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Discussion in 'News / Current Events' started by Crabtownboy, Sep 23, 2011.
From all I have read I believe an innocent man was executed!
A convicted man says he is not guilty. Now there is a surprise.
That may be we don't know. Based on the trial and evidence there was no question he was guilty with at least 7 witness' saying they saw him shoot the officer. This is one problem with dragging out the appeals process. 20 plus years is way too long. However if he was innocent, and I am not sure he was, those who testified that he was the shooter by their own admission are guilty of murder now and should now get the death penalty as well.
Not buying it. Troy Davis was guilty as sin.
“I am innocent. The incident that happened that night is not my fault,” Davis said.
I must admit that this is kind of a strange declaration of innocence.
Why does he think that it was not his fault?
Because the gun went off by itself?
Because he was only shooting to scare somebody and didn't mean to hit anyone?
Because he had been drinking so he is not responsible for whatever he did?
Because he was in a fight with a homeless guy and got mad so he is not responsible?
There is no doubt that he was on the scene - but I don't think that we know enough to say that he is guilty or innocent.
When 7 out of 9 witnesses either recant their testimony or give contradictory testimonies, then I believe this casts enough doubt on the conviction to stay the execution.
Did you read this article? http://www.anncoulter.com/columns/2011-09-21.html
Yes, I did. I still contend that with that many witnesses either recanting their testimony or contradicting the their testimony with later statements it raises enough doubt to stay the execution. Staying the execution does not mean release from jail.
So again you are not against the death penalty since it is of God if it can be proven without a doubt you are just against it if you see doubt?
The guy was guilty and the fact that the the witnesses magically changed their mind is very suspicious. "The po po forced me to testify that the man shot that officer" is a an all too common ploy among certain communities.
I am not convinced he is guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt and I am against the execution of a person who might be innocent. I do not believe God is in favor of the execution of those who may be innocent.
Why are you so blood thirsty that you cannot say a stay is in order until guilt is found to be absolutely true?
Lots to do today. See y'all much later today or tomorrow.
I too am against the death penalty for the innocent as is the Lord. However this man was clearly identified as the shooter by multiple witness. The bible says two or three and that meets God's criteria and there was not a single shred of evidence that he was not the shooter. No one identified any other person as the shooter. At the trial everyone pointed to him from as first hand seeing the crime comitted. He was guilty based on all biblical standards. To try and go beyond that is to play God.
You're setting a standard that the law does not hold to. It is not beyond a shadow of a doubt. It is beyond a reasonable doubt.
The fact is that his guilt was was already found to be true and real. Stays were allowed until the courts ruled that he had a fair trial and his guilt was established.
Your idea that because we are blood thirsty because we believe that his guilt has been firmly established that the penalty ought to be exacted is just a debating tactic.
I found it very telling that Davis' attorneys didn't/couldn't get any of the witnesses who had previously recanted their testimony to do it under oath during the appeal process. It is one thing to make public statements, but quite another thing to do it under oath, under cross-examination, with legal consequences for perjury.
If someone is not willing to make their allegations under oath, I have no reason to believe them.
I have to say that this allegation has bothered me.
However, I learned a long time ago that you have to do your own research to avoid being misled by those who are trying to persuade you. Folks like David Barton (a revisionist historian who is very popular among conservative Christians) taught me a huge lesson when I started trying to verify his claims. Much of what is said was completely untrue, and most of the rest of it was severely distorted or from non-credible sources.
The information is out there for anyone to verify, and the fact that many Christians and anti-death penalty advocates (which seems to be the real issue here, not a question of Davis's innocence) haven't bothered to check the facts of the alleged "recantations" speaks volumes about their lack of intellectual rigor and basic credibility.
I decided to take an hour and research the decision from his Supreme Court-ordered appeal before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia where he had the opportunity to present evidence (including the "recantations") before the Court.
Please note, this is completely original work conducted from a casual reading of the Court's evaluation of the seven witnesses who "recanted" that begins on page 125 of the decision. I encourage you to verify my analysis and point out any place where I have engaged in faulty reasoning or misunderstanding of the Court's decision:
The Seven Alleged Recanters
Antoine Williams - "…Mr. Williams never testified that his earlier statement or testimony were false, only that he could not remember what he said" (page 128). However he did recant of his previous claim that the police pressured him to identify Davis (page 129).
Kevin McQueen - McQueen. as a "jailhouse snitch, claimed Davis confessed to him but now has claimed his prior testimony was a "complete fabrication" (page 130). However, "…McQueen's trial testimony "totally contradicts the events of the night as described by numerous other State witnesses" (page 131). The court concluded that "the recantation is credible…but only minimally reduces the State's showing at trial given the obviously false nature of the trial testimony" (page 132).
