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In the Outcry Over Troy Davis, Where was the Tea Party?

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Troy Davis, condemned for the 1989 killing of an off-duty police officer, was put to death Wednesday night inside a Georgia state prison. Proclaiming his innocence up until the end, legions of supporters fought for Davis’ life. Davis’ own final words were: “I am innocent. The incident that happened that night is not my fault. I did not have a gun. All I can ask…is that you look deeper into this case so that you really can finally see the truth.”

To be sure, many of those who took up the cause, such as Amnesty International and the Rev. Al Sharpton, are blanket opponents of the death penalty in all cases. But, to use the words of Big Boi, a celebrity rapper and Davis supporter: because there was “just too much doubt” over whether Davis actually committed the crime, there was plenty of room for even supporters of capital punishment to back this case. Indeed, a few high-profile conservatives such as former GOP congressman Bob Barr and ex-FBI Director William Sessions, publicly got behind Davis. So where was the outcry from the wider tea party and conservative movement? With their public devotion to the Constitution and rampant complaints of big government, the Davis case would seem to have been a perfect fit for the right.

There is perhaps no aspect of government  more open to error, misconduct and a heavy hand than our legal system. In the case of Troy Davis, witnesses who originally helped put him away later recanted. Witnesses also later complained that they had been pressured to finger Davis. Some even went so far as to implicate another suspect in the crime.

So why did so many activists on the right remain silent? Whether in opposition to the USA Patriot Act, international trade deals, and other matters where they felt they had common ground, conservative and tea party activists have not hesitated to link arms with liberals in the past . Was tea party reticience driven by the fact that Troy Davis was black? If so, it only would confirm ugly suspicions that tea party attitudes are driven by race.

While Troy Davis and his many supporters worldwide were fighting for his life, conservatives were busy literally cheering the long line of executions overseen by Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican contender for president. One might think that these death-penalty cheerleaders should have been doing more to prevent a very possibly innocent man from being put to death and thereby staining the entire U.S. system of capital punishment. Instead, a man who very well may not have committed the crime for which he was condemned, is now dead.

And that is much more than just a shame.

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About Scott Nance

  • Baronius

    This is a new low for you, Scott.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    Why?

  • Costello

    Which means Baronius has no rebuttal as a fair question has been asked.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Baronius has no business speaking of anyone reaching a new low, as evidenced by this comment: #153.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Where was SCOTUS? Scott, you also might have asked.

  • Costello

    Scotus was likely split down party lines, don’t you think, Rog?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    From what I understand, you don’t need the majority in the capital cases. Four justices is enough to commute the stay.

  • Baronius

    Dread, he’s using a death in a cheap attempt to score some points against his political opponents. What’s left at that point? Well, pointing out that the corpse is black and claiming his opponents are racists, but he did that too. I suppose he could literally cut up the body and eat it, but at this point that would only be a matter of degree, not kind.

  • Baronius

    To clarify – Scott isn’t saying that conservatives didn’t object to the execution. He’s saying that he doesn’t think enough did, so they’re racists.

  • Cannonshop

    I expect they were drinking in the same bar that the Liberals were when Vicki Weaver was killed-without a trial-by Federal agents, or when it became alright among Libs to subvert federal gun laws and provide arms to Mexican drug cartels waging a war on our southern border-a war that has killed Americans and is killing Mexicans.

    Oh, and where WAS the SCOTUS in this? seriously? Or…um…what about the Liberals? Where were you? What did you and your community organizers do besides wringing hands on the internet? Where were the Democratic politicians in unity to stand up for ‘social justice’? Isn’t that YOUR bag?

  • Cannonshop

    Fact is, John, Prosecutors and Defense Attorneys seek out the dumbest jurors they can find-the most malleable, least intelligent people they can stuff the box with. Sitting through Juror selection can be very educational-and not in a good way-as to the mindset of those whose profession is to win court cases.

    Second, the only people that showed up to defend Davis were the same crowd that shows up when they are trying a child-serial-rapist-killer, that probably had something to do with why Davis is dead now, instead of getting a new trial.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    It applies to the liberals as well.

    My name’s not Glenn Contrarian.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    Oh, and where WAS the SCOTUS in this? seriously?

    They refused to hear Davis’s case. Essentially, they washed their hands of him, saying that their job was to decide whether he’d had a fair trial, not whether he was guilty.

    Or…um…what about the Liberals? Where were you? What did you and your community organizers do besides wringing hands on the internet?

    Plenty. And… um… Cannon, this isn’t the first time I’ve asked you this, either: where have you been?

    Where were the Democratic politicians in unity to stand up for ‘social justice’? Isn’t that YOUR bag?

    Most Congressional Democrats support the death penalty anyway, or at least they pretend to. I don’t think many people were seriously looking to them to step in in the first place.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    From what I understand, the only role SCOTUS had was in the constitutionality of the trial. I’m not sure if that’s the case.

