Sunday, May 22, 2022
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Innocent to Death

In August of 1991, 19-year-old Troy Davis of Savannah, Ga. was sentenced to death for the 1989 murder of a Burger King security guard, Mark MacPhail. Last week, on Sept. 21, Davis was executed. For the MacPhail family, justice was served. But was it really? During the trial, seven people testified to witnessing Davis murder MacPhail who was gunned down as he tried to rescue a homeless man was being attacked. Two more witnesses said Davis confessed the murder to them. Davis claimed innocence from the very beginning and received support from the NAACP, Pope Benedict XVI and former President Jimmy Carter, among other prominent organizations and people. In June of 2010, an evidentiary hearing took place that should have driven the state to reconsider Davis’ sentence. Of the nine critical testimonies given at the original trial, seven significantly changed their testimony. The two people Davis supposedly confessed to were speaking in terms of hearsay and not personal conversation. Not to mention the murder weapon was never found. Appeals were denied over and over again, including an eleventh hour appeal that prolonged his death by seven hours, yet ultimately concluded in the execution of a possibly innocent man. My question is what if it comes out later that Davis did not kill MacPhail? I can only imagine the dangerous impact it would have on so many people. I wonder how both mothers would react. This is exactly why I am against capital punishment. The whole “reasonable doubt” thing is a strong burden. There are too many unanswered questions. In light of Davis, I can’t help but think about the Casey Anthony trial. Everyone was so angry about her acquittal, but why? I think that she’s just as guilty as O.J. Simpson, who was also acquitted of murder. But our judicial system is not based on emotion or intuition. Our judicial system is, based on of proving facts beyond a reasonable doubt. If facts can’t be proven or a reasonable doubt created, then the defendant should be found not guilty. Again, the situation with Davis has too many unanswered questions. I couldn’t live with myself knowing there is a very high chance the person I put away didn’t do it. If somehow facts surface that Davis did not murder this man, then a lot of people will have the blood of an innocent man on their hands.

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