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First of all, let me start by saying that I agree wholeheartedly that the DA and the police have commited practically every prosecutorial abuse possible here: biased line-up identification, interrogation and coercion of minors without their parents' presence, use of jail house snitches, staged re-enactments with witnesses, and pressure on witnesses to converge their stories.

However that doesn't mean Troy Davis is innocent.

If nothing else- please read the findings from the evidentiary trial ordered by the Supreme Court:
http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/...
http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/...

This document is a must-read regardless of where you stand on the case.

If you have time, the following links are also useful:
Contemporary news articles
A rather sniveling and self serving account by the prosecutor

I will just be brief and present my thoughts:

1. There were actually 3 shootings that night in that neighborhood of Savannah. A shooting at a pool party, a later shooting of Officer Macpheil at a Burger King parking lot, and then finally a drive by shooting at the pool party that was apparently a revenge shooting for the first shooting. Troy Davis had the bad luck to be present and implicated in the first two shootings.

2. While ballistics study on the actual bullets proves to be inconclusive, the DA claims that the shell casings from the two shooting scenes apparently matched. The defense does not appear to have an argument against the shell casing study.

3. The person fingered by the defense - Redd Coles - was not present at the pool party. Troy Davis was present at both the pool party and the Burger King parking lot.

4. One witness for the defense actually claims to have been present at all 3 shootings. Unfortunately his credibility was shot down in cross examination during the trial. The fact that the last 2 shootings happened within minutes of each other makes it an impossibility in any event. There is also no corroboration for this person's stories.

5. Much was said about the identification of Troy Davis. It is absolutely true that the prosecution has prejudiced the witnesses in every possible way prior to having them ID Troy Davis in the line-up. However as it turns out much of the state's case rests on the clothes Troy Davis was wearing that night - a white batman shirt with dark pants and most likely a hat; as opposed to the yellow shirt that Redd Coles was wearing.

6. The homeless man who was assaulted that evening insisted that he was blindsided by another person while he was arguing with Coles.

7. It is not true that the prosecution managed to intimidate the witnesses into giving false testimonies during the trial. They managed to get the various witnesses to sign their statements during the investigations (some of the witnesses were functional illiterates), but during the trial quite a few witnesses actually openly testified that they were coerced by the police into identifying Davis. So this is nothing new. It is already understood by the jury (7 blacks/ 5 whites) that the police were up to their usual bullying tactics. But even if you discount all of the testimonies regarding the positive identification of Davis' face, you are still left with the identification of Davis' shirt, and the placement of Davis at both crime scenes.

8. Troy Davis' defense team absolutely shot their own credibility by refusing to call even one of those recanting witnesses to the stand during the evidentiary trial. Nor did they call Coles to the stand even though their defense relies heavily on fingering Cole as the shooter.

9. Troy Davis claimed to have turned and run away as soon as he heard Officer Macpheil say 'Halt'. Why would he run away if he, as he claims, has no involvement in either the pool party shooting, or the Burger King beating? He didn't stop running neither-  he went out of town for 4 days after the incidence, and didn't return to turn himself in until the police started putting his face on every lamp post.

10. In contrast Coles voluntarily spoke to the police the very next morning after.

I understand people are emotional and upset after this execution. I find absolutely no joy in Troy Davis' execution even if I remain unconvinced of his innocence. Nor am I particularly impressed with the criminal justice system. However as progressives, we really have to be careful about expending our political capital in pursuing these types of cases. Unless we really have solid proof of his innocence, we really shouldn't go around proclaiming things like "the State of Georgia just murdered an innocent man", etc. Surely you remember the Duke Lacrosse rape case and the Jenna 6 case which became cause-celebre for the left, but turned out to be completely bogus (Duke case) or far more nuanced and disturbing than reported (Jenna 6 case). This is how we lose credibility with the voters.

As an aside - as a diary host, I need to add, all my diaries are no-holds-barred free speech zones. As KPFA's Larry Bensky used to say to his callers "You want to disagree? Well, you came to the right place."

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Comment Preferences

  •  Yeah, this helps (24+ / 0-)

    Posting this when you know people are feeling upset? Fuck.

    There is no belief, however foolish, that will not gather its faithful adherents who will defend it to the death. -- Isaac Asimov

    by tytalus on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 08:02:17 AM PDT

  •  And Others Care (12+ / 0-)

    About where your comin from, After the State killed him??????

    Why would you post up now?!?!

    CCR:"If you're a torturer, be careful in your travel plans. It's a slow process for accountability, but we keep going."

    by jimstaro on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 08:05:22 AM PDT

  •  OH brother (27+ / 0-)

    While this may not hit all of our buttons for a worst diary. Your timing on it is so piss poor that we are left with little choice, but to consider it as one of today's WDC entries

    The WDC Judges.

    PS I am going to suggest you consider taking it down and maybe republishing some time way way in the future.

    Republicans 2012 . . . Keeping millions out of work to put one man out of a job.

    by jsfox on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 08:05:59 AM PDT

  •  Most folks would have been thrilled with (31+ / 0-)

    commutation to life in prison, pending some REAL review of the supporters issues, namely the recanting of 7 of 9 witnesses.

    The POINT is that there was MORE than "reasonable doubt" and Georgia more or less systematically ignored it, not due in the least to the abject racism of the Dirty South.

    PS: ugh.

    Republicans HATE America. Deal with it. / It's the PLUTONOMY, Stupid!

    by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 08:08:07 AM PDT

    •  They had a real review. (10+ / 0-)

      Four of the "recanters" testified at an evidentiary hearing before a judge; the other three submitted affidavits (so they couldn't be cross-examined; one of the three was dead).

      •  in an ideal system, problems and inequities (5+ / 0-)

        are self correcting and if not, are corrected during the appeals process.  In this case, it seems that if Troy Davis were tried today, there is no guarantee that the same inequities would not occur again.  Putting aside the issue of individual guilt or innocence, a system which does not correct itself or is not corrected in the appeals process is an abusive system which is incapable of justice for anyone  

        •  I am not sure what that means (16+ / 0-)

          The judge heard all of the testimony and evidence last year which Davis sought to present. He didn't believe it was sufficiently compelling to raise reasonable doubt.

          Look: I'm no fan of the death penalty, but I think it's hubris to privilege our own review of one-sided news clippings over a 177-page judicial decision.

          •  I am not a criminal attorney (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Xapulin, Actbriniel

            thus I ask this question:  On review of new evidence for purposes of a new trial, does the appellate court have to consider if the new evidence passes the "reasonable doubt" standard or something lesser -- e.g. "preponderance of the evidence" to trigger a new trial?  

            My limited understanding is that the appellate consideration of new evidence is whether or not that new evidence was sufficient enough to require a new trial for the jury to decide if the new evidence affected their determination of the reasonable doubt standard.

            Vi er alle norske " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

            by gchaucer2 on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 08:38:45 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I have observed the Southern judicial system (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bozepravde15, raincrow

            over the decades and have very little confidence in its ability to achieve any measure of justice for anyone who is in the system.  The whole death penalty issue has so many inequities that it is almost impossible to envision a system where a millionaire is at equal risk of execution as the poorest, least educated, most reprehensible among us.

            I have known some jurors who were impaneled on death penalty cases and their reasons for their votes seemed capricious  

            •  Don't talk "Southern judicial system" (9+ / 0-)

              The review last year was by a federal judge appointed by Bill Clinton.

              •  Rickey Ray Rector. n/t (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Adam B

                "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

                by Loge on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 08:44:51 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  And a Florida jury freed Casey Anthony. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                erush1345

                As a person who not only watched the trial but also reviewed every transcript and other evidence, even that not presented at trial, I can come to no other conclusion than that Anthony was responsible for her child's death.  

