Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire, sitting at the Labor Monument in Hart Plaza in downtown Detroit on September 27, 2008. (Photo: Alan Pollock)., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
'Evidence shows Davis was not guilty'
Interview with Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire.
To watch this interview just click on the website below:
Sun Sep 25, 2011 7:20AM GMT
Street protests continue in Georgia, USA over the alleged injustice of the state execution of a black man despite compelling evidence of his innocence.
Press TV talks with Abayomi Azikiwe, Pan-African journalist from Detroit, about the failure of people to uphold the US Constitution in regards to the legal rights and obligations in America. Following is a transcript of the interview.
Press TV: After no physical evidence was found and more than 70% of eye witnesses recanted their testimonies the Georgia supreme court did not reopen the case. Was this to save embarrassment for the Georgia police department or for them (US court system) to save face?
Abayomi Azikiwe: I think it was a travesty of justice - the execution of Troy Davis just three days ago. There was compelling evidence that he was not guilty. As you alluded to, 7 out of 9 witnesses in the case have recanted their testimony.
Also on the same day that he was executed another prisoner inside the prison system said that 'he' was the actual person that did the shooting of the police officer back in 1989.
The death penalty in the US historically has been disproportionately applied and implemented against people of color - against African Americans; against Latinos; against poor people in general.
I think this is a good example of the contradictions that exist in the US legal system and this eradicates any illusion that people inside the US or outside the US may have in regard to the fairness of the criminal justice system in this country.
There is no fairness. The fact that they would go ahead with an execution of someone who was not guilty despite the fact that over one million people had signed petitions demanding clemency; demanding a retrial; demanding the freedom of Troy Davis.
It just goes to show that this country does not function in a fair manner and it does not respond to the popular will of the people both internally as well as internationally.
Press TV: Juries stand for the legal premise of innocent until proven guilty and of course this means beyond all reasonable doubt - this was definitely not the case here. Isn't this hypocritical of the US government shouting land of the free and democracy for all?
Abayomi Azikiwe: They have no basis to criticize any other country any place else in the world. We have 2.5 million people incarcerated here in the US. The overwhelming majority of those people are people from the poor classes; working classes; from the African American and Latino communities here in the US. There are no rich people on death row here in the US.
Even the European Union criticized the US for the execution of Troy Davis. This exposes the fact that the US itself is a gross violator of human rights not only of people in Afghanistan and Iraq and Libya and other places throughout the world, but they violate the basic fundamental human rights as well as civil rights of people right inside the US.
The fourteenth amendment guarantees ostensibly the right to due process. The eighth amendment to the US Constitution prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. Both of those amendments to the US Constitution were violated in the case of Troy Davis so this is clearly another exposure for the US of its hypocrisy in relation to human rights.