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Georgia executes Troy Davis

A convicted murderer, many came to doubt the evidence that put him away


 

Troy Davis, a convicted murderer who many had come to believe was innocent, was executed by lethal injection at a prison in Georgia Wednesday. Davis’s case galvanized opponents of the death penalty. No physical evidence linked to him to the killing of police officer Mark MacPhail outside a Burger King in Savannah, Georgia in 1989. Most of the witnesses who fingered him for his crime have since recanted their testimony. Nonetheless, attempts by Davis’s lawyers to reopen the case failed. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court declined to hear a final appeal. Davis was put to death at 11:08 local time.

Reuters


 
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Georgia executes Troy Davis

  1. A clear-cut example of why the death penalty is wrong. The justice system isn’t perfect; occasionally, the wrong person gets convicted. I’m not saying that’s necessarily the case here, but it does happen, as we’ve seen more often than I care to think about here in Canada. The wrongfully convicted can never be properly compensated for the injustice – but it’s especially hard when you’ve executed the person before the new evidence comes to light. “Oops!” somehow doesn’t cut it.

    • I agree! And I find deeply disturbing how so many people enjoy this kind of justice.

  2. Absolute insanity. I’m happy that I live in a country where I never have to see protests like this one http://bit.ly/qW8FSM due to unlawful capital punishment. This is still so hard to believe! 

  3. This borders on the criminal in my opinion.

    Despite a 80%+ accuracy in terms of polygraphs, the state refused to conduct one, even though it was explicitly asked for.

    Meanwhile they relied SOLELY on eye witness testimony, which studies have shown time and time again is extremely unreliable. So unreliable in fact that the supreme court of New York state is calling its current use into question.

    “…In over 75% of all wrongful conviction cases overturned by DNA evidence, eyewitness testimony played a role in the original conviction. As Adam Serwer notes, “It may seem shocking just how unreliable your eyes can be….”

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2011/08/26/new-jersey-ruling-calls-into-question-eyewitness-testimony/

    I’ve read studies showing that not only can you get people to misidentify by merely planting suggestions or asking leading questions, but that people will actually store this new belief as a real memory in the brain. So their interactions with police and attorneys definitely colours people’s memories.

    And yet somehow, despite this fact being available for thirty years or so, they still executed this man based solely on contradictory eye witness testimony?

    Honestly, how do these people sleep at night?

  4. And there’s the issue of the trauma experienced by the people who have to perform the execution.  Performing the physical actions of the killing is not as easy as you’d think in theory when taking a job in “Corrections”. But reports are that executioners have trouble sleeping at night even when they believe the prisoner is guilty. When they suspect they’ve killed an innocent man railroaded to death by ambition and greed, well… 

    That alone is sufficient argument against the death penalty. 

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