                Blaming "southerners" for the Davis outcome is a despicable form of faux elitism by ignorant folks who are unfamiliar with the specifics of the case and whose opinions have only negative value.

                "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

                by Neuroptimalian on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 09:57:29 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  so, your argument (0+ / 0-)

                  is that a Southern jury is willing to apply a robust definition of reasonable doubt in the case of a young, slightly attractive white lady and this means that they would have done the same for a black man?

                  That said, Philadelphia has an appalling record on the death penalty.

                  "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

                  by Loge on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 10:36:15 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  No, I'm saying that ... (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Adam B, erush1345

                    lumping all southerners together for the purposes of determining their mindset is as stupid as lumping together the members of any other group for the purposes for establishing a stereotype which supports one's position.

                    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

                    by Neuroptimalian on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 11:12:44 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  as I have stated in the past, I can trace my (0+ / 0-)

                      family to this particular section of SC to preceding the Revolutionary War and can trace our family land ownership to specific tracts to before the Civil War.  My children are the fourth generation on this land and we can trace interrupted ownership of some tracts to the 1880s.

                       If that length of residency does not give me some sort of vested interest in being able to criticize the judicial system here, then I do not know when such an interest begins to accrue.  If Southerners cannot criticize their systems then at what point do we begin trying to reform them?

                      •  Three problems. (0+ / 0-)

                        You're speaking to a Georgian with a career in law who doesn't stereotype.

                        "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

                        by Neuroptimalian on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 10:20:50 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  so only Georgians with law degrees can (0+ / 0-)

                          comment on the Southern justice system?  Of course, while this invalidates my comments, it also invalidates Neal Boortz' opinion.  I still think you set the bar too high or perhaps set it in such a way as to make useful discussion impossible

            •  Certainly Tennessee is a disaster and a disgrace (0+ / 0-)

              an has to be palling around with Georgia near the bottom of the barrel. Alabama and NC seem to have their act together a little bit.

          •  I submit the problem (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            raincrow, T100R

            is the legal standard used for review.  Not the existence of reasonable doubt as a metaphysical matter but the possibility of it should be what counts.  Anyway, I'd be willing to treat the very existence of recanted testimony as a Brady violation in this case.  The prosecution disclosed they weren't quite reliable but didn't disclose they'd eventually feel the need to recant.  Which is of course a complete perversion of Brady law but the point is to find a way for the legal system to say, if you want to kill someone, get your ducks in line.

            It's also a bit of hubris on the judge's part, no, to assume not just what a jury would find, but what it could find, and then the rest of the legal system assumes the judge got it right because he's "closer to the facts."  The interest in finality in most criminal cases makes this appropriate, but capital cases need to (a) not exist but (b) have some kind of redundancy mechanism.  What works for most cases  (limited appellate review of facts and credibility) doesn't work for capital ones, which is the point I take entlord to make.  Of course this logic assumes the conclusion, which is that there were severe problems with Davis's case.  If you don't want to use that example, there are plenty more.  

            "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

            by Loge on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 08:44:23 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  We need some useful take-away from this failure (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            icemilkcoffee

            When you have an advocacy campaign and you fail, it's probably a good moment to re-evaluate your strategy.  My problem here is that advocacy about specific cases of huge injustice gets muddied by overall objections to the death penalty.  Whatever you think of those overall objections, they're not helpful in appealing to the public and to public officials who are committed to the death penalty but, we hope, don't want to execute someone who's innocent.  We're raising the bar too high for the support we need to save someone like Davis.  

            I would suggest future advocacy--because we know there will be other such cases--that's somewhat more explciit in saying this isn't about the death penalty, it's about the specific case.  

            The Rent Is Too Damn High Party feels that if you want to marry a shoe, I'll marry you. --Jimmy McMillan

            by Rich in PA on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 08:48:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The takeaway is that we join the rest of (5+ / 0-)

              the Western Hemisphere, the northern half of Eurasia, Oz/NZ, and most of Africa in abolishing the death penalty.

              And for right-wing ears that can hear:

              AFAIK, the U.S. is the only remaining majority-Christian nation on Earth that has not abolished the death penalty either outright or for crimes other than crimes in wartime. That right there is a bumpersticker IMO.

            •  That's a false choice (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              tytalus

              my concern was always more about the death penalty than a particular case.  Two of the flaws in our death system are that it's too easy for an innocent person to be put down and is applied in a racially biased manner.  Debating the death penalty in the abstract just winds up with spinning wheels.

              Also, was the goal necessarily to save Troy Davis.  That was always a tall order.  But if more people come to see the death penalty as irrevocably flawed because of the problems in this case, the advocacy wasn't wasted.

              "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

              by Loge on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 10:39:18 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Agreed. Death Penalty advocates are forever (0+ / 0-)

              casting doubts on every single death penalty case that comes down the line. This is "crying wolf". It just muddies the water such that when a real problematic case comes along, noone will pay attention anymore.

              It is also disengeniuos. If you want to argue for abolotion, then fine- go ahead and argue for the abolition of death penalty, based on its own merits.

              •  Arguing in the abstract is a no-winner (0+ / 0-)

                The person in the street can and does shrug it off with "No skin off my ass". It's when you put a face and a name to the cause that they start to pay attention.

                And, frankly, all death penalty verdicts ARE suspect because they are handed down capriciously - this one gets death, that one gets locked up for life, the other one gets forty years with possible parole. If we cannot have a uniform standard for the death penalty - and it seems we cannot, because there are always too many variables - then we might as well replace it with "life without parole", where we can have a (mostly) uniform standard, plus the possibility of an Undo in the case of miscarriage of justice.

                There is no Undo with the death penalty.

                If it's
                Not your body
                Then it's
                Not your choice
                AND it's
                None of your damn business!

                by TheOtherMaven on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 12:55:02 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  It wasn't reasonable doubt (0+ / 0-)

            The standard was higher:

            After a federal hearing last year, ordered by the US Supreme Court, District Court Judge William Moore ruled that Troy Davis had failed to show "by clear and convincing evidence that no reasonable juror would have convicted him in the light of the new evidence" to emerge since his 1991 trial.
            Judge Moore concluded that "Mr Davis is not innocent" under this "extraordinarily high standard", although acknowledging that the new evidence cast "some additional, minimal" doubt on the conviction.

            When shit happens, you get fertilized.

            by ramara on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 09:02:05 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  This means showing reasonable doubt (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ramara

              was the only possible outcome, and by a tough evidentiary standard.  As long as the possibility exists that the non-recanting witnesses could have been deemed more credible,
              the goose is cooked.

              I've suggested a few different ideas, but maybe the review should be similar to a preliminary hearing.  If they had to do it over again, would the courts even let it go to trial?  That is, could the state actually present evidence sufficient to overcome the presumption of innocence.  

              This wouldn't work for most criminal cases, but I truly believe capital cases should be special and have built in redundancy where it's the state actively taking someone's life.  

              "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

              by Loge on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 10:42:56 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  That is interesting (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Loge

                I'm not sure Davis was innocent.  But I am less sure that he was guilty.  That seems enough reason for not putting him to death.

                The death penalty is extraordinary because there is no undoing an error.  So I like the idea of something like showing another preliminary hearing.

                When shit happens, you get fertilized.

                by ramara on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 01:51:45 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  Wait- which 4 recanters testified? (0+ / 0-)

        I gotta run now- but can you tell me which 4 testified?

    •  I would be fine with life sentence too (0+ / 0-)

      Also- there has indeed been review of the recantations. Read the first two links I gave there. Troy Davis' defense failed to call even one of those recanters to the stand to be cross examined. One of the recanter was so unco-operative she refused to go to a notary to have her recantation notarized. Other recanters were just summarily recanting without shedding any more light into how they were pressured into lying in the first place. Nor were there any well corroborated stories among the recanters.

