Friday, September 23, 2011

An African American Executed As US Courts Ignore World Protests, Appeals

An African American executed as court ignores world protests, appeals

Sabir Shah
Saturday, September 24, 2011

In what could be called yet another classic example of blind justice in developed societies, an African American, Troy Davis, was executed through a lethal injection last Wednesday on court orders in the US state of Georgia for killing an off-duty police officer in 1989.

The judges refused to bow to any outside pressure to pardon him.

The killer was denied clemency by the court just a day before his execution, despite calls from all around the world, demanding the waiver of his death penalty.

Davis, whose supporters included former US President Jimmy Carter and Pope Benedict XVI etc, had insisted until the last minutes of his life that he was innocent.

“Troy Davis lifted his head and declared one last time that he did not kill a police officer before being executed, while outside the prison a crowd of more than 500 demonstrators cried, hugged, prayed and held candles.

Hundreds of thousands of Davis supporters worldwide who took up the anti-death penalty cause as his final days ticked away. They staged vigils in the US and Europe, declaring, “I am Troy Davis” on signs, T-shirts and the Internet.”

“All I can ask ... is that you look deeper into this case so that you really can finally see the truth. I ask my family and friends to continue to fight this fight.”

The Associated Press had gone on to write, “Prosecutors and police officer Mark MacPhail’s family said justice had finally been served. Former President Jimmy Carter said in a statement, he hopes Davis’ execution “will spur us as a nation toward the total rejection of capital punishment.”

Davis was scheduled to die at 7pm local time, but the hour came and went as the US Supreme Court apparently weighed the case. More than three hours later, the high court said it wouldn’t intervene. The justices did not comment on their order rejecting Davis’ request for a stay.

Hundreds of thousands of people signed petitions on Davis’ behalf and he had prominent supporters. His attorneys said seven of nine key witnesses against him disputed all or parts of their testimony, but state and federal judges repeatedly ruled against him - three times on Wednesday alone.”

Following the execution of Davis, this is what the 70-year old Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC News) had aired: “Reaction to the execution of Troy Davis was swift and furious from death-penalty critics and others who believe the Georgia man’s murder conviction was tainted by too much doubt. Davis’ supporters, many mobilised in recent months through Twitter and Facebook, seethed with outrage after the lethal injection was carried out Wednesday night.”

The eminent media outlet had stated in its September 22 report: “Davis was convicted in the 1989 killing of off-duty police officer Mark MacPhail.

He insisted until the last minutes of his life that he was innocent. Davis’ case drew worldwide attention, with supporters saying he was the victim of mistaken identity.

Their argument was bolstered by seven witnesses who recanted testimony that helped convict Davis.

Even people uncertain of his innocence said the case underscored the dangers of a system that allows capital punishment.

The CBC News said: “Prosecutors and MacPhail’s family said after the execution that justice had finally been served.” I’m kind of numb,” MacPhail’s mother, Anneliese MacPhail, said from her home in Columbus,” I can’t believe that it’s really happened. “All the feelings of relief and peace I’ve been waiting for all these years, they will come later. I certainly do want some peace.”

The CBC News report had also stated: “The execution had been delayed three times, and even on Thursday was delayed more than three hours while the US Supreme Court apparently weighed, then rejected, intervening in the case.

Hundreds of supporters gathered outside the prison in the days leading up to the execution. Hundreds of thousands had signed petitions on Davis’s behalf, and petition organiser Amnesty International asked Thursday that death-penalty opponents continue fighting capital punishment.”

CBC then went on to report that the controversial US filmmaker, author and critic, Michael Moore, had called for a mass boycott of the US state of Georgia after officials executed convicted murderer Troy Davis amid a storm of protest.

The News International has calculated that Tory Davis was the 29th inmate put to death by lethal injection in Georgia State.

Before Davis, another convicted murderer called Andrew Grant DeYoung was executed in the same fashion on July 21,last for killing his parents and sister.

A research conducted by this scribe further reveals that with the execution of Tory Davis, Georgia has put to death at least 52 men since the US Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1973.

According to an Amnesty International Report of 2011, 96 countries had abolished capital punishment altogether, 9 had done so for all offences except under special circumstances, and 34 had not used it for at least 10 years or were under a moratorium. However, the other 58 retained the death penalty.

The Amnesty International said in its report that at least 23 countries were known to have had executions carried out in 2010, which is four more than 2009.

In addition, there are countries, which do not publish information on the use of capital punishment, most significantly China, which is estimated to execute hundreds of people each year. At least 17,000 people worldwide were under sentence of death at the beginning of 2010.

The latest Amnesty Report in this context reads, “There were no reported executions in Afghanistan, Indonesia, Mongolia, Pakistan, Saint Kitts and Nevis and United Arab Emirates, although these countries were known to have carried out executions up to 2008 or 2009.

However, after a hiatus, Bahrain, Belarus, Equatorial Guinea, the Palestinian Authority, Somalia and Taiwan all carried out at least one execution in 2010. At least 527 executions were carried out in 2010.

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