon to carry out another execution in my country. I have come to the conclusion that executions solve nothing, and are only an antiquated relic of a primitive desire for revenge which takes the easy way and hands over the responsibility for revenge to other people...

"It is said to be a deterrent. I cannot agree. There have been murders since the beginning of time, and we shall go on looking for deterrents until the end of time. If death were a deterrent, I might be expected to know. It is I who have faced them last, young lads and girls, working men, grandmothers. I have been amazed to see the courage with which they take that last walk into the unknown. It did not deter them then, and it had not deterred them when they committed what they were convicted for. All the men and women whom I have faced at that final moment convince me in what I have done that I have not prevented a single murder."


Coming from someone who hanged more than 400 people during his 25-year career, I think this is a particularly powerful argument against those who believe that capital punishment is an effective deterrent to murder.

[Quotation from 'Executioner: Pierrepoint', Coronet Books/Hodder and Stoughton (1974) pp. 207-8.]
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Offline Bru

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Re: Troy Davis - Execution of an innocent man?
« Reply #25 on: October 24, 2008, 02:23:14 PM »
Just heard on CNN that the execution has been put on hold.  I am unable to add the link to the story but if anyone out there wants to check CNN/Crime, perhaps they can put the link up here for the rest to read.
Good news - for a while, at least.
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Offline Xerika

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Re: Troy Davis - Execution of an innocent man?
« Reply #26 on: October 24, 2008, 06:24:42 PM »
Bru, many thanks for posting this. I hadn't even heard this myself until you pointed it out.

I've found the CNN story link at http://edition.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/10/24/troy.davis.stay.execution/index.html.

It seems that there has been a stay of execution for 25 days so that his lawyers can 'file a new habeas corpus brief with a lower court'. They will argue that Troy Davis's execution would be in violation of the 8th Amendmenent, which reads: 'Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted'.

I don't quite follow the reasoning here since this ruling has come from the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (whatever that is) even though the Supreme Court has refused to intervene. However, as Bru rightly says:

Good news - for a while, at least.

The CNN article ends with a quote from Troy Davis's sister:

"He's elated. He wants to thank everyone from around the world that's working on his behalf.

"I wish they
[the family of the murder victim] could sit down in a room with us and hear what the witnesses have to say, without the press, without the lawyers. I feel they deserve the truth, and they have not gotten that."
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Offline Xerika

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Re: Troy Davis - Execution of an innocent man?
« Reply #27 on: October 24, 2008, 07:14:47 PM »
As a very brief postscript to my last post, I'm sure this goes without saying but I'm going to say it anyway...

Although Troy Davis has been granted a stay of execution, this is not to say that his lawyers will be successful and it is still important to keep sending emails at http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org/siteapps/advocacy/index.aspx?c=jhKPIXPCIoE&b=2590179&template=x.ascx&action=11330.

For those who haven't already done so, I promise you that it really does take less than two minutes. I haven't researched the details, but I would estimate this to be less time than it takes a person to die from lethal injection.
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Offline Xerika

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Re: Troy Davis - Execution of an innocent man?
« Reply #28 on: November 18, 2008, 06:30:29 PM »
Troy Davis is currently waiting to hear whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit will hear new evidence that the majority of witnesses have recanted their testimonies. Bizarrely, the main obstacle against this is that it would be against "procedural rules".

William S. Sessions, a former Director of the FBI and federal judge who is also in favour of capital punishment, yesterday published an article in which he very clearly states that there are serious doubts about Davis's guilt and that, at the very least, he should be allowed to present the new evidence before the court.

He concludes by saying, "Our justice system should punish the guilty, free the innocent and have the wisdom to know the difference."
You can read the full article at http://www.ajc.com/opinion/content/opinion/stories/2008/11/18/sessionsed_1118.html.



« Last Edit: November 20, 2008, 02:15:06 PM by Xerika »
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Offline Xerika

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Re: Troy Davis - Execution of an innocent man?
« Reply #29 on: November 20, 2008, 02:14:01 PM »
Update: The federal appeals court in Atlanta has set 9th December as the date when it will hear arguments on whether Troy Davis can file a second federal challenge to his conviction.

Whilst the court's decision could still go against him, this at least seems to be a step in the right direction.

http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/251/story/515450.html
http://rob-johnson.org.uk/ - writing, podcasting and reluctant olive farming

"I'd Rather Eat My Own Face" podcast. The truth about olive harvesting. http://wp.me/p2bC2C-8U

"If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it." - Elmore Leonard