  •  I see. (8+ / 0-)

    My only experience with this diarist has been when s/he tried to minimize anti-Semitism in some recent comments, and from Hiddens. Now a dead man, executed at the hands of the State of Georgia of all places to universal moral revulsion, is probably guilty, per this person.

    I sniff troll.

    Fuck me, it's a leprechaun.

    by MBNYC on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 08:09:43 AM PDT

  •  Is this the new standard ... (24+ / 0-)

    ... for state-sponsored murder?

    "unconvinced of his innocence"?

    An extraordinary penalty, in my view, demands an extraordinary standard of proof.

    No murder weapon, no forensic evidence, crappy defense lawyers, a black man who turns to flee from the cops (!!!), one witness more than 120 feet away, all of them peering through the dark, others recanting right and left and the i.d. of shirts of yellow or white at night and you take a guy's life?

    Nothing in the record of this case convinces me that the death penalty should have been applied.

    •  The flaws are twofold (6+ / 0-)

      First, the use of the death penalty at all.

      Second, the application of the standard that the defense at trial was merely adequate and the trial judge didn't make any obvious mistakes and that there was sufficient evidence a jury could reasonably believe what it concluded.  This works for appeals and collateral attacks on most sentences, but not life and death.  

      I'm of the view that the death penalty can't be saved, but if the state wanted to make a go of it, it should make sure the trials were absolutely above reproach.  Put the best prosecutor to assist as defense counsel and have the rookie prosecute.  

      "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

      by Loge on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 08:20:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  mmmm... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        penguins4peace

        "best prosecutor as defense counsel"? Prosecutors are not criminal defense lawyers, and believe me, having tried 100 criminal cases, good defense lawyers can run circles around the "best" prosecutors. What is required is good lawyers, adequate time and money. Then you get due process.

        •  well, i said assisting. (0+ / 0-)

          a lot of the best defense counsel did time in a D.A.'s office.  Either way, the state shouldn't need a Jack McCoy, but the case should be so air tight the traffic court dudes, or a transactional lawyer drafted off the street should be able to handle it.  

          "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

          by Loge on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 08:47:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

            and you may not believe it, but there are prosecutors in this world that will dismiss a case if they feel reasonable doubt exists, rather than "give it a shot" with a jury. probably not in Georgia though.

    •  Except there was physical evidence (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rcnewton, erush1345

      in the form of the shell casing from the two shootings.

      Also- the faraway witness (incidentally also the person who called the police to report the crime) had already seen an altercation between Davis and Macpheil earlier that evening at 6pm (the murder happened ~ 1am)

  •  In addition to extremely bad (31+ / 0-)

    timing, you're hitting a straw man here. It's not that people were convinced of his innocence -- I didn't hear much of that at all -- but rather, they were convinced there was reasonable doubt.

    I don't know if he did it (I'd call it 50/50, based on my read of the record). But I sure as hell know with every fiber of my being that he shouldn't be dead this morning. And that's the point.

    With every goddess a let down, every idol a bring down, it gets you down / but the search for perfection, your own predilection, goes on and on and on. . .

    by cardinal on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 08:12:12 AM PDT

    •  Well put (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cardinal, lgmcp, rcnewton, Loge

      I'm not convinced of his innocence either.  Frankly, I have neither the time nor inclination to study the case in enough depth to convince myself one way or the other.

      I am convinced that some innocent people are executed by the US justice system, and I consider even one to be an unacceptable cost for the dubious benefits provided by killing those who are guilty.

      Numbers are like people . . . Torture them enough and they'll tell you anything.

      by Actuary4Change on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 08:48:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Re hitting a straw man (3+ / 0-)

      Language stating actual innocence, as opposed to possible innocence or reasonable doubt,  HAS been thrown around in regards to this case, and in that respect I think the diarist's point is justified.  

      Certainly a majority of those opposing this execution emphasize the reasonable doubt aspect.  But some are less circumspect, and it's fair to address them.  

      "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

      by lgmcp on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 09:09:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Fine. I have no disagreement there (4+ / 0-)

      My main point of contention is with the people who are glibly using the word 'innocent'

      •  The word "innocent" (0+ / 0-)

        in the legal system, as you well know, means "not proven guilty."  If you don't accept the jury verdict as legitimate, then the state hasn't proven Davis guilty, therefore he should remain entitled to the presumption of innocence.

        That's not quite the same as asserting "he didn't do it," though you should surely concede on the available evidence, sketchy as it is either way, one could easily reach that conclusion.  I wasn't there, and the state didn't, in my view, make its case.  The appellate review and review on remand were too curtailed, so hardly a vindication of the original points.  The judge conceded the existence of doubt in light of new evidence, but the procedural burdens were just too stacked against Davis.  How an ability to overcome that hurdle is a point in favor of the idea the initial jury might have got it right is exactly the same mistake the entire legal system makes in capital cases.

        How about the "dying declaration" he made, which would be admissible hearsay?  

        "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

        by Loge on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 10:47:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am focused on factual innocence here (0+ / 0-)

          I am not a lawyer- so I don't want to get into a jargon heavy discussion of legal terms. I just want to say, as a layman I am unconvinced of Davis' innocence. To accept Davis' claim that Coles did the crime, requires all kinds of coincidences and appeal to 'grand conspiracies' which for me would veer into the territory of conspiracy theory.

          Likewise, the trial jury of 7 black and 5 whites were similarly convinced that Davis was guilty, despite having heard about the various police miconducts that have already come to light, even at the first trial.

  •  Timing (19+ / 0-)

    You don't haz it.

    We view "The Handmaid's Tale" as cautionary. The GOP views it as an instruction book.

    by Vita Brevis on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 08:12:21 AM PDT

  •  Just because it's Thursday... (8+ / 0-)

    ...doesn't mean you should give in to the dark side, kid.

    Arguing for an execution after the fact won't earn you any friends here.

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 08:13:54 AM PDT

  •  hmmm, so the teabaggers aren't (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    esquimaux, commonmass, hester, Loge

    the only ones to applaud executions.

    d'ohh!

  •  Just my two cents (24+ / 0-)

    Determining guilt or innocence is not done through articles or memos or briefs -- it is done in a court of law before a judge and 12 person jury which receives all the unvarnished facts (as much as possible) presented by both a prosecutor and a competent defense attorney or team.  

    This did not happen in Davis's case on two levels -- the eye witness testimony was tainted and from many accounts, Davis did not receive a vigorous defense.  He did not receive a re-trial after the recantation of 7 of 9 witnesses.  He only had the appeal and parole board process based on the one and only trial "evidence."

    No one can finally determine guilt or innocence outside of a trial -- even though, in some cases, gross errors and out right lies are used as a foundation for a jury's deliberations.  (see, e.g. Todd Willingham).

    With the subsequent affidavits and a competent defense team, reaching a verdict beyond a reasonable doubt remains uncertain.  You are not in a position, therefore, to determine guilt or innocence of Troy Davis.  None of us are.  The only two things we are in a position to evaluate are:  1.  The trial was fatally flawed; and 2.  the death penalty for even the most heinous murderer is still barbaric.

