I knew they were going to kill Troy Davis yesterday. I was nearly frantic about it. And as the idea of the Georgia Parole Board to re-consider, the idea of a lie detector test, the possibility of a Supreme Court intervention floated by all day, and actually delayed the execution by 4 hours, I tried to feel better. But I knew the State of Georgia was going to execute by lethal injection an innocent man, which they had been trying to make happen for 22 years.
At the age of 22, Troy Davis was an idiot, hanging out with a gang that was ganging up on a homeless man. An off-duty police officer intervened, and was shot twice with a gun. 9 eyewitnesses said Troy did it. 7 of them have since re-canted, several saying the police had coerced their testimony. And several pointing to one of the two non-re-canters as the actual killer. There was no physical evidence tying Troy to the crime. (I don’t know if they ever tested him for gunpowder.)
And somehow, in this country, with the rule of law, all those changed testimonies were not enough to have Troy Davis’ sentence changed to life in prison. They must not have raised sufficient reasonable doubt in the minds of those learned folk who oversee such matters.
This, of course, simply reinforces for me my non-belief in the New South, and my on-going distrust and mistrust of the State of Georgia. We remain barbarians. My hope is that Troy’s death will become a pebble, and then a stone, and then a huge rock rolling downhill to destroy the death penalty. I know he’s working toward that goal.