We pray that as you read this editorial on Thursday, Troy
Davis—scheduled to be put to death Wednesday night for killing a
White Savannah Georgia police officer in 1989—will have been spared
lethal injection and given a chance to prove his innocence in a court
There is strong evidence that suggests Davis was wrongfully accused,
convicted and sentenced to death for the killing of the police
officer, Mark MacPhail, who reportedly was shot trying to break up a
disturbance outside a convenience store near a Burger King where he
was working security parttime.
In the years following Davisʼ 1991 conviction, seven of the nine
“witnesses” against him have reportedly recanted or contradicted
their testimony. Plus, no physical evidence—gun or DNA—was ever
presented during his trial or found linking Davis to the killing.
After years of litigation and a previous stay of execution several years
ago; despite hundreds of thousands of letters (over 663,000 by our
last count) to the Georgia State Board of Pardons by Amnesty
International, the Pope, the NAACP, the National Urban League and hundreds of
people—famous and not famous—the board denied clemency to Davis,
leading to this weekʼs meeting with destiny.
Regardless of what happens, Davisʼ plight is emblematic of a U.S. Justice
system that reminds us all—especially minorities—that justice is
not blind when it comes to color.
Just look at the facts. African Americans make up 13 percent of the
population, yet make up over 42 percent of death row inmates.
States with the death penalty must have the courage of the state of
Illinois, which, based on the review of DNA evidence in several death
penalty cases, exonerated a number of its death-row inmates and ended
this barbarous practice.
Davisʼ execution wonʼt bring back MacPhail to his loved ones. However, it
will be another example of misplaced jurisprudence and prosecutorial
blood lust that cannot be tolerated in our nation.
Rev. Martin Luther King said it best: “Justice denied anywhere
diminishes justice everywhere.