    Vi er alle norske " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 08:15:57 AM PDT

    •  Hear, hear, friend! n/t (7+ / 0-)

      Capitalism may be our enemy, but it is also our teacher. --V.I. Lenin equalitymaine.org

      by commonmass on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 08:33:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My opposition to (6+ / 0-)

        the death penalty has been sorely tested many, many times.  Right now, I'm following the Komisarjevsky trial in the Connecticut Petit murders.  Probably the most heinous case in this state -- rape of a mother and an 11 year old, murder by fire.  I completely understand Dr. Petit's desire for the death penalty for the two psychopaths -- I wouldn't fault him for killing both of them himself -- but exceptions shouldn't be the rule.  Lethal injection (maybe 20 years hence or not at all because CT wants to abolish the death penalty) will not heal Dr. Petit for his loss and memories of what was done to his family.

        Vi er alle norske " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

        by gchaucer2 on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 08:47:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Really gchaucer2? Can you determine what (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mr Bungle 34, erush1345

          will or will not heal Dr. Petit's pain?

          Please understand that unless you've been in a similar situation, you don't and shouldn't assume what will or will not be.

          Also, there were 3 murder victims, not 2. The mother and 2 daughters were shown no mercy.

          I'm a woman of color, who grew up in the north (Detroit, Michigan)

          by Boris Badenov on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 10:27:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't see "right to closure" (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Loge, Tonedevil

            anywhere in the Constitution.

            I'm not opposed to a little death penalty here and there, but not as a balm for the victim's family.

          •  one may get pleasure (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Tonedevil

            out of seeing the death of an evil person who did you harm, but it won't heal the soul.  Anyway, the purpose of the legal system isn't vengeance.

            I wrestle with capital punishment in cases of treason that arise to actual acts of war against the U.S.  The death penalty is abhorrent but if the U.S. could bring military force to bear within the laws of war, it might be able to kill in that sense.  (That would pretty much be limited to someone like Benedict Arnold -- not even the Rosenbergs would rise to that standard.)  Even still, it doesn't make execution an actual good idea, since there's the opportunity to not kill those people.  Moral justification is the beginning, not the end of the discussion.

            "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

            by Loge on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 10:52:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Davis' defense did in fact question the witnesses (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mr Bungle 34, erush1345

      pretty vigorously, enoughly so that quite a few of the witnesses said outright that they were pressed by the police to identify Davis' face. They also called 5 witnesses of their own and put Davis on the stand. There was no problem with the defense lawyer falling asleep or any other sign of gross negligence.

      You are right that the police procedures were flawed. However it's not clear that the first trial was 'fatally flawed'.

      You know what was flawed? The way the Troy Davis defense presented their case in the evidentiary hearing. The fact that they did not see fit to even call ONE of the affidavit signers to the stand to be cross-examined completely ruined their credibility.

  •  For me it has nothing to do with solid proof of (7+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife, commonmass, Ginger1, JeffW, Xapulin, Margd, Loge

    his innocence.  He was killed without what I would consider solid proof of his guilt.  But until we insist on a judicial system that is just for all, this is what we have to live with.

    The GOP will destroy anything they can't own.

    by AnnieR on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 08:16:48 AM PDT

  •  Not convinced of his innocence? (11+ / 0-)

    You've got it a bit backwards, don't you think?

    Put yourself in his place.

    And your timing is... whatever.  I'll censor myself for the rest of it.

  •  I really tried (20+ / 0-)

    I tried to read this with an open mind.  I really did.  I wanted to see someone, ANYONE, explain away the recanted testimonies, the alleged confession by one of the original accusers... anything.

    Then I read this:

    9. Troy Davis claimed to have turned and run away as soon as he heard Officer Macpheil say 'Halt'. Why would he run away if he, as he claims, has no involvement...

    You've obviously never been black in the presence of one of more apparently pissed off police officers.  I guarantee you that I would have run like a bat out of hell.  AND did so, in my youth.

    In 2010, I paid more taxes than General Electric.

    by GrogInOhio on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 08:18:15 AM PDT

    •  it's not as though issues of white privilege (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tytalus

      don't come up now and again on here.

      "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

      by Loge on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 08:22:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Did you hide out of town for days? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rcnewton, erush1345

      That was the part of the diary that I think made his point more valid. And you left it out of your comment. Shit, I'm white and I ran from cops many times in my youth. But I sure as hell never left town after it. Probably because I never had a reason to.

      Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

      by bigtimecynic on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 09:09:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  He also ran out of town for 4 days (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rcnewton, Catte Nappe

      without talking to the police. It's not the individual facts but the totality of the facts and circumstances that point to his likely involvement.

      By the way- did you read the first link? That is a thorough examination of the alleged recantations. Read it first before anything else please.

  •  Why would someone run from the police? (6+ / 0-)

    I don't know.  Maybe so they don't get charged for a crime they didn't commit.  In case you didn't notice when there are crime sprees the police have to arrest someone to calm the fears of the public.  Doesn't matter who they arrest.

    •  also, for exercise. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tytalus

      this is about the dumbest comment I've ever read on here.  

      "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

      by Loge on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 08:23:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you. (0+ / 0-)

        I assume you have plenty of experience with the police.

        •  i don't, (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Adam B, commonmass, tytalus, janmtairy

          but i've paid attention the first 1,000 times white privilege got discussed.

          In law school clinic I also represented a kid whose crime was running for the police but not fast enough.  

          I meant the diarists's comment, not yours.  Sorry if that was unclear.

          "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

          by Loge on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 08:28:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ah (0+ / 0-)

            You don't have to be black to get nervous around police.  I've had white friends roughed up by cops on power trips.  I've had cops roll up on me for walking on a sidewalk at night, and I'm white.  You never know when they will be looking for someone in a white shirt because only the criminal they are looking for can legally have a white shirt.

            •  well, my experience is (0+ / 0-)

              that when you need the cops to do something (like if you've had something stolen), that's when they choose to be all by the book.  

              "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

              by Loge on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 08:49:28 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  He doesn't have to convince anyone he's (6+ / 0-)

    innocent.   The law says they have to prove his guilt beyond a shadow of a doubt.    That didn't happen.  

    Does this diary have a point?  If so, I'm missing it.

    Yes we can, but he won't.

    by dkmich on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 08:21:44 AM PDT

    •  well, the state did and it didn't (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      T100R

      either way, this nicely illustrates why it's not good that capital defendants have to prove their innocence in post-trial proceedings.  A lot of false positives that way.

      "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

      by Loge on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 08:31:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why the hurry to execute him? (0+ / 0-)

        Why the refusal to look at evidence?   Just how does that equal justice?    Was a complete travesty, just like Bush and Cheney walking the streets.

        Yes we can, but he won't.

        by dkmich on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 10:30:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  i don't disagree (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Justanothernyer

          but as a factual matter, the state did "prove" it in front of the original jury.  That initial verdict is given too much deference on appeal, in my view.  The tragedy here is this is what can happen when someone gets a legally "fair" trial, as in, the judge made no obvious prejudical error and the defense counsel met the minimum legal standards of adequacy.

          "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

          by Loge on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 10:57:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  There isn't an ounce of justice (0+ / 0-)

            in the criminal justice system.   Everybody is a piece of meat, a notch on the bed post, fuck em all.   And when they are on the receiving end, they buy their way out.    It is amazing anybody obeys any laws.

            Yes we can, but he won't.

            by dkmich on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 11:07:02 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  What On Earth is the Point of This? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, Loge, tytalus, tardis10

    Who ever said you needed to be convinced of anything?  Are you Clarence Thomas?

  •  I'm not either (5+ / 0-)

    And it doesn't matter.  There's enough doubt that we should shrink from the horror of a state killing an innocent man.

    Wrong in Abu Ghraib, wrong in Georgia.

    We get what we want - or what we fail to refuse. - Muhammad Yunus

    by nightsweat on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 08:25:39 AM PDT

  •  Are you convinced of Troy Davis' guilt beyond a (5+ / 0-)

    reasonable doubt?

    THAT is the legal standard. NOT is he innocent.

