Troy Davis, the Geor­gia man con­vict­ed of mur­der on ques­tion­able evi­dence two decades ago, has just been exe­cut­ed by state prison offi­cials, we’re hearing.

Attor­neys for Davis, who abo­li­tion­ists have been fierce­ly ral­ly­ing to save, had asked the U.S. Supreme Court to inter­vene and grant an eleventh-hour stay only hours ago. Sad­ly, the court refused, giv­ing Geor­gia the go-ahead to put Davis to death.

Davis, who has always main­tained his inno­cence, was orig­i­nal­ly sched­uled to be killed sev­er­al years ago, but his attor­neys suc­cess­ful­ly forced the state to put off its immoral plans to kill him by chal­leng­ing his death sen­tence in court.

Out­ra­geous­ly, none of the courts or parole author­i­ties who heard the appeals filed by Davis’ lawyers were will­ing to inter­vene to save his life. Con­se­quent­ly, the state has just put a man to death sim­ply because a jury decid­ed some years ago that he com­mit­ted a crime and should lose his life as a pun­ish­ment — and nobody with the legal author­i­ty to over­turn that ver­dict has had the courage or will­ing­ness to do so.

Davis’ killing is most def­i­nite­ly a trav­es­ty. But the big­ger trav­es­ty, in our eyes, is the fail­ure of our jus­tice sys­tem to stop it. There is no ques­tion that humans make mis­takes — this is an indis­putable truth that we know about our­selves. We are capa­ble of mak­ing mis­takes as indi­vid­u­als and also as groups. Any wit­ness, jury, or judge can make a mis­take because all wit­ness­es, juries, and judges are human.

The evi­dence that the pros­e­cu­tion orig­i­nal­ly pre­sent­ed in Davis’ case has been clear­ly shown to have been flawed. Sev­en of the nine wit­ness­es called by the pros­e­cu­tion recant­ed part or all of their tes­ti­mo­ny, we under­stand. And yet, Davis’ con­vic­tion was not over­turned. It could have been, and it should have been.

But it wasn’t.

The cause of jus­tice is not served by Amer­i­ca’s use of the anti­quat­ed, immoral “eye for an eye” prin­ci­ple from the Code of Ham­mura­bi. It is time for us as a peo­ple to stop per­mit­ting our gov­ern­ment to act like an oppres­sive regime and stop play­ing God. The death penal­ty is immoral and barbaric.

It can and it must be outlawed.

The Unit­ed States of Amer­i­ca can­not be a bea­con for human rights and civ­il rights as long as it is putting peo­ple to death. Espe­cial­ly inno­cent people.

Tonight, we extend a prayer for Troy Davis and his fam­i­ly, the vic­tims of a bro­ken jus­tice sys­tem. And we reaf­firm our stead­fast com­mit­ment to achiev­ing the total and com­plete abo­li­tion of cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment in every U.S. jurisdiction.

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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3 replies on “Georgia executes Troy Davis after U.S. Supreme Court refuses to halt his killing”

  1. I felt sick to my stom­ach when I heard that the State of Geor­gia, obliv­i­ous to rea­son had killed most like­ly an inno­cent man. I’ll nev­er vis­it that state, buy any­thing from Geor­gia or dri­ve through it. Many orga­ni­za­tions fought to stop this injus­tice NAACP, Amnesty Inter­na­tion­al, Nation­al Action Net­work, Thou­sands signed peti­tions, we need mil­lions to sign.

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