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Excerpt: "Troy's execution, the exceptional unfairness of it, will only hasten the end of the death penalty in the United States. The world will remember the name of Troy Anthony Davis. In death he will live on as a symbol of a broken justice system that kills an innocent man while a murderer walks free."

The world will remember the name of Troy Anthony Davis. (photo: NYT)
The world will remember the name of Troy Anthony Davis. (photo: NYT)



The World Will Remember Troy's Name

By Benjamin Todd Jealous, Reader Supported News

23 September 11

ast night the State of Georgia killed an innocent man.

In recent weeks, we fought hard for the commutation of Troy Davis' sentence. More than one million petitions were delivered. Protests, rallies and vigils were organized around the globe. Last night, we fasted and prayed together as a community.

I have spent the past week with Troy's family. He wanted the world to know that he understood that this struggle goes beyond just one man. Troy was prepared to die last night. As he said again and again, the state of Georgia only held the power to take his physical body. They could not take his spirit, because he gave his life to God.

Let's remember and heed Troy's words: We must not let them kill our spirit, either.

Troy's execution, the exceptional unfairness of it, will only hasten the end of the death penalty in the United States. The world will remember the name of Troy Anthony Davis. In death he will live on as a symbol of a broken justice system that kills an innocent man while a murderer walks free.

The world will remember Troy's name, as the death penalty supporters who expressed doubt in this case begin to doubt an entire system that can execute a man amidst so many unanswered questions.

The world will remember Troy's name, as death penalty opponents who remained silent in the past realize that their silence is no longer an option.

The world will remember Troy's name because we will commemorate September 21st each year as both a solemn anniversary and a call to action. The night they put Troy Davis to death will become an annual reminder that justice will not be achieved until we end this brutal practice of capital punishment.

"This movement," Troy said, "started before I was born." After last night, our movement will grow stronger until we succeed in destroying the death penalty in the United States once and for all.

I know you will join me. Together we will secure his legacy, and the world will remember the name Troy Anthony Davis.

 

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+7 # Brooklyn Basics 2011-09-24 02:00
Mr. Davis' execution proves that we haven't reached a post civil rights era yet. When it comes to prosecutions and executing the death penalty there are two standards and they are black and white.

Mr.Jealous has done a great job of representing the NAACP. We should all contribute to the NAACP and the Innocence Project.
 
 
+6 # Gurka 2011-09-24 02:44
What on earth went on in the Supreme Court members' brains when they confirmed that death sentence? If their decision is good for anything at all, it must be for emerging as a harbinger of the end of a politically bought and paid for supreme court system.
 
 
-5 # Jimmy6165 2011-09-24 07:40
"In death he will live on as a symbol of a broken justice system that kills an innocent man while a murderer walks free."
Which innocent man, OJ? Though not free now, he was free for a long tyme as an unconvicted murderer.
"...end this brutal practice of capital punishment." Hhhhmmmm. The man who dragged that Black man to death was himself executed on the same day. Do y'all oppose his execution? And what about the Nuremburg trials which sent several Nazi Party members to the gallows to be hanged as common criminals. Y'all oppose that too?
I am just saying...
 
 
+5 # Ryguy913 2011-09-24 10:33
Jimmy6165, thanks for your questions. While others might not be so strict about it, I will answer by saying that I do oppose the execution of anyone, innocent or guilty. I don't believe that retribution is ethical, nor do I believe it's sound deterance of crime, nor do I believe it is valuable as a means of assuring closure or peace or satisfaction or whatever might be said for the victims of crimes, even hate-crimes like the one committed against James Byrd, or the sickening genocidal crimes of the Nazis. For me, it's very simply wrong, regardless of the circumstances.
 
 
+8 # Gschark 2011-09-24 07:42
I am not sure whether Troy Davis was guilty or not guilty. However, I am convinced that justice was not done in his case. There was no valid DNA evidence. The gun was never found. The case seemed to have been based totally on eyewitness testimony, and 7 of the 9 witnesses have recanted their testimony. At the very least, Troy Davis was entitled to a new trial. This case goes to show some of the many flaws in capital punishment cases, and why the USA needs to abolish this barbaric practice.
 
 
+2 # my2cents 2011-09-24 12:18
We can only hope some good will come out of this abomination.
 
 
+3 # endgame 2011-09-24 16:52
One really troubling thing about capital punishment is that it is a sort of macabre liturgy. A public ritual killing. America generally loves these things; look at the cheers Governor Perry received when he said 200+ executions did not bother his sleep. A Lord of the Flies moment for all America.

We even have the modern equivalent of the ancient Greek choruses for these ceremonies. One chorus lamenting the taking of a human life. Perhaps claiming the person to be sacrificed might be innocent. The other chorus lamenting all the taxpayer funds and precious time that have spent on appeals, etc.

The only real requirement we have is that society must be protected from these dangerous criminals. Here in the US we can guarantee that by keeping the guy in jail the rest of his life.

But that's not enough. The masses want blood. They want death.
 
 
0 # Peacedragon 2011-09-24 17:27
When we end the death penalty we will have taken one more step toward civilization.
 
 
+1 # arkee 2011-09-25 06:33
Capital punishment is judicial murder. The fact that a man who may have been innocent and was killed by the state of Georgia is a monstrosity. Even the racist who was executed in Texas and the worst of the killers in Rwanda or Bosnia deserved life imprisonment for the protection of society, but life must be regarded as sacred. I write this from Israel where all our executions are extra-judicial and carried out by the army at the command of all-powerful officers. Let us renew our efforts to put an end to murder by states everywhere.
 

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