    Gasoline made from the tar sands gives a Toyota Prius the same impact on climate as a Hummer using gasoline made from oil. ~ Al Gore

    by Lefty Coaster on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 08:26:17 AM PDT

    •  Unfortunately, the Supreme Court (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BradyB, bozepravde15, fritzrth

      ruled some time ago that actual guilt or innocence is not a factor in incarceration (I'm not sure if that holds true for the death penalty) as long as there were no legal flaws in the trial. So, innocence can be established but as long as the person was convicted in an unflawed process, the state may continue to incarcerate an innocent man.

      Boy is our justice system messed up.

      Capitalism may be our enemy, but it is also our teacher. --V.I. Lenin equalitymaine.org

      by commonmass on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 08:30:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  which case? (0+ / 0-)

        curious to see....

        or any links?

        •  Troy Davis' case--here's Scalia's quote (0+ / 0-)
          “This court has never held that the Constitution forbids the execution of a convicted defendant who has had a full and fair trial but is later able to convince a habeas court that he is ‘actually’ innocent. Quite to the contrary, we have repeatedly left that question unresolved, while expressing considerable doubt that any claim based on alleged ‘actual innocence’ is constitutionally cognizable.”
          (My emphasis)

          http://www.thedailybeast.com/...
          http://www.talkleft.com/...
          http://www.talkleft.com/...

          •  blimey. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            marina

            but isn't that a dissent?

            sounds like he's suggesting that a 'full and fair trial' is perfectly acceptable if it send someone to death, but a 'full and fair trial' is impossible if it represents a retrial that could get someone off of death row.

            seems insane...but then Scalia's crazy.

            •  That's the argument Justice Blackmun (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              marina

              made in Herrera v. Collins, which did explicitly hold as Scalia is suggesting.  He noted the majority's concern with whether a retrial would be fair was absurd, because the question was whether the initial trial was fair enough to justify imposing the death penalty.

              "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

              by Loge on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 10:58:58 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  It is the legal standard on the appeals, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, Jackson L Haveck

      but the appeals assume the correctness of the first trial's verdict unless there is a procedural error or evidence of innocence that is admittedly a bit stronger than what Davis was able to present -- for the same reasons it was very hard to prove he was guilty (eyewitness identifications, etc.).  I think capital cases require a standard of appellate scrutiny beyond asking whether the trial was merely fair.  

      "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

      by Loge on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 08:33:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If I said, yes, I am (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Justanothernyer, icemilkcoffee

      would that be considered poor form?

      I don't think he should have been executed but I think he was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. More importantly 12 people who saw the prosecution and defense did as well.

      "How do you get everything you want in life? Want less." Uncle Bob

      by 2dimeshift on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 09:09:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I am reasaonably convinced based on the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rcnewton

      witnesses' very initial statements when they were first questioned by the police the very morning after the midnight murder.

      The latter statements were tainted by police shenanigans. But those early statements do in fact point to Davis' guilt. And worst of all- they paint a fairly consistent picture. The stories corroborate each other fairly well.

      •  Then answer this question (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lefty Coaster

        even assuming that's the case, do you agree that it should be Davis's burden to show the existence of reasonable doubt by clear and convincing evidence in order to secure a retrial?  

        I think that's too high a standard, and the fact is nobody will ever know what a jury would find if he got a second bite at the apple.  All we know is one federal judge determined on the basis of a cold record that he might have still been convicted.  Might is not the same as would.  (This is not the same question of did the district court follow the law as told to by the SCOTUS.  But even still, I suspect even under this standard, allowing a new trial wouldn't have been reversible error.)  

        "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

        by Loge on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 11:05:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Fuck you (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    esquimaux, tytalus, bozepravde15

    diarist. Really.

    (I learned that trick from Weatherdude. I have been DYING to try it out.)

    But seriously, this is really not the right time. Not for this diary.

    Capitalism may be our enemy, but it is also our teacher. --V.I. Lenin equalitymaine.org

    by commonmass on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 08:27:58 AM PDT

  •  Two words (8+ / 0-)

    Reasonable doubt.

    Scoreboard: Marriages personally won by me, 1. Marriages personally destroyed by me, 0.

    by Steven Payne on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 08:28:15 AM PDT

  •  If I knew that I was going to die and with my (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, JTinDC, Lupin

    last breath said.."I am innocent" and he claiming to be a man of belief.....thinking he was meeting his maker within minutes......I don't think a lie would be the thing I would say.   Now....that alone would convince we folks of faith of his innocense...He knew he was a dead man.
    What did he have to gain by maintaining his innocense?
    Nothing.  That is the  human divine moral aspect of it..the other is they had reasonable doubt....and Ga can twist things the way they want it. I believe 100 percent he was innocent on the first reason alone.  He maintained it with a dying death bed statement.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 08:29:27 AM PDT

    •  He actually said he did not 'personally kill' (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mr Bungle 34

      Macpheil. Why did he emphasize "personally"?

      In any event- lots of inmates swear to their innocence.  That is unfortunately not a good test.

      •  'personally' (0+ / 0-)

        My opposition has been to death penalty, not his innocence or guilt. So the possible awkward (or telling) word choice doesn't bother me.

        At the time he spoke the works, It could be that there was an opportunity, the way he remembers it, where he could have defused the situation so the security guard doesn't run up and get killed.

        Davis was also very religious (for which I'm glad, I think it helped keep his sanity), and I think he was talking to God as much as to the witnesses, and the bar there about speaking Truth would have been very high for him, so I think it plausible he would say "personally" if he felt he had any culpability of a way he could have prevented the death.

        Unfortunately, we can't ask him. :-( But that he didn't seem scared to go to his maker, that's an indicator to me.

        Giving birth (giving life) should be a gift not an obligation or women and poor people are 2nd class by definition

        by julifolo on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 10:29:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  iirc, our system of justice requires (6+ / 0-)

    the state to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt and not the defendant proving innocence.

  •  This is dumbest defense of murder I've ever read (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, marina, esquimaux

    All of the evidence may not convince you of his innocence, but none of it convinces me of his guilt.  Your main defense of the states decision to murder this man is that his defense attorneys sucked ass in providing him with an adequate defense.

    And in answer to your question, why does a black man run away when the police shout halt . . . ? wtf

    Too many black men have been shot to death by white cops with trigger fingers to trust their chances if they do halt.  In most of the shooting deaths the black man was unarmed and surrendering to police, but the police just . . . . mysteriously thought he had a gun in his hand.

    If someone told you to stop, and you had a high probability expectation that they would shoot you if you did, would you stop?

    The only thing we have to fear is fear itself - FDR. Obama Nation. -6.13 -6.15

    by ecostar on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 08:32:59 AM PDT

  •  I like your diary (1+ / 2-)
    Recommended by:
    icemilkcoffee
    Hidden by:
    hey mister, Jackson L Haveck

    I always thought it was pretty big of Michael Moore when he admitted that "Mumia probably killed that cop". From all I read Troy Davis was no choir boy and probably did this too. I will never understand how people latch on to protecting these creeps when their are so many other more deserving causes out there. I mean, did hunger, poverty, etc go away today? But that doesn't stop countless hours and resources being wasted on a man who killed a cop for chrissakes. Disgusting!

    •  I'm sorry that you find (7+ / 0-)

      time and effort spent trying to save someone, anyone's life, a waste.

      There is no belief, however foolish, that will not gather its faithful adherents who will defend it to the death. -- Isaac Asimov

      by tytalus on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 08:46:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  when a state government (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tytalus, janmtairy

        artificially accelerates the end of someone's life, that matters a great deal, even when it's also doing the same but slower by allowing conditions of poverty to persist.  I think much of the objections come from the fact that we try to pride ourselves as a nation on the rule of law, but our capital punishment jurisprudence reveals it to be a sick joke in that instance.

