This is not our usual Thursday morning fare, but I feel a need to recognize the injustice that occurred last night and offer a space to talk about it. Race is a factor in this case, if not the factor, and that makes it relevant to our work at LIE.
Here’s what some others are saying.
… That it was unanimous, was maybe the worst touch of what Amnesty USA’s Larry Cox called a “grotesque spectacle.” The Supreme Court of the United States of America made a man stay in a gurney for three hours while they decided whether he could keep living. And then they said no.
All of them said no. Without a published dissent, that’s how the record will read, reports of the Court not being “necessarily unanimous” be damned.
The system failed Troy Davis. It failed us all. My heart goes out to him, and to his family. And my thanks to Amy Goodman and Democracy Now for their excellent job covering this tragedy.
Still, this too will pass, and they know it. As I write this post the name Troy Davis is not even trending on Yahoo. Sarah Palin, Brooke Burke, Jeff Conaway, Cam Newton, the Boston Red Sox; all of them are getting more play in the American psyche than some black man in Georgia charged and convicted of killing a police officer many years ago. Hey, if the state of Georgia didn’t kill him, some other black man would. Or, maybe high blood pressure, diabetes, or any one of those other diseases that Negroes tend to get. He lived to the ripe old age of 41, which is more than we can say for other men who look like him in A-mery-ca. So what’s the big deal?
Those of you (black and white) who advocated and fought on this man’s behalf should be proud of yourselves. I know that it’s hard to see a person who might be innocent of the crime for which he was charged put to death, but your conscience should allow you to sleep tonight, which is more than I can say for Terry Bernard, Robert Keller,Albert R. Murray,James E. Donald, L. Gale Buckner, Steve Hayes, and the rest of you in A-merry-ca.
The case of Troy Davis is but one of many cases in which race plays a role in who deserves to live or die in the American “justice” system. In 1990 a report made by the nonpartisan U.S. General Accounting Office discovered a pattern of racial disparities concerning the charging, sentencing, and the imposition of capital punishment. They concluded that the defendant will more likely be sentenced to death if the victim was white and the defendant was black. They are treated more harshly as defendants and their lives are seen as less valuable as victims, and, all-white juries are still common in many locations throughout the country.
Amnesty International gave more reports that further prove the racial divide that exist within capital punishment:
“A report sponsored by the American Bar Association in 2007 concluded that one-third of African-American death row inmates in Philadelphia would have received sentences of life imprisonment if they had not been African-American.
A January 2003 study released by the University of Maryland concluded that race and geography are major factors in death penalty decisions. Specifically, prosecutors are more likely to seek a death sentence when the race of the victim is white and are less likely to seek a death sentence when the victim is African-American.
A 2007 study of death sentences in Connecticut conducted by Yale University School of Law revealed that African-American defendants receive the death penalty at three times the rate of white defendants in cases where the victims are white. In addition, killers of white victims are treated more severely than people who kill minorities, when it comes to deciding what charges to bring.”
These and other findings have proven that the lives of blacks in this nation are depreciated within the “justice” system whether they are accused, convicted, victims, or innocent. Troy Davis has asserted that he is innocent of the crime throughout his 20-plus years in prison. The case against him has been revealed to be faulty against him since day one thanks in large part to the iniquitous police department that not only wanted the case rapped up in a hurry, but to lynch a black man as soon as possible.
It has been nearly 100 years since the murder of Mary Phagan…100 years of death as a punishment for murder, be it by lynching or vigilante or the justice system.
100 years of the mob.
Applauding Governors for high incarceration and execution rates.
Dismissing the recanting of faulty eyewitness testimony.
Ignoring a lack of physical evidence.
The mob is still out for vengeance and fueled by rage.
And today, as it was then, murderers walk among us while the mob sits back satisfied.