Too Much Doubt

Oppose the Death Penalty for Troy Davis aka “T...

The late night execution of death row inmate Troy Davis in Georgia is all over the news and Twitter today. The world press is making sure that everyone is well aware that the State of Georgia executed a man for which there is more than reasonable doubt that he did not commit the crime. It is one of those times that the media has got it right.  The US judicial system failed Troy Davis, his family and the family of Mark MacPhail. Surely this should bring about the suspension of the death penalty in the remaining US states where it is still legal. What more proof do people need that the death penalty is faulty?

Forensic science is not infallible. Evidence get contaminated and people screw up. Witnesses misremember things or lie to protect their part in the crime. Police get overzealous and force false confessions from suspects. And even if everyone gets everything right and the suspect admits their guilt, an inhumane act should not be punished by another inhumane act.

What has happened to Troy Davis is unforgivable but the US has an opportunity to end the death penalty in their country for once and for all and to make sure that another innocent person, where too much doubt as to their guilt exists, is never put to death again.

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About Meg

A thirty something queer Aussie geek girl who now lives in Germany.
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12 Responses to Too Much Doubt

  1. I dont think this is a question of doubt. As long as people accept the death penelty there will be more innocent people dying. This is a question about playing God, about ethics, moral, about lova and hatred. And rasism. How on earth are the state – or ANYONE – going to “fix” things by hatred?

    • Riayn says:

      I agree. I can’t understand why people think the death penalty is a good idea. However, I’m hoping (perhaps beyond hope) that the death of an innocent man may force them to reconsider their position.

  2. Pingback: Troy Davis – The night the lights went out in Georgia «

  3. San says:

    I am appalled that a first world country like the US still has the death penalty (and no universal health care system). this is so backwards.

    • Riayn says:

      I agree, the death penalty is such a barbaric practice and it disappoints me that it is still used in the 21st century.
      Don’t get me started on the US health system, it’s so amazingly screwed up and seems to somehow ensure that those who need the most help never get it.

  4. Iain Hall says:

    After what twenty odd years of endless appeals I think that its a bit of a stretch to suggest that there is “reasonable doubt” about this man’s I can’t help but wonder if you will be so vocal when they execute the guy in Texas, a white supremacist who chained a black man to the back of his pick up and dragged him to his death who is due to die in the next day or so.

    • Riayn says:

      Yes, I will get just as vocal and upset when they execute the next person in the US regardless of their crime. I strongly believe that an inhumane act should not be punished by another inhumane act. The white supremacist should remain locked up for the rest of his life and made to live with the crime he has committed. That, in my opinion, is the appropriate punishment.

      • Iain Hall says:

        Really you have to have a conscience about your crime for indefinite incarceration to be effective as a punishment. In my opinion there is nothing inhumane about a capital sanction as long as it is done in a a manner that is as quick and painless as possible. Strangely what you advocate as an alternative is in fact less humane than execution because the prisoner will have many years of suffering instead of a quick end.

        • Riayn says:

          However, the problem with that viewpoint on the death penalty is what happens if the courts get it wrong and an innocent man is put to death? You can’t exactly undo it. There has been way too many death row inmates where further investigation have shown them to be innocent for, in my opinion, the death penalty to be continued to be used.

    • Julian Frost says:

      Iain, you are mind-blowingly naive. I read an article in the newspaper today.about the case. Nine people testified against Davis: seven of those witnesses have retracted their testimony, claiming that police officers coerced them into saying Davis was the shooter. That raises questions about whether the two other witnesses were coerced, and the answer is “Very Likely”. There is a book by Gary Marcus tilted “Kluge”. It’s about how the human mind is a Kluge, and one of the chapters deals with memory, and how it can be manipulated.
      There seems to be a big problem with the U.S. Court system: I get the impression that if new evidence emerges after conviction, frequently that new evidence seems to be disregarded. The fact is, this conviction was very unsafe.

      • Iain Hall says:

        I am far from being as naive as you want to believe me to be. In fact I do understand the ethical dilemmas inherent in the use of the death penalty quite well but when you have a system as long winded as the one in the USA the chances of an truly innocent person being executed is very small indeed. In this particular case it seems that your “seven out of nine ” witnesses claim may not be that accurate.

        • Julian Frost says:

          Ann Coulter??!! You post a link to a column by Ann Coulter and you expect me to take you seriously??!! Oh, and the fact that the odds of an innocent person being executed are very small indeed does not mean they’re non-existent.
          It’s not about the ethical dilemmas. It’s about the fact that a majority of eyewitnesses retracted their testimony. It’s the fact that even some of the jurors think they made a mistake. It’s about the fact that one of the two remaining eyewitnesses has been accused of confessing to the murder while drunk.
          Davis’s conviction was very unsafe, and you have not convinced me otherwise.

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