        "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

        by Loge on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 08:51:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You just said it yourself (10+ / 0-)
      From all I read Troy Davis was no choir boy and probably did this too.

      "Probably" shouldn't ever be a good enough reason to sentence a man to death.

      Scoreboard: Marriages personally won by me, 1. Marriages personally destroyed by me, 0.

      by Steven Payne on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 08:48:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The problem here, (5+ / 0-)

      as  even you state "probably killed that cop." Probably is not certainly and there was enough uncertainty to suggest that the death penalty should be taken off the table until there was zero doubt.

      You don't execute someone because you think they did it. You do it, if ever, because you know without a shadow of doubt they did it.

      Republicans 2012 . . . Keeping millions out of work to put one man out of a job.

      by jsfox on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 08:49:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Can you tell me when (7+ / 0-)

      "probably" became the standard ? I must have missed the update to "beyond a reasonable doubt".

      We view "The Handmaid's Tale" as cautionary. The GOP views it as an instruction book.

      by Vita Brevis on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 08:51:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  How many innocent people may the state kill? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      beltane, Catte Nappe, Tonedevil, fizziks

      If this is your attitude, then you are willing to let the state kill some innocent people.

      I have no idea whether Troy Davis is innocent or guilty.  All I know is that I do not want to live in a country that kills innocent people, and until we achieve perfect justice (i.e. never), we need to abolish the death penalty.

      If you don't think that is a worthy cause, how many innocent people may the state kill before you think its a problem.

      Numbers are like people . . . Torture them enough and they'll tell you anything.

      by Actuary4Change on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 08:52:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Unfortunately Davis... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fizziks

      ...not "probably" die.

      OVER HERE: AN AMERICAN EXPAT IN THE SOUTH OF FRANCE, is now available on Amazon US

      by Lupin on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 09:11:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Obvious troll is obvious. Hide on sight. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Catte Nappe, GoGoGoEverton, Tonedevil

      Funny thing that the first comment in support of the diarist is from a troll:

      In defense of the BART shooting, he blames the victim and blows the "thug" whistle:

      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      The one cops aggressiveness caused the shooting cops agressivness. What about the initial agressiveness. Thats the movie I'm waiting to see.

      Fact is, the only way to get these thugs to behave themselves is to go a little Vic Mackey on them

      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      Just found this video of it all from a reverse angle. Be sure to note all the thugs and how they be creepin up on the cops.

      And then a pretty standard racist screed against the black community:

      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      As an adult I've moved to the city. Since then I've become a realist- not a racist. It all started when I worked as a server. It is just a fact that if the odds of the customer being rude, trying to run a scam to get free food, and ultimately getting stiffed on a tip went through the roof if the patron was black. I'm talking an astronomical amount.

      Getting treated rudely is really the least of your problems if you live among black people though.  I have seen behavior that is totally unacceptable on such a daily basis it doesn't even faze me anymore. I have learned to be very cautious. Theft and violence are rampant. My old childhood trailer park wasn't like this despite comparable incomes.

      ---
      I look at you all; see the love there that's sleeping. - G.H.
      I really love a lot, but I fight the one's that fight me. - M.I.A.

      by hey mister on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 09:15:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't mind the hours and resources devoted (0+ / 0-)

      to examining this case. That is actually warranted because this case is indeed thin on physical evidence. I just have a problem with people proclaiming his 'innocence' when the circumstantial evidence points to his guilt.

      The Mumia case is another one of these cause celebre the left latches onto, with dubiuos merit.  There are actually very good innocence cases stemming from the Innocence Project. The left is totally right in embracing those. But these other cases do not compare.

    •  What you all don't seem to understand... (0+ / 0-)

      Is something called opportunity costs. There are only so many resources. When you spend time and money and political capital on one thing, you can't get it back to spend on something else. With all of the injustice in the world I find it disgusting that so much is devoted to a man who probably killed a cop, instead of using said resources on much more deserving causes.

      I know many on this site live in a fantasy world where all of the problems on this planet can be worked out- but that just isn't so. Maybe you feel morally superior to me, and that's just fine. But at then end of the day more would be accomplished if time , energy, and money were directed at more worthwhile causes. Also, it's things like this where the American public strongly disagrees with you which in turn paints a picture of the left as a bunch of radicals more concerned with crazy and non practical idealism than real world problems, out of touch if I may....

      •  Talk about a lack of understanding (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Vita Brevis, Catte Nappe, Steveningen

        If only the justice system spent its resources more wisely, instead of wasting so much time, effort and expense trying to kill a relative handful of its prisoners.

        One reason the death penalty hangs on in this country is because its advocates do their level best to avoid offering the reasonable alternative of LWOP. When presented with that choice, poll results do not favor your claim. Then, it's 49% for the death penalty, 46% for LWOP, as of October 2010 anyway.

        That whole idea of radical notions, strong disagreement, it's a sham.

        There is no belief, however foolish, that will not gather its faithful adherents who will defend it to the death. -- Isaac Asimov

        by tytalus on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 09:58:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's CHEAPER to lock them up for life (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tytalus

          than to go through all the layers of the appeals process, scrounge around the  world for any source still willing to sell lethal drugs, and then kill them twenty years(!) after the sentencing.

          Hell, if it takes THAT LONG, there goes any possible argument against "life without parole".

          If it's
          Not your body
          Then it's
          Not your choice
          AND it's
          None of your damn business!

          by TheOtherMaven on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 11:45:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Therefore there's probably another reason (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tytalus

            why they keep doing it: class warfare. Uppity minorities & poor people must be shown that "justice" is about keeping them in line.

            The violence is so ritualized. *shudder^

            The boss needs you, you don't need him. -- France general strike, May 1968

            by stargaze on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 12:52:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  State sanctioned executions (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Vita Brevis, tytalus, janmtairy

        are everyone's business, left, right and center. It's being done in all of our names. You may feel perfectly comfortable executing a man you freely admit "probably" killed an officer. I am not. You declare that we are radicals who are wasting time and resources. I declare that those opposed to this man's execution are perfectly within their rights and responsibilities to voice objection. It was done in our names too.

        Scoreboard: Marriages personally won by me, 1. Marriages personally destroyed by me, 0.

        by Steven Payne on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 10:02:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  So if we kill a few potentially (4+ / 0-)

        or actually innocent people along the way, it's just a cost of doing business?

        I like "The Godfather" as a movie and I've used the "it's not personal, it's business" line myself, but the end result wasn't death.

        We view "The Handmaid's Tale" as cautionary. The GOP views it as an instruction book.

        by Vita Brevis on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 10:11:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  precisely. there is a reason why (0+ / 0-)

        Rosa Parks was chosen to be the symbol of the bus boycott instead of the other woman (whose name escapes me now). There are political costs in everything. You need to put together the most airtight, hard hitting case possible and lead with that.
        Crying wolf on these other dubious cases squanders our political capital and disperses our energy.

  •  how does this matter now? disgraceful post. (5+ / 0-)

    "Say little; do much." (Pirkei Avot: 1:15)

    by hester on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 08:37:31 AM PDT

  •  Me neither, but lots of sensible people are. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JTinDC

    There are relatively few people on Death Rows about whom there is any doubt by sensible people regarding their innocence.  For that relative handful of people who do have some sensible people believing in their innocence (or, more commonly, that they didn't do precisely what they're accused of, e.g. lookout vs. triggerman), would it kill us, so to speak, not to execute them?  So I don't really see the relevance in what you've said.