    All I do know is that there was no physical evidence, seven of nine witnesses recanted, and one of the two remaining witnesses should have been a suspect. This is why MOST first-world nations regard the death penalty as barbaric.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Given that neither the governor of Georgia no the president could order the stay, SCOTUS was the only available recourse.

    In the past, Justice Thomas had paved the way to a favorable decision; this time he didn’t.

    One wonders about the composition of the court, the last two Obama’s appointees.

    Majority was not required. Four justices would have been sufficient.

  • Arch Conservative

    Liberals take great pride in couching their gleeful support and enabling of infanticide with terms such as “choice” and “women’s health” yet they have no problem lecturing anyone who disagrees with them on the inhumanity of executing convicted murderers.

    As Cannonshop pointed out, not many liberals had a problem when that pig Lon Horiuchi put a bullet in Vicki Weaver’s skull while she was holding her baby in the doorway and didn’t get as much as a slap on the wrist. If there were real justice in this world Horiuchi himself would have long ago been turned into worm food. But then again not too long ago one of my own personal heroes, Scott Roeder served up a mess o’ real justice. Yeah. Thank god for Scott Roeder!

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    Liberals take great pride in couching their gleeful support and enabling of infanticide

    Bullshit, Arch. When was the last time you saw an audience break out in thunderous applause when the latest abortion statistics came up in a debate?

  • zingzing

    archie thinks that by making stuff up, he’ll win a gold star or something. it doesn’t change what liberals believe if they read his nonsense and it doesn’t change what conservatives believe if they read his nonsense, it just makes archie look like a blind buffoon.

    know your enemy, archie. the real one, not the one in your head. i have a hard time you even believe the shit that comes out of your mouth.

    “But then again not too long ago one of my own personal heroes, Scott Roeder served up a mess o’ real justice. Yeah. Thank god for Scott Roeder!”

    the ironic hypocrisy of this statement is mind-boggling, but sadly typical.

  • Corey Mondello

    he was black, what do u expect? along with that, conservative ideology supports killing the innocent, as does capitalism. Supreme court judge Scalia has stated, if a person is on death row, then can show they are innocent and it can be proven, even to Scalia himself, it does not matter, and the person should still get the the death penalty. And Capitalism = “profits before people” meaning, a persons health, well-being and very life. add fundie Christianty which state: “only a dead non-believer is a good one”, we have the current powers that be in the USA; Conservative Christianity. Heck, even Hitler used his conservative Christian ideology and most things tea-bagger/conservative christians say to demonize others today, are exactly what he and his followers used.

  • Wayne Kerr

    Tea party priniples:
    1. Limited Government
    2. Fiscal Responsibility
    3. Personal Responsibility
    4. The Rule of Law
    5. National Sovereignty

    Capital punishment is not on the list. Tea Party has no dog in this fight.

  • Clavos

    What utter bullshit, Corey.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Connecting the dots, Clavos, aren’t you?

    Cant’ say that of Wayne, though.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Capital punishment is not on the list. Tea Party has no dog in this fight.

    Wouldn’t it be “on the list” if capital punishment was the rule of law?

  • Peter

    Twenty-two years of appeals, all denied. A 57% black jury in a 57% black town.How about some justice for the victim here, finally. Sorry, there were far more than nine witnesses. And they even let him have an almost unprecented chance to prove his innocence before a Federal Judge in 2010.

    He did it, he paid the price. Don’t want the needle, don’t shoot a guy in the face after he’s down. Pretty simple, really.

  • http://cinemasentries.com/ El Bicho

    So the Tea Party doesn’t want to see the Government’s ability to kill a potentially innocent man limited? If you say so.

    “the ironic hypocrisy of this statement is mind-boggling, but sadly typical.”

    Quoted for truth, though I am surprised anyone bothers to respond let alone read his mad ravings

  • Josh

    There was NOT reasonable doubt of any kind in this case; however, there isn’t any reason the death penalty should still be happening in a ‘civil’ society such as ours.

    I do want to make two points:
    1) I’m not sure why the author ever expected the Tea Party (which is aligned with social conservatism) to do anything other than support this man’s execution.
    2) The constitution does not prohibit capital punishment, but rather, leaves it up to the states. So if we want to have a reasonable fight against this sort of barbarism, we must fight it at the state level.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    6 – Costello
    Sep 22, 2011 at 11:08 am
    Scotus was likely split down party lines, don’t you think, Rog?

    SCOTUS was unanimous.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Sorry forgot my quotes.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Check out Anarcissie’s remark re: capital punishment as representing an instrument of terror.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Okay. But I can’t find it.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Tookit thread, should be towards the end, page 4 I believe.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    The link: comment #155.

  • Arch Conservative

    I wonder if Davis was wearing a “free mumia” t-shirt when they offed him.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    a majority-black jury convicted him, true…but when they did, there were nine eyewitnesses. How could they rule otherwise? But since then, seven of which have since recanted their testimony, several of whom stated that they were pressured by the police to make those statements.

