Thursday, September 22, 2011

Troy Davis Put To Death

I am not sure how gossipy or entertainy this is, but it is certainly a human interest story and even People and other tabloids are running with it, and it is what people are talking about everywhere. Last night the US Supreme Court rejected Troy Davis' final appeal and he was executed. People all over the world protested at his execution and there were demonstrations at the US Embassy in Paris and in London.

Davis was convicted in 1991 of killing a police officer in 1989. There have been doubts in recent years as to whether Davis committed the crime. Many of the original witnesses retracted their testimony and even some jurors now say he was innocent. Two years ago the US Supreme Court gave him the unusual opportunity to provide new evidence that he was innocent and he provided evidence to a lower federal court who called it "mostly smoke and mirrors," and refused to consider it further.

Davis was 49.

My thing about all of this is that I think there should be life with no parole. No death penalty. How many innocent people do you think have been killed on death row? I bet there are hundreds if not thousands over the course of time. Think about before fingerprints let alone before DNA. If you have life without parole then it gives people a chance to argue their cases and search for new evidence without ever running out of time. Plus, it ensures that even if you did convict an innocent person of a crime, that you did not kill them.


Rita said...

These killings. Sometimes, I'm absolutely against the Death Penalty, but then, I see what murderers and pedophiles do, what mass murderers in Rwanda are still doing, see the pictures, imagine the horror, then I think: some murderers need killing. The ones who are beyond the accidental murder, who are at dissociated from human affection. Some are undeserving to walk God's beautiful land.

Cindy said...

I say take them out the way they took out their victims -- BUT ONLY if there is dna evidence -- no death penalty on the basis of someone's testimony.

The sub-human that dragged the man in Texas should have been dragged to death himself.

figgy said...

I am opposed to the death penalty for many reasons, but mostly because even one innocent person killed is too many.

That said, I can't say that I'm sorry that the guy who dragged the man to death in Texas is gone.

0 said...

Taking a life to avenge another life is not justice.

It's revenge.

The US is the only civilized Western nation that still partakes in the death penalty.

figgy said...

What @0 said.

All you have to do is look at a list of the countries that do and do not have the death penalty to know that we in the US are on the wrong side of this question.

fordellcastle said...

I think life in prison at hard labor would be the most fitting punishment. Prisons today have video games, movies, you can purchase your own tv and cd players, etc. Cut it out. No air conditioning. No prison stores for inmates to purchase whatever food, stationery, toiletries, etc. Prisons should mean real punishment, especially for rapists, pedophiles and murderers.

Deep said...

What I find interesting is that GOPers are usually pro-life and against abortion, but the are pro-death penalty. There's some irony in that and it's never brought up.

I concur with the above statement: one innocent death is one too many.

Unknown said...

Not to take away from the gravity of this situation but it was interesting how this brought up the Casey Anthony case in my mind. I believe those jurors did the right thing by not giving her the death penalty - even if they/we all felt she did it - because the evidence did not support it. I'm not too familiar with this case but perhaps Troy Davis did not die in vain if this changes something in the Supreme Court rulings?

Hayley said...

Deep-I agree there definitely is some irony there, but it can go the other way as well. Many people who are against the death penalty are pro-choice, which (depending on what you believe) would advocate death. It's all about your belief and perspective.

Some days I think the death penalty is such an antiquated punishment that I can't believe the US still uses it. Other times I think about the psychos who feel no remorse and have the ability to rape or torture and kill someone and I feel death is the very least of what they deserve. I would prefer people like that did not have life in jail, because despite being confined, they still have food, shelter, and visits from loved ones. Seems unfair to me.

Ms Cool said...

I agree with figgy.

RocketQueen said...

David Milgaard. William Mullins-Johnson. Donald Marshall. Steven Truscott. Just a few Canadians who spent significant time in jail before being exonerated for murders they didn't commit by DNA evidence or otherwise.
I am grateful that I live in a country that doesn't kill.

WBotW said...

Just another reason to be proudly Canadian, eh RocketQueen?

Anonymous said...

I've heard that there was no physical evidence to tie Davis to the crime. Several eyewitnesses have recanted their testimony. Jurors have said that they wouldn't have convicted him but weren't fully aware of the flimsy investigation.

This is a case of someone not having access to the attorneys and investigators that can get to the heart of cases like this and hopefully help the accused. Race probably played a role too, but economic prejudice is getting worse in this country. When does it stop?

Such a sad story.

mzmarymac said...

