At 4.08am GMT on Thursday 22nd of September, Troy Davis was murdered by the state of Georgia for a crime he potentially did not commit – the murder of police officer Mark MacPhail in 1989, despite a real lack of physical evidence, despite seven out of nine witnesses recanting their statements, even despite, sickeningly, an admission from witness Kevin McQueen in which he said “The truth is that Troy never confessed to me or talked to me about the shooting of the police officer. I made up the confession from information I had heard on TV and from other inmates about the crimes … I have now realised what I did to Troy so I have decided to tell the truth.”
But Troy Davis is now dead.
A potentially innocent man is now dead.
The Washington Post described it as “grim satisfaction”, I describe it as sickening and unforgivable. In what sort of civilised society can we claim to justify the murder of one human being, with the murder of another human being? Inflicting the pain of one victim’s family onto the family of another victim? And in what kind of civilised society do we condemn someone to the death penalty despite a lack of evidence? I doubt that question needs an answer.
Troy Davis’ case caused outrage on social media networking site Twitter, with tweets from all across the world being posted in support of Troy Davis and in condemnation of the Georgia state government; Troy Davis and Not Enough Evidence were trending topics throughout the ordeal, but despite every effort from both supporters and campaigners, Troy was given a lethal injection at 11.08pm local time. The decision has caused outrage across America and across the world, with thousands of Americans calling for the abolition of the death penalty. Questions are being raised as to why we “live in a 21st century society, yet govern in a 20th centry way”.
The death penalty is barbaric and wrong. With high-profile Tweeter’s such as Guido Fawkes supporting the reinstatement of capital punishment in the United Kingdom, and a worrying number of people supporting the idea, one can only hope that the government will never be stupid enough to reinstate such a disgusting punishment. Why, in 2011, in the UK, I am having to express my disgust at the very idea of capital punishment, is beyond me. But needs must. If Guido Fawkes ever does get his way – even if David Cameron calls a referendum on capital punishment…
Would the last person out of the UK turn out the lights?
I am Troy Davis.
You are Troy Davis.