Jeffery Sapp - He claimed he fabricated his testimony of Davis' confession "due to police harassment" (page 133), but he also "attempted to lie about other facts regarding this case to exculpate Mr. Davis" (page 134). The Appeals Court considered his recantation "valueless because it is not credible", the "truth of his trial testimony is corroborated by other statements given to police", and "his claims of state coercion are impossible to square with various aspects of his allegedly false testimony, such as claiming that Mr. Davis acted in self-defense" (page 134).
Darrell Collins - Collins' story has changed several times over the years and the County found that "Mr. Collins testimony is neither credible nor a full recantation. First…Mr. Collins's previous testimony…still provides significant evidence of Mr. Davis's guilt by placing him in the white shirt [a key piece of evidence]. Second, if Mr. Collins's claim that he simply parroted false statements fed to him by police is truthful, query why Mr. Collins never directly identified Mr. Davis as Officer MacPhail's murderer. Surely this would have been the best available false testimony, and given Mr. Collins's proximity to the murder it would have been as reasonable as any other false testimony" (page 138). There's more damning evidence to undermine his recantation on page 139 of the decision, but I'm going to move on.
Harriett Murray - Ms. Murrey is now deceased and her "'recantation' is an unnotarized aftidavit, begrudgingly obtained" (page 140). Asked why the affidavit was not notarized, the witness explained, "The affidavit was not notarized because neither Mr. Mack nor myself are South Carolina notaries, and Ms. Murray would not allow us time to get a notary or accompany us to a notary to have it sworn" (pages 140-141). The Court noted, "It does not contain any direct recantation, any admission that Ms. Murray lied under oath, or even a statement that Ms. Murray was aware that her affidavit varied from her trial testimony." Continuing, the Court noted, "The affidavit is not helpful to Mr. Davis's showing because it seems unlikely that is was intended to recant or alter Ms. Murray's testimony regarding who shot Officer MacPhail. It would have been a simple matter for Ms. Murray to directly state that her identification at trial of Mr. Davis as the murderer was mistaken, but she chose not to do so." The Court reasons, "Surely if Ms. Murray believed her testimony placed an innocent man on death row, she would have found time to wait for a notary public to validate her statement" (page 142). Again, there's much more evidence undermining the value to Davis of this alleged recantation, but I'm going to move on.
Dorothy Ferrell - "Davis contends that Ms. Ferrell has clearly disavowed her prior statement, stating she lied at his trial based on promises of favorable treatment by the District Attorney. Mr. Davis intentionally declined to allow Ms. Ferrell to testify [at his appeal], preventing her testimony from being challenged on cross-examination and denying this Court the opportunity to personally assess her credibility" (pages 143-144). "Unlike Ms. Murray, Ms. Ferrell was available to testify and, in fact, was sitting just outside the courtroom waiting to be called to testify. Despite her ready availability, Mr. Davis made the tactical decision not to call her to the witness stand. This decision is especially curious because, based upon the contents of her affidavit and her lack of any obvious connections to Mr. Davis, it would appear she should have been his star witness. Ms. Ferrell's affidavit is a clear recantation, but Mr. Davis's intentional decision to keep Ms. Ferrell from testifying nearly destroys its entire value" (page 145).
Larry Young - Mr. Young was the homeless man being assaulted in the Burger King parking lot. He now claims that "the police refused to allow him medical treatment and that his testimony was coerced" (pages 147-148). The Court notes that, "Mr. Young was included on Mr. Davis's witness list and was expected to testify at the evidentiary hearing. However, Mr. Young was never called to the stand. Like the affidavit of Ms. Ferrell, the value of Mr. Young's affidavit is minimal. First, affidavits are disfavored in this context because they do not allow for cross-examination and credibility determinations. Just as with Ms. Ferrell, Mr. Davis chose to present less reliable affidavit evidence of Mr. Young's testimony to avoid cross-examination" (page 148).
Based on this information, I have no real doubt that Mr. Davis was guilty of the crime. His unwillingness to let Young and Ferrell testify tells me that he knew that their recantations would not likely hold up in Court, yet he wanted to rely on their written statements as evidence. It seems to me that the real strategy was to move public opinion to motivate political power (the governor or the President) to set aside his conviction or commute his sentence.
Since I can't delete this previous post, I want to point out that I was mistaken in my understanding of the case before I actually read the Court decision. I was going from previous media reports and made an assumption that Davis wanted all of the witnesses to testify on his behalf because it would help exonerate him. That simply is not true. Apparently he suspected that not all of the "recanters" would help his case.
I apologize for adding a bit of error to the discussion.
I skimmed the Court's decision yesterday and it confirms my view- Troy Davis was as guilty as hell. The evidence against him was overwhelming. Don't forget about the physical evidence. The bullets matched the ones Mr. Davis used to non-fatally shoot someone with earlier that day. The witnesses that shooting gave a description which matched Mr. Davis perfectly.
Nobody cares what you think. Least of all, the appeals courts and SCOTUS.
Not enough evidence for a stay, let alone overturning a jury's decision.
A guilty man has been executed. The real travesty is that it took so long.
I'm all for the death penalty, given God pulls the switch.