I don't know. A lot of very powerful people DID take the time to look over this case in great detail and yet still rejected all of his appeals. They DID look at the evidence over and over. They DID look at everything and still decided on his guilt. He certainly WAS at the scene-we know that much. It is whether or not he was the trigger man. To me, that isn't necessarily the case. If you are involved in a crime and someone gets killed, it is felony murder and you are just as guilty and whoever pulled the trigger. Now there may be another person worthy of death in this case as well, but I do believe this man was guilty of the crime he was accused of-murdering a young cop father and husband, who was simply trying to protect a homeless man.

That said-I am a Republican and do NOT believe in the DP.

Katie said...

Why pay taxes to keep the most vile people who do not belong in society alive? I don't see much irony in being pro life and pro capital punishment and I am confused why people don't see the difference.

jen said...

Rocket Queen - that's what I tweeted last night, that I'm always grateful to be Canadian, but last night I was especially grateful.

I've followed this case for about a year. There is SERIOUS, MAJOR doubt that this man killed the police officer. Personally I'm 100% no ifs ands or buts convinced of his innocence, but even if you aren't, there is so much doubt that it was definitely worth looking into further. And now they won't, because they won't want to admit they put an innocent man to death. I feel for the MacPhails, so so much, but there can't be any peace of mind when an innocent man is made to pay for the crime.

Anyway I guess it doesn't matter now. RIP Troy.

jen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jen said...

OH, and yes, the top 5 countries to execute the most people are, not in order:

5. USA
4. China
3. North Korea
2. Yemen
1. Iran

Iraq and Pakistan are right around there, too.

If you could pick and choose who you put to death, I might be pro-death penalty. Rapists, Paul Bernardo: I'd be for the death penalty. But you can't pick and choose. The law has to apply to everyone. And the law is fallible.

Sue Ellen Mishkey said...

Speaking of Paul Bernardo, they should put homeboy in general population and see what happens.

jen said...

Apparently he's had multiple breakdowns because he's kept so isolated. I too would like to rectify that and put him in the general population. Yes indeed. LOL

RocketQueen said...

Indeed WBotW, indeed.

jen - yeah, sometimes my country pisses me off (I think engaged citizens SHOULD question the way their nation is representing itself to the world), but every day, I am so incredibly proud and grateful.

Rita said...

Paul Bernardo gf got out of prison a few years back, the general population did not approve. I think she couldn't help herself and went back to hanging with low-lives.

Deep said...

^ Re Paul Bernardo's ex-wife, Karla, she got out of jail, had a baby, lived in Montreal, but eventually moved to the Caribbean.

jen said...

She's married with a son & living somewhere in the Caribbean, last I heard. I KNOW we will one day hear of her involvement in other crimes.

jen said...

Deep - great minds ;)

Sue Ellen Mishkey said...

What's worse? Mental breakdowns because you're so isolated, or getting raped/beaten by inmates who have nothing to lose? Tough call.

Any of you read "Deadly Innocence"? The one written about Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka by the journalists of The Sun? Disgusting.

jen said...

I haven't read that, but I read that Pact With the Devil book by Stephen Williams. Good read, but so infuriating :(

Sue Ellen Mishkey said...

Did the book mention what Paul Bernardo would do to Karla Homolka when they were in pubic? Apparently, when she would do something that he didn't like he'd say "that's 1" then she'd do something else he didn't like and say "that's 2", and so on. What that meant was how many times he'd plunge a screwdriver into her leg when they got back to the car or home. The book says she got one in the leg for suggesting the "wrong" type of cereal.

I'm no Homolka supporter, but that's gotta take a toll on you (vous).

ForSure said...

I oppose the death penalty. Using it puts the US in the same company as Pakistan, China, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. (I am pro-choice, but opposed to abortion as well. I want it to be safe, legal, and rare as hell. I still believe that abortion would be mostly unnecessary if our health care system wasn't so sexist, but that's a different rant for a different time). What happened to Troy Davis is a travesty, but ignoring the racial and socio-economic issues that contributed to his conviction would be almost as big of a crime.

lashauna said...

Aren't people supposed to be considered GUILTY BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT? There were definitely doubts when it came to this man's involvment, and the 20 years that his case has been in limbo because of the courts remaining indecisive about his execution, says it all.

"To take a life when a ife has been lost is revenge, not justice.” -Desmond Tutu

jen said...

Sue Ellen - it's been a few years since I've read it but I don't remember that. Yikes D: As much as I abhor Homolka and believe she should absolutely still be in jail, Paul is definitely the "ringleader" so to speak, and the one who needs to be put away for life. He's more than a psychopath, he's...well, whatever's a billion times worse than that hehe.

