As our forensic scientists continue to develop new technology that will aid in accurately identifying the perpetrators of violent acts, we can hope that the guilty will face the day of justice that they deserve and the innocent will remain free. However, even with all of the amazing developments over the past decade, there is often a doubt concerning the guilt of an individual and that doubt becomes heightened when the consequence involves life in prison or even death.
A diverse group of religious leaders are coming together in Georgia to ask for clemency for Troy Davis, a man who has been convicted of shooting and killing an off-duty police officer in Savannah in 1989. All of Davis’ avenues through the court system have been exhausted, most recently when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear his case on March 28 of this year, so the People of Faith Against the Death Penalty are looking to the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles for some help.
The group argues that seven of the nine witnesses from the trial have since recanted or changed their testimony and that no physical evidence definitively links Davis to the crime. Those who support the sentence that Davis has received believe that the evidence clearly demonstrated Davis’ involvement and that the gun belonged to him.
Troy Davis is scheduled to be executed in two weeks, so activists around the globe who are focused on this case do not have much time left to make their case.
In instances such as this one, in which the argument established by the prosecution seems to be on shaky ground, what should the proper course of action be? Do you support the idea of a new and likely lengthy trial? Or, would you favor continue to search for more grounds for appeal? Maybe you think the conviction has been handed down and the justice system should move forward with that decision. Let me know your thoughts.
Personally, I believe this man deserves a new trial. I’m not saying that he’s innocent or guilty, only that, with so many of the witnesses recanting their testimony, combined with the fact that this is taking place in the Deep South, surely we should err on the side of caution when it comes to executing a man when so many questions remain.
I agree with your comment MK. Not all cases I would say this, but it seems that there are some serious problems with this particular case that need to be re-examined (testimony, evidence).