Not In Our Name: Georgia Must Not Execute Troy Davis

Troy Davis too much doubtOutrageous.  Simply outrageous.

Georgia’s State Board of Pardons and Paroles has rejected Troy Davis’ clemency petition.  He faces execution on Wed., Sept. 21 at 7 pm EDT.  We do not accept this decision and we will not quietly sit by.  Join us by taking more action:  demand that the Board reconsider its decision and demand that Chatham County (Savannah) District Attorney Larry Chisolm seek a withdrawal of the death warrant and support clemency himself.

This appalling decision renders meaningless the Board’s 2007 vow to not permit an execution unless there is “no doubt” about guilt.  The Troy Davis case is riddled with doubt. Most of the witnesses who testified against him have recanted, while others have pointed to an alternate suspect as the real killer.

Nearly a million supporters of human rights and justice have called for clemency in this case, so far.  They believed in the common-sense notion that you should not execute someone when you can’t be sure they are guilty.

Death penalty supporters like Bob Barr, former Texas Governor Mark White,  and former FBI Director William Sessions also support clemency in this case, for the same reason.  And at least three jurors from Davis’ trial have asked for his execution to be called off. Putting Troy Davis to death would be a grave injustice to those jurors who believe they sentenced Davis to death based on questionable information.

The Board chose to ignore this huge number and wide range of voices, so we must raise our voices even more.  Demand that Georgia authorities Stop This Execution.

Is Justice Scalia a Curmudgeon?

Bob Barr thinks so.  In his Washington Times op-ed, the former federal prosecutor, Georgia Congressman and Libertarian Presidential candidate, labels Scalia the “high court curmudgeon” for his dissent from the Supreme Court’s order giving Troy Davis to have an evidentiary hearing on his substantial evidence of innocence.

Scalia believes, simply, that the Constitution doesn’t protect the innocent from being executed.  Barr believes that it does.

“The Constitution of the United States was adopted in 1787; the Bill of Rights four years later in 1791. Apparently for Justice Scalia, these past 218 years have not sufficed to “clearly establish” that federal law is based on the premise that only the guilty are to be executed.”

Bob Barr was instrumental in the passage of the Anti-terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) back in 1996, and has clearly been perturbed by the way that law has been interpreted to prevent what justice plainly requires in this case:

“… a full hearing at which the witnesses Davis believes will show his actual innocence are allowed to testify.” And at which “… the state of Georgia will have full opportunity to rebut that testimony.”

The “pinched and erroneous” interpretations of AEDPA by cantankerous old judges like Scalia ignore the fundamental basis for law and justice, which is to punish the guilty and protect the innocent.