I still get so upset about that case. Obviously most Canadians do, and I'm certainly not putting myself above anyone else, but I lived in Hamilton at the time, which is in between St. Catharines & Burlington, where the murders took place (which I'm sure you know hehe.) I was 15 years old with long, brown hair. It was pretty scary there for a while :(

jen said...

FS said...

but ignoring the racial and socio-economic issues that contributed to his conviction would be almost as big of a crime.


Sue Ellen Mishkey said...


I remember how bad it was, especially the closer you got to the Golden Horseshoe area. I remember all the billboards with the Camero, asking for information, so I don't think you're trying to put yourself above anyone else. I must only be a couple of years younger than you, and I remember my mom clamping down on me.

I also remember a couple years after he was caught the parents of Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy (sp) speaking at my high school about what happened, and all I remember is Leslie's mom (or maybe it was Kristen's) beating herself up because they locked their daughter out of the house the night he took her. Imagine having to live with that?

Wow. Didn't realise how I was going on there.

mooshki said...

"Why pay taxes to keep the most vile people who do not belong in society alive?"

KatD said...

"What I find interesting is that GOPers are usually pro-life and against abortion, but the are pro-death penalty. There's some irony in that and it's never brought up."

I'm a conservative and have put a lot of thought into this very argument. I had written a much longer explanation, but lost the post, so I'm going to summarize it, since I'm at a loss for time just now.

Essentially, there's a very stark contrast between an innocent unborn child versus someone who has knowingly and willingly chosen to violently rape and/or murder someone, especially if the individual is a repeat offender. Which person - the unborn child or the rapist/murder - to you is more valuable?

Do you use any Apple products? Have you seen the way in which Apple has revolutionized technology and even our lives? You can thank Steve Jobs's birth mother for choosing to give him up for adoption versus aborting him. Since the legalization of abortion, we've aborted 40 million unborn children. Who knows how many brilliant minds we've destroyed or how much progress we've sacrificed in our society by not preserving their lives? What if Steve Jobs's mother had aborted him?

Perhaps the real irony is that we're wasting time fighting over the loss of GUILTY people, who've chosen to violate their fellow human beings versus not fighting for the INNOCENT lives that have been denied any choice about seeing the light of day. Which is more valuable to you? We've certainly had far more abortions in this country than criminals - most of whom I'm sure ARE guilty - die from the death penalty. Now that's sad.

By the way, if your mother, father, brother, sister, or best friend was brutally tortured, raped and murder by a previously convicted criminal, I have a feeling you'd want that person to suffer the death penalty, so you wouldn't have to fear him ever escaping from prison or being released.

RocketQueen said...

@KatD - honestly, I hate when people who are pro-death penalty say what you just did in your last paragraph. I've thought about it a million times and NO, I would NOT want anyone who raped/murdered/etc. one of my family members to be put to death. I don't believe in murder, period. Whether it's by some random asshole criminal or by the government. An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind, as Gandhi said. So please, don't tell me what you think I would want.

And you appear to have missed the point of this post. You are assuming that all people on death row are guilty, when history has shown mistakes are MADE and innocent people are put to death. Better safe than sorry, is just ONE argument against the death penalty.

SkittleKitty said...

Thank you RQ.
I really cannot stand people who can argue "pro-life" and "pro-death" in one posting. Ugh.

I didn't see it posted above, but there's a saying that goes "No one with any money was ever sent to death row." It is not that difficult to show, nor difficult to believe, that the poor--those represented by court-appointed attorneys--are more likely to be sent to death row, including those who are poor AND innocent.

Wil said...

I am against the death penalty for all but the most horrendous of murders - children who have been raped and killed, people like Ted Bundy and his like minded serial killer buddies.

But lately I have been tempering that strongly held belief with the reality that there has been at least one state sanctioned murder in Texas, IMO.

At this point, I don't know any more. Perhaps it is time to end the death penalty. It is not like being *n*lly r*ped in prison for a life time isn't apt punishment. And it gives the innocent a chance at reversing their convictions.

I am not sure if Troy Davis was innocent or not, but he should not have been put to death with as many questions as there are surrounding this case. There is a very good chance Georgia added to the murdered innocent list last night. That disgusts me.

Better ten guilty men go free ...

Wil said...

@Cindy - I was on the DNA train as well .. until this. Thank you Israel. Now we can't even trust DNA.

Rita said...

@Will - Holy Golden Cow. Don't know though how much I give that test for real DNA credit. It scares me that we can fake DNA, and all of a sudden, there is a test to prove if said DNA is true. A lot of case will go through re-testing I'm betting in the next few years.

Upside Downunder said...

