If ever there was a case that would force me to question and change my stance on a position, no matter how controversial, it would be this one right here. I could not believe that we live in a society, in a country that believes in freedom, truth and justice for all of its citizens, would execute an innocent man for a crime he did not commit; that the system would redeem itself by staying its final and permanent judgement until all facts were presented. At 2308 hours (11:08 PM, EST), I was proven wrong when the United States Supreme Court, the highest court in the land, rejected to stay the execution of Troy Davis, who was convicted in what amounted from a serious lack of evidence, for there was no DNA, NOR was the firearm ever recovered. On top of that, seven out of nine witnesses recanted their statements, four people stepped up AND named the REAL person who killed that cop; yet the State of Georgia refused to go after him, and a woman, who was in hiding for 22 years, living in fear for her life, shows up at the clemency hearing and literally spills her guts! You want to make it POLITICAL and talk about crossing party lines? Then try this on for size: A former REPUBLICAN state representative took an interest in the case, reviewed the evidence for HIMSELF, and went ON RECORD stating that if the state decides to carry out its sentence, it would be a very dark day indeed for justice.
Troy Davis is not the first person to be wrongly executed for a crime that he do not commit. On the contrary, he now joins a tragic fraternity of men who have met similar fates. According to the Innocence Project, eleven men met their demise at the hands of their respective states ONLY later to have their good name restored to them posthumously; the most recent was back in 2004, when Texas executed Cameron Willingham for the murder and arson of his three children in 1991. You can read his and other stories like this at the link provided below:
I could go on posting link after link, highlighting this miscarriage of justice; but what would be the point, considering that the same names and scenarios are irrevocably the same?
The families of these men are not the only ones that are suffering, even though they have held out hope that the justice system would do right by these men and free them. Also who is still suffering is the families members who have lost their love ones to such violent acts, and the Good Lord knows my heart aches for them; because they thought that they could move in with their lives, only to have reality shattered again because the person that the state THOUGHT they felt was the right person and executed WAS IN FACT an innocent man, and are left wondering if justice will ever TRULY be served. The crushing weight of this stark realization is felt on the jury that condemned them BECAUSE they were the ones selected to hear the case, convict them, and deliver a sentence they honestly felt was appropriate for such nefarious, vile and inhuman deeds. Imagine the shock, horror, revulsion and sickened they must feel when the truth comes out that the prosecution KNOWINGLY withheld evidence that could exonerate them; OR AT THE VERY LEAST, have the common sense to know that something doesn't feel right about a case AND have the decency and integrity to own up to it, free them, and pursue the REAL GUILTY PARTY and let justice be served.
Yes, I am well aware that Texas executed the man that was responsible for the dragging death of James Byrd, and that Lawrence Brewer was unrepentant before he left to meet His Maker. Although Texas got this one right, what can you or I say about the ones they OR any other state got wrong? How do you apologize to the families of those that were egregiously executed for failing to properly connect the dots? What can you do, but restore honor to them by posthumously pardoning him? Write a check? There's not enough zeros on the planet to cover that foul up; and even if there were, I guarantee you that they would MUCH rather have them out, safe, free, AND ALIVE than remember them at holidays and family reunions.
I supported the death penalty;I even defended my position on Newsvine by stating that it can and must ONLY be applied when the state has UNCONTROVERSIAL PROOF AND EVIDENCE that they have the right man, and if there is EVEN THE SLIGHTEST OF DOUBT, YOU DO NOT CARRY OUT THAT SENTENCE!!!! After what has transpired on this dark day of justice, I find that I can no longer support the death penalty when a miscarriage of justice can be carried out so wantonly as this, for we have TRULY failed the Blackstone Formulation; which states that " It's better to let ten guilty persons escape than let one innocent suffer".
So Barrabas is free yet again, and another innocent man is dead.
May God forgive and have mercy on our souls.