“…And Justice For All?”

You woke up this morning and your regular routine began. You may have made some coffee and taken a shower before heading to work. Perhaps you overslept and rushed to meet the bus. It does not seem like an out of the ordinary kind of day. You may see or speak to those who mean the most to you throughout the course of your day, and you think nothing of it. You are young, and while there are challenges in your path, you have faith and family to get you through. Suddenly, you find yourself caught up in a situation that you have no control over and no real involvement in. This situation lands you in jail through entirely circumstantial evidence and the statements of another man who is the only other suspect in the case. A man has been shot, another pistol-whipped and lastly, a cop has been murdered. Nine witnesses are found who say that you are the one you responsible. No physical evidence is ever found to convict you, including the gun. This does not matter. A cop is dead and someone needs to take the fall. This is Georgia, boy, and you’re just a poor black man in the wrong place at the wrong time. You’ll do. Meet Troy Anthony Davis. On Septemeber 23, the state of Georgia plans to execute this man, after sixteen years on Death Row. Sixteen years in which Davis has maintained his innocence and fought tooth and nail to prove it. His case is complicated, but the injustice is stark and clear. Here is a quicky summary of the key details: Troy Anthony Davis has been on death row in Georgia for more than 16 years for the murder of Police Officer Mark Allen MacPhail at a Burger King in Savannah, Georgia – despite strong evidence suggesting he is innocent. --There was no physical evidence against Troy Davis. --The weapon used in the crime was never found. --The case against him consisted entirely of witness testimony. --Seven of the nine non-police witnesses have recanted or contradicted their testimony. ---Many of these witnesses have stated that they were pressured or coerced by police. --One of the two witnesses who has not recanted or contradicted testimony is Sylvester Coles, the principal alternative suspect. Mr. Coles has admitted to carrying a .38 caliber pistol the night of the shooting, the same gun used in the crimes for which Troy Davis will be executed. --Nine individuals have signed affidavits implicating Sylvester Coles. Troy Davis has never had a hearing in federal court on the reliability of the witness testimony used against him. “By far the most frequent cause of erroneous convictions in our catalogue of 350 cases was error by witnesses; more than half of the cases (193) involved errors of this sort. Sometimes such errors occurred in conjunction with other errors, but often they were the primary or even the sole cause of the wrongful conviction. In one-third of the cases (117), the erroneous witness testimony was in fact perjured.” -Hugo Bedau and Michael L. Radelet, Miscarriages of justice in potentially capital cases, Stanford Law Review You can read more about the case and the shockingly obvious misuse of power, the courts and the media involved here You can also sign a petition and send a letter to the powers that be in Georgia, to grant Davis a stay of execution and a re-trial. Link to Petition If people like Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Sister Helen Prejean, Congress Woman Sheila Jackson, and the POPE have found a moment to send letters and advocate on his behalf, I am sure you can take moment today to help save an innocent man's life. Do it. If you are not compelled by this post, read the report by Amensty International above. It is shocking. I ask you to do this, not only for Troy Anthony Davis, but for his family. Troy's family has suffered unbelieveable amounts of pain over the last sixteen years, as they have fought side by side with their brother to find justice. "...with Liberty & Justice for all." As Troy Davis asks, "Where is justice for me?" My heart breaks for this man and I feel that I must do something. I have a voice and today, I use it to speak for Troy, a man I have never met. A man who I believe deserves the opportunity to be heard. He asks for nothing more than a fair trial. I ask for nothing more than a moment of your time to plead with the state of Georgia to hear him. May you each find a moment today to breathe this air, hug those you love, savor your freedom and do something kind for someone else. Sign the petition. Do it now. Thank you to Mike Hraba for opening my eyes to this situation. Visit Troy's Website for more information. Peace.

About the Author

Amber Milner is an independent lifestyle advocate!