On Wednesday, September 21, 2011 (at 11:08pm ET), Troy Davis was executed by lethal injection in the State of Georgia – all this despite evidence that he may have been innocent.
He was executed in the name of justice but…what does this say about the system and state of our understanding of justice in this country. Like others, I mourn the situation. And I mourn the execution of Troy Davis. And I mourn for the McPhail and Davis families.
Honestly, I don’t know enough about all the details and intricacies behind Davis’ story and circumstances that led him to jail and ultimately, to his execution. Certainly, the entire situation is tragic – starting with the death of an innocent police officer/security guard named Mark MacPhail.
In a recent letter he sent to his supporters, Davis wrote these words:
I want to thank all of you for your efforts and dedication to Human Rights and Human Kindness, in the past year I have experienced such emotion, joy, sadness and never ending faith. It is because of all of you that I am alive today, as I look at my sister Martina I am marveled by the love she has for me and of course I worry about her and her health, but as she tells me she is the eldest and she will not back down from this fight to save my life and prove to the world that I am innocent of this terrible crime.
As I look at my mail from across the globe, from places I have never ever dreamed I would know about and people speaking languages and expressing cultures and religions I could only hope to one day see first hand. I am humbled by the emotion that fills my heart with overwhelming, overflowing Joy. I can’t even explain the insurgence of emotion I feel when I try to express the strength I draw from you all, it compounds my faith and it shows me yet again that this is not a case about the death penalty, this is not a case about Troy Davis, this is a case about Justice and the Human Spirit to see Justice prevail.
I cannot answer all of your letters but I do read them all, I cannot see you all but I can imagine your faces, I cannot hear you speak but your letters take me to the far reaches of the world, I cannot touch you physically but I feel your warmth everyday I exist.
So Thank you and remember I am in a place where execution can only destroy your physical form but because of my faith in God, my family and all of you I have been spiritually free for some time and no matter what happens in the days, weeks to come, this Movement to end the death penalty, to seek true justice, to expose a system that fails to protect the innocent must be accelerated. There are so many more Troy Davis’. This fight to end the death penalty is not won or lost through me but through our strength to move forward and save every innocent person in captivity around the globe. We need to dismantle this Unjust system city by city, state by state and country by country.
I can’t wait to Stand with you, no matter if that is in physical or spiritual form, I will one day be announcing,
“I AM TROY DAVIS, and I AM FREE!”
Never Stop Fighting for Justice and We will Win
As I’ve spoken with different folks over the past few days, I’m not in the most capable position to make a legal case for his innocence or guilt.
I am not suggesting that making a case is not important. Pursuing truth and justice are indeed very important – not only to this case but to any healthy and functional society. But while fully acknowledging the importance of laws, rules, and consequences, isn’t it [past] time to…
put to death the death penalty.
Capital punishment, the death penalty, or execution is the sentence of death upon a person by judicial process as a punishment for an offence. Crimes that can result in a death penalty are known as capital crimes or capital offences. The term capital originates from the Latin capitalis, literally “regarding the head”. Hence a capital crime was originally one punished by severing the head from the body. [wikipedia]
Did you know that only 58 nations actively practice capital punishment with 96 countries having abolished it. According to wikipedia: “the remainder having not used it for 10 years or allowing it only in exceptional circumstances such as wartime.” If you haven’t figured it out, the United States is one of the nations that practices the capital punishment.