Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bad news for Troy Davis

Once again, Troy Davis has lost an appeal. Sigh. Here is the first blog post I ever wrote about Troy Davis' case if you aren't familiar with the details. By a 2-1 vote, a 3 judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected his petition for a new trial. Davis' request for a new trial was on a claim of actual innocence. The Court did graciously stay Davis' execution for another 30 days so he could file a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court. I assume that petition will get him nowhere.

I find this very depressing. This particular case seems to be to be the poster child for why we shouldn't have a death penalty. So many people say that they're ok with the death penalty in those cases where guilt is "certain." Where there's DNA evidence or eyewitnesses or video or a confession. But this case highlights the cold, hard reality of criminal cases. As in most cases, there isn't any DNA evidence or fingerprints or other magical "CSI"-style physical evidence that definitively proves guilt. Eyewitnesses are one of the leading contributors to wrongful convictions. Troy Davis' case is a perfect example of how criminal cases really work. The degree of certainty that people claim they want just doesn't exist in most cases. It doesn't exist in Davis' case.

But, hey, a jury once upon a time found him guilty, so let's kill him anyway. Sigh.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

S., Thanks for posting this, bad news that it is. I've been interested in his case too. I'm still keeping my fingers crossed.

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