"… whether Davis may be executed if he can establish actual innocence …"

Troy Davis rally, Atlanta, Sept. 11, 2008

Troy Davis rally, Atlanta, Sept. 11, 2008

This is one of the questions before the U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit, in Atlanta, which is currently considering Troy Davispetition for permission to try again to get a hearing on evidence that he is innocent. The fact that executing someone even if they “establish actual innocence” is up for debate demonstrates how far our system has veered off the path of justice.

Innocence, you see, is just one – just one – of the factors that go into a decision on whether or not a person can be put to death by the state. There are also procedural questions: if a prisoner could have brought up his evidence of innocence sooner, but didn’t, then the courts will simply look the other way, even if that evidence compellingly establishes that he is not guilty. His evidence of innocence doesn’t count, even if it reveals the truth.

Former Judge and FBI Director Williams Sessions has an excellent op-ed in today’s Atlanta Journal Constitution, making precisely this point. It may be wrong to execute an innocent man, but it is not, as yet, unconstitutional. Hopefully, the Eleventh Circuit will see the Troy Davis case as a way to change that.

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8 thoughts on “"… whether Davis may be executed if he can establish actual innocence …"

  1. It is just completely beyond me how it's possible for someone that even MIGHT be innocent could be executed, nevermind someone actually KNOWN to be innocent. There are just no words for it.

  2. It is just completely beyond me how it’s possible for someone that even MIGHT be innocent could be executed, nevermind someone actually KNOWN to be innocent. There are just no words for it.

  3. Pingback: Troy Davis Gets Hearing | Human Rights Now - Amnesty International USA Blog

  4. I think its wrong that Troy should be put to death. If the wheels of justice turn against this chap. It will send a message to the world that Alanta and other southern states in America still live in an era of oppression, inequality and discrimination. It will also show that they have not moved on and that the colour of someones skin is a factor in determining guilt or innoence in regards to a crime. This should not be happening in 2008. Its 2008 not 1928!

  5. I think its wrong that Troy should be put to death. If the wheels of justice turn against this chap. It will send a message to the world that Alanta and other southern states in America still live in an era of oppression, inequality and discrimination. It will also show that they have not moved on and that the colour of someones skin is a factor in determining guilt or innoence in regards to a crime. This should not be happening in 2008. Its 2008 not 1928!

  6. This case is reprehensible in that, yes, there is now evidence that Troy is innocent. But the deeper issue is that the "justice" system seems to be getting away with having coerced the witnesses into lying. Have the false accusers been put in the spotlight of truth? Has the system been examined? Or are people afraid to embarrass those who supposedly are on duty to protect.

    Troy Davis needs to be set free and his record cleared. The person who is now a suspect needs to come forward and accept responsibility. And all who have worked to execute an innocent man, from high on the bench on down, I pray will be taken into account and change their ways.

  7. This case is reprehensible in that, yes, there is now evidence that Troy is innocent. But the deeper issue is that the “justice” system seems to be getting away with having coerced the witnesses into lying. Have the false accusers been put in the spotlight of truth? Has the system been examined? Or are people afraid to embarrass those who supposedly are on duty to protect.

    Troy Davis needs to be set free and his record cleared. The person who is now a suspect needs to come forward and accept responsibility. And all who have worked to execute an innocent man, from high on the bench on down, I pray will be taken into account and change their ways.

  8. Pingback: Troy Davis: 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to hear oral arguments TODAY | Human Rights Now - Amnesty International USA Blog