I don't see one aspect of conservative support for the death penalty mentioned. Conservatives are generally of the belief that government should be limited in both size and scope. Giving the state the right to kill citizens is giving the state the ultimate power. I guess just one more of the many hypocritical sides of modern american conservatives.

RocketQueen said...

The Life of David Gale and 12 Angry Men.
I swear those movies should be required watching for people who are pro death penalty.

FoxyLoxy said...

To deprive someone of their life, as punishment, must require absolute certainty; to require a lesser standard than this would be to de-value life itself; death cannot be reversed, or compensated if you get it wrong.
The standard of proof of our legal system is "beyond reasonable doubt".
That is NOT the same as certainty, and therefore to put someone to death on this standard is immoral.

libby said...

Arguing Steve Jobs' adoption as an anti-choice argument in completely specious at best.
That's like me arguing abortions for all because it might save us from a mediocre businessman or even....HITLER. =musical sting=

nunaurbiz said...

Good for you, Enty! Murder is murder is murder. It is NEVER "good" or "right" or "just." This about this: You can always let a wrongly convicted man out of jail but you can't let him out of the grave. The death penalty is a presumption of perfection, something all of us, especially good, god-fearing, conservative Christians, should avoid. Our blood lust for revenge and retribution shames us.

If you live in California, this might be of interest to you: You taxpayers spend $184 million a year to maintain capital punishment. If you would rather that money be spent more wisely (say, for EDUCATION or investigate unsolved murders), please look into the SAFE California Act.

“The death penalty in California is broken and unfixable. How many of our citizens know that 46% of all murders and 56% of all rapes in the average year in our state go unsolved? The SAFE California Act will prevent crimes. It will make our families safer than they are today.” - Former LA DA Gil Garcetti.

More info here:

erin z. said...

i find tremendous irony in the fact that a significant majority of people who support the death penalty do so because of christian/religious values.

if you believe that god created all, including man, it is tremendously arrogant/ironic to think that man has the right/power to kill another man, legally or otherwise, because the original belief in god would suggest that only he has the power. but i suppose that fits with the vast majority of religious values and manipulations of the bible (gays, jews, people of color, treatment of women, etc.).

that being said, the death penalty is deserved by no one, regardless of their crime. especially when one considers the disproportionate use of the death penalty in regards to minorities who have harmed white people. when you factor in the shit lives some people lead because of the durable inequalities that persist in the u.s. (and elsewhere), it becomes even more apparent that the u.s. breeds violence among those they treat the worst.

and dna evidence doesn't suggest/prove murder. amanda knox's dna was purportedly found on meredith kercher's bra strap and now she is in prison for 26 years. how is dna from a bra on the floor even remotely representative of murder? plain and simple: it isn't.

the u.s. is not a remotely fair and free place and they should stop advertising themselves (and their wars) as such.

erin z. said...

@jen (regarding homolka): it is actually believed by a number of criminologist/psychologists/etc. that homolka was the ring leader.

only three women that paul raped died, and those three women were the only times that homolka was involved (other than the jane doe girl).

couple that with the fact that the autopsy evidence of leslie mahaffy's torso showed that she died as a result of strangulation by someone who dug their knees into her back, thereby holding her down while they strangled her. this "someone" had kneecaps smaller than paul, in fact smaller than a man, because the size of the deep tissue bruising on leslie's back belonged to that of a woman.

it is extremely likely that homolka killed these two girls (the third being her sister). rapists who become murders rarely, if ever, go back to raping without killing. paul did just that because the kill was never his issue, it was karla's.

Shen said...

Agree that the death penalty is wrong and barbaric.

The risk of executing an innocent person is too great.

MirandaPriestly said...

@Rita-I totally agree. Well said.

JustJen said...

There's a really fantastic book on this subject -- Autobiography of an Execution by David Dow. He's a death penalty lawyer in Texas, I believe. He takes you through several of his cases, lets you meet the people, walk in his shoes for awhile so to speak.

His book isn't meant to be pro or anti death penalty, it's just meant to show you the real truth of what administering the death penalty means in our society. It's not pretty. Just know that it's safe to say that there have been MANY unjust executions and "beyond a reasonable doubt" is kind of a joke when you are talking about the death penalty.

I really recommend it -- I'm STILL pro death penalty because I have seen some of the absolute filth our society produces and it just makes me sleep a little better knowing that a few of the worst are gone.

But his book made me think and I may yet change my opinion.

Ms. said...

Homolka is not living in the Caribbean. Come on people, THINK! What country would take a convicted murderer - especially with the crimes she committed? Not one. Not one single country would admit this sadist, even as a tourist.

She is living in Canada and I firmly believe someone on her team floated this story out to the press as a diversion so the vigilantes would stop looking for her.

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