    The Rent Is Too Damn High Party feels that if you want to marry a shoe, I'll marry you. --Jimmy McMillan

    by Rich in PA on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 08:37:54 AM PDT

  •  I shall use the diarist's standard. (0+ / 0-)

    Since thr diarist might be a sadistic windbag and did not completely disprove this notion, I vote HR.

  •  Frankly, I have no idea either. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow, Catte Nappe, tb92

    However, there were enough problems associated with the charge and the conviction, that it justified holding off on the execution.

    I'm not necessarily against the death penalty for the John Wayne Gacys of the world.  But considering that there are so many inequities in the justice system, so many times the police and courts just get it wrong, so high the probabilty that we, at times, end up executing an innocent person, I don't think it's worth the risk of impose the ultimate punishment, one that cannot be undone, just for the sake of getting revenge on the few Gacys and Dahmers out there, and mistakenly murdering an innocent person by the State in the process.  You know, the "2 wrongs don't make a right" thing.

    We just need to get rid of the death penalty, once and for all.  After all, if the death penalty really was a deterence to crime, the U.S. would be the safest country in the world already.  But it's not.  At all.  So there's really no reason to have it.

    The big problem I have with this diary, though, is the timing.  Emotions are raw right now.  Perhaps you should have waited.

  •  Bad timing. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow, Vita Brevis, Tonedevil, marigold

    I have been bothered by what I've seen as a conflation of the idea that Troy Davis was falsely accused and the need to abolish the death penalty. As if he deserved to die if he did in fact do it? These arguments need to be kept in there own stalls, maybe he was innocent which would make it a bigger travesty, but, it was a travesty no matter what.

    "How do you get everything you want in life? Want less." Uncle Bob

    by 2dimeshift on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 08:53:00 AM PDT

    •  That's the other problem. Death Penalty opponents. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mr Bungle 34

      It's absolutely fine to oppose the death penalty. I am not particularly enamored of it neither. However don't go around telling people this or that inmate is innocent, when your ulterior motive is just to abolish the penalty. That is disingenuous. If you want to abolish the death penalty- argue on the merits of that.

      •  I disagree (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        susanala

        For me, the possibility of executing an innocent person is the primary, perhaps even the sole reason, that I am against the death penalty.

        The two are completely, intimately linked.

        •  Then wouldn't you want to make (0+ / 0-)

          sure that everyone that claims innocence actually is instead of having it as a canard in every other case?

          For all the hoops that must be jumped through I can't see many innocent people getting executed. Usually the argument is along some other mitigating factor (IQ, contrition, sanity, abuse). From a public realtions standpoint opponents of the death penalty look as if they will use any argument to further impune the practice. Quite often it comes across as dishonesty.

          When every other case is "special" you wear out your arguments rather quickly.

          "How do you get everything you want in life? Want less." Uncle Bob

          by 2dimeshift on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 12:49:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  My primary: it's racist/classist (0+ / 0-)

          because a rich people aren't at risk of death or solitary, are less at risk for prison time & get better minimum-secuity prisons.

          Not punishing innocent people is also important, of course, but the class warfare is systemic & pervesive. The purpose of law & goverment is to conserve the status quo.

          The boss needs you, you don't need him. -- France general strike, May 1968

          by stargaze on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 12:56:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Good. Then come right out and use that as the (0+ / 0-)

          argument against the death penalty. Don't hide behind the supposed advocacy for Troy Davis' innocence and try to claim you are trying to improving the justice system, when your goal is to throw a monkey wrench in there to stop death penalties. That is my whole point here.

          Just like pro-recreational-marijuana people who try to hide behind the medical marijuana banner. It's disengenuos and ultimately hurts the cause of those whose legitimate cause has been hijacked.

  •  You don't have to be convinced of his innocence (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow, tb92

    You have to be convinced of his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. That means that there can be some evidence for his guilt BUT it must be airtight before he can be convicted and executed.

  •  Where is the outrage for the Brewer execution (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr Bungle 34

    in Texas? Yes, it's out there, but in much much smaller doses than the Georgia execution.  And of course the reason is obvious; because Brewer committed a heinous hate crime that infuriates the very same people who normally protest capital punishment. Brewer also claimed innocence.

    I'd be interested in hearing from staunch capital punishment opponents how they feel about the Brewer execution, if it was more tolerable than the Davis execution, and why.

    I'm serious; I'm not trying to push anyone's buttons here. I would like to know if people are upset at the Brewer execution. I'm not.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not barbaric or morbid enough to rejoice about it. But the guy and his accomplices have no place on this earth.

    Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

    by bigtimecynic on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 09:04:48 AM PDT

    •  One is no more tolerable than the other (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vita Brevis
      Brewer also claimed innocence.

      Really.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/...

      Brewer was a white supremacist who, prior to Byrd's murder, had served a prison sentence for drug possession and burglary. He was paroled in 1991. After violating his parole conditions in 1994, Brewer was returned to prison. According to his court testimony, he joined a white supremacist gang with King in prison in order to safeguard himself from other inmates.[12] Brewer and King became friends in the Beto Unit prison.[9] A psychiatrist testified that Brewer did not appear repentant for his crimes. Brewer was ultimately convicted and sentenced to death.[13] Brewer, TDCJ#999327,[14] was on death row at the Polunsky Unit.[9] Brewer was executed in the Huntsville Unit on September 21, 2011.[15] The day before his execution, Brewer told KHOU 11 News in Houston: "As far as any regrets, no, I have no regrets. No, I'd do it all over again, to tell you the truth."[16]

      There is no belief, however foolish, that will not gather its faithful adherents who will defend it to the death. -- Isaac Asimov

      by tytalus on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 09:29:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Since you asked, yes (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Catte Nappe, tytalus, bigtimecynic

      I am more resigned to it because there was no question of his guilt, but I oppose the outcome nonetheless.

      I'm not some wide eyed ingenue who thinks everyone can be redeemed. Monsters do indeed walk among us. But I don't have to become one by calling for their death. They'll be dead sure, but who then are the monsters? And who can bring an innocent who has been executed back from the dead? Not me.

      We view "The Handmaid's Tale" as cautionary. The GOP views it as an instruction book.

      by Vita Brevis on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 10:17:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't think Brewer maintained his innocence (0+ / 0-)

      so really, these two situations are not comparable.

      •  He always admitted association, (0+ / 0-)

        but maintained that he was innocent of the specific acts that led to the death, which he claimed his two associates performed.

        How are the situations not comparable? If you believe that the death penalty is immoral, then claims of innocence are really irrelevant, aren't they? If you are in favor of executing the guilty, then you are not opposed to the death penalty.  For a true opponent of the death penalty the two situations are 100% comparable in that the state executed a person.

        Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

        by bigtimecynic on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 12:23:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  "Not convinced" means... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crashing Vor, raincrow

    ...reasonable doubt, right?

    Therefore TD should NOT have been executed.

    It's that simple.

    OVER HERE: AN AMERICAN EXPAT IN THE SOUTH OF FRANCE, is now available on Amazon US

    by Lupin on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 09:09:04 AM PDT

  •  The diarist read the trial court decision. (6+ / 0-)

    I haven't.  He/she noted some information that I, having followed this case for several years, was not aware of.  Now I am, and that's a good thing.  While all the arguments about recantations, being black in the South, poor representation, etc. are valid concerns, they don't necessarily show innocence. That's what the diarist is pointing out.  My concern from the beginning has been to assure justice for Troy Davis, and that didn't include killing him.  I don't think the State has the right to kill.  Rev Al is going to try to get a law passed that says the State can't kill someone without more compelling evidence than eyewitness reports, since witnesses can be coerced.  Perhaps that's the first step toward abolishing the death penalty completely.  The diarist's timing may be bad, but the information is helpful.  When we're finished mourning, which will obviously be different for different people, we need to not forget Troy Davis and how we feel today.  We need to work on a plan to abolish the death penalty.  Larry Cox from Amnesty International called himself an abolitionist.  Love it.

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. John Kenneth Galbraith

    by HappyinNM on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 09:17:07 AM PDT

  •  So the new standard for capital crimes is (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow, tytalus, jayden

    "beyond a reasonable certainty?"

    It is with great self-discipline that I wish the diarist all the protections afforded by this nation's legal system, whether or not he feels others should have them.

    Excuse me. I have to go scrape my shoe now.

    Music Video of the Year! "The Legend of the Tea Party Patriots" (Okay, I just gave myself that award. But watch anyway.)

    by Crashing Vor on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 09:22:21 AM PDT

  •  In our justice system (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dark daze, raincrow, jayden, Vita Brevis

    it isn't the defendant's obligation to prove that he is innocent. Innocence has nothing to do with it.

    The obligation is on the part of the prosecutor to prove someone is guilty "beyond a reasonable doubt"! Not to the point of "well he might be guilty" or "I'm not convinced he's innocent" but to the point beyond where a reasonable person might have a doubt about his guilt.

    So your concerns about his innocence are irrelevant. Do you believe that there existed no reasonable doubt whatsoever that he is guilty? That is the only measure that means anything.

    PALIN/BACHMAN 2012: It's a no-brainer! -- Ninong on AmericaBlog

    by fritzrth on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 09:26:03 AM PDT

  •  what part (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow, fritzrth, janmtairy

    what part of " beyond a reasonable doubt" dont you get?

    Our system was set up so that if we made a mistake, it would be that a guilty man was not convicted, NOT that an innocent man was.

    Beyond a reasonable doubt.

    I think he MAY be guilty, IS NOT beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Idiocracy truly is here.

    Bad is never good until worse happens

    by dark daze on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 09:34:50 AM PDT

  •  I think he was involved (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HamdenRice, icemilkcoffee

    I am not sure  he was the shooter. He easily could have taken the fall. There  just wasn't enough evidence to justify a death penalty.
    I was a correction officer in my younger days and most convicts start to believe they are innocent after a while but I think whatever happened if the victim wasn't a cop no one would have been sentenced to death.

  •  But, are you convinced of his guilt? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jayden, Vita Brevis, fizziks

    And beyong a reasonable doubt?  THAT is the standard.

    •  On a scale of 1 to 10, I am probably at around 8 (0+ / 0-)

      So I suppose that is beyond a 'reasonable' doubt. Am I certain beyond all humanly conceivable doubts? No. I feel that is what the Troy Davis defense is asking us to indulge in- some pretty far-fetched manufactured doubts.

  •  Proclaiming him "not guilty" is the diarists point (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr Bungle 34

    I think. However, death with doubt is deplorable. Period. Death with certainty - I personally agree with others like Obama who think the most heinous, evil crimes are in another category - ie. the James Byrd killers and those two evil psychopaths from CT who tortured those two young girls and their mother and then set them on fire. Sorry, I will not be bothered or protesting their execution. Now I await the swath of bitter posts against this post. So be it. That's what this site is for, right?

  •  Mr. Davis guilt or innocence is moot... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini

    as you pointed out in the first paragraph:
    First of all, let me start by saying that I agree wholeheartedly that the DA and the police have commited practically every prosecutorial abuse possible here: biased line-up identification, interrogation and coercion of minors without their parents' presence, use of jail house snitches, staged re-enactments with witnesses, and pressure on witnesses to converge their stories.
    Shoddy police work and abuse by prosecutors indicates a broken system, if they were lucky enough to have gotten the right man for this crime is it possible to believe they and we will be so lucky every time.

    This makes about as much sense as Mike Huckabee on mescaline. - Prodigal 2-6-2008

    by Tonedevil on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 11:30:16 AM PDT

    •  True enough. They could have railroaded the wrong (0+ / 0-)

      man. However in this case, it seems like they got lucky and got their man.

      We need a better case if we want to turn it into a rallying point for reforming our police/prosecutorial system.

      •  It seems (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tytalus

        that the timing of this diary is just....bad.

        "My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world." Jack Layton 1950 - 2011

        by marigold on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 12:43:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You seem pretty happy go lucky... (0+ / 0-)

        about this do you like the lottery of justice system we are living under in the U.S.?  I find the sort of misconduct that the police and prosecutors indulged in with this case and really what seems to be the norm across the nation to mean that a fair trial is no longer possible in the U.S.  When you excuse such flagrant abuse there is no justice.  Then again I think the jury came to the only righteous decision possible in the O.J. Trial.

        This makes about as much sense as Mike Huckabee on mescaline. - Prodigal 2-6-2008

        by Tonedevil on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 12:55:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You go with the cases you've got, (0+ / 0-)

        not the cases you wish you had.

        If it's
        Not your body
        Then it's
        Not your choice
        AND it's
        None of your damn business!

        by TheOtherMaven on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 01:03:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  What a fascinating take on justice you have! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tytalus

        Yeah, it wasn't like he was provided a fair trial, but hey, I, person who calls myself icemilkcoffee and writes side diaries on daily kos personally believes they got lucky this time and got their man, so it's all cool, let's find something important to focus our energy on!

        You ask in your diary why this case is important?  Do you have an interest in a serious answer to that question?  Eh, I don't really care if you do or you don't, I'll give you one anyway.

        We have over the past 10 years descended into a nation of lawlessness.  Our leaders declare illegal wars, detain suspects for years on end without bringing charges, and torture people in violation of international law with impunity.

        And yet we claim the "terrorists" hate us for our freedoms!  The world can't stop laughing and frankly, neither can I.  And the world was watching as a man was put to his death in spite of having been afforded a brazenly unfair trial in which numerous so-called witnesses admitted that they LIED under oath at the behest of the prosecution.

        So you can sit in the smug comfort of your home at your computer and write a diary that says that an unfair trial is meaningless if you personally think he's guilty and lecture about how we need a "better case" to rally around, but Troy Davis is still dead, and your opinions on the matter do nothing minimize the horrible injustice that just took place before the eyes of the world.  Your opinions do nothing to unbreak the hearts of those who tried in vain to fight for justice, or bring him back to the family and friends who loved him.

        Others have lectured you about your "timing" but really I could care less about your timing.  It's your heartlessness and your shocking sense of entitlement, the idea that our personal opinions somehow trump the old fashioned concept of due process and justice, that offends me to the core.

  •  He wore a Batman logo tshirt? In 1989?!? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tytalus

    Well, thank you for that compelling piece of evidence, Mr. Armchair Lawyer.  Clearly, there couldn't have been multiple people wearing Batman-logo tshirts in the summer of '89.  That'd be like finding multiple people sporting Ghostbusters tees in '84.

    What a heartlessly timed diary; you sure stuck it to'em!  You must be very proud of yourself.

    ---
    I look at you all; see the love there that's sleeping. - G.H.
    I really love a lot, but I fight the one's that fight me. - M.I.A.

    by hey mister on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 01:24:42 PM PDT

  •  You do realize you're invoking the Code Napoleon, (0+ / 0-)

    not the US Code of Laws, which is based on English Common Law?

    The principle of English Common Law holds that an accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty. The  Code Napoleon and other Continental law codes hold that an accused is presumed guilty unless proven innocent.

    Then again maybe you'd prefer Scottish law, which allows three verdicts: "Guilty", "Not Guilty", and "Not Proven".

    If it's
    Not your body
    Then it's
    Not your choice
    AND it's
    None of your damn business!

    by TheOtherMaven on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 01:26:58 PM PDT

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