    So let me see here – seven of nine witnesses recanted, one of the two remaining witnesses should have been a suspect, and there was NO physical evidence linking Davis to the crime…

    …and what do we hear from the conservatives? With a few notable exceptions, full-throated applause for the killing of a probably-innocent man.

    This is why most of the rest of the free world – and nearly every other first-world nation – considers the death penalty to be barbaric.

  • zingzing

    archie, how long does it take before the smell of shit stops nauseating you? god knows you stir the shit enough. one of these days, someone’s going to push you in. but that would probably be a favor, you stinker.

    (i’m still thinking archie is a brilliant parody. his royal archness.)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “This is why most of the rest of the free world – and nearly every other first-world nation – considers the death penalty to be barbaric.” Contrarian, #34

    Because of the conservatives’ reaction? You must be kidding, as though there weren’t reasons independent enough.

    And what of the four liberal Supreme Court justices, two of them Obama’s appointees? Why haven’t they weighed in on this? And why hasn’t Obama?n

    It’s amazing that no matter what the issue, it’s always the conservatives who are to blame, never the liberals or the system.

    It’s quite a hobby horse you’ve got going there, I must say.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “This is why most of the rest of the free world – and nearly every other first-world nation – considers the death penalty to be barbaric.” Contrarian, #34

    Because of the conservatives’ reaction? You must be kidding, as though there weren’t reasons independent enough.

    And what of the four liberal Supreme Court justices, two of them Obama’s appointees? Why haven’t they weighed in on this? And why hasn’t Obama?n

    It’s amazing that no matter what the issue, it’s always the conservatives who are to blame, never the liberals or the system.

    It’s quite a hobby horse you’ve got going there, I must say.

  • Jordan Richardson

    At least Bill Clinton weighed in, although it was his Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 that probably “prevented Davis from being granted a new trial.”

  • Jordan Richardson

    Also,

  • Jordan Richardson

    No idea what happened there…I think my comment ate itself.

    Was going to link to this article that theorizes as to Obama’s silence:

    “…the last time Obama tried to help a black man who was wrongly accused, his friend, Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, his poll numbers plummeted.”

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    One wonders. To associate Davis’ alleged offense with a terrorist activity, and to subsume it under that rubric, is more than far stretched.

    The only link in the chain is that the victim was an officer of the law.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I doubt it would make a difference, anyway, since Georgia’s statutes are quite explicit on the matter. Even the governor can’t command a stay. Still, one has to speak out, especially in a case such as this.

  • Arch Conservative

    The ridiculous premise of this ridiculous article is that because the Tea Party and conservatives are somehow are white racists because they’re not up in arms about the Jones execution yet the tea party has not actually made a stink about any of the number of white men slated for execution in 2011 either. So buy supreme commander race pig Scott Nance’s moronic logic the tea party must hate white people.

    I can’t believe that in 2011 I’m actually forced to share this planet with people like Scott and Glenn. I imagine that if people like Scott and Glenn are the first thing that extra terrestrials observe on our little blue orb during their interstellar travels, they should elect to pass us by without even the slightest consideration of making contact.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Scott mentions race in a question, a fair one at that, and Archie somehow interprets that as being the “premise” of the article.

    Even better, Scott calls the suspicions that the Tea Party’s approach may be racially motivated “ugly.” Yet again, the premise of the article is that the Tea Party “are somehow…white racists because they’re not up in arms about the Jones execution.”

    Seems to me that you’re the one drawing racial lines, Archie. Your defensiveness on the topic is as revealing as your naive insistence that race simply couldn’t possibly play a role here.

    When those aliens are cruising by, I wonder what they’ll think when they see your head in the sand.

  • don rockey

    my comment to asking where was the tea party would be where was the president where was the black caucus

  • REMF(MCH)

    “…Where was the Tea Party?”

    Probably at a Sarah Palin rally, donating to her annual $17 million earnings for waving a flag on stage and spouting patriotic rhetoric.

    But they can’t afford their taxes…

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    Since it isn’t a clear-cut miscarriage of justice, Obama was quite correct to stay out of this. But it did put him in a no-win situation.

    We’ve got people complaining that he didn’t do anything to help his Brother out. But if he had weighed in, you know perfectly well that there’d have been a huge hoopla about him Exceeding His Authority, Interfering with Justice, Riding Roughshod over States’ Rights, Disagreeing with Me, Having the Temerity to Be Barack Obama, and goodness knows what else.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Roger –

    The reason why most first-world countries won’t even consider the death penalty is NOT because of the conservatives’ reaction – I never said that was the reason. That was just you misreading my post.

  • zingzing

    the decision was always in the hands of the georgia board of pardons and parole. not the supreme court, not the president, not members of the congress, and not the public.

    they are the ones that should have erred on the side of honest deliberation and mercy. what happened to troy davis was pretty much torture. the only good thing you can say about that board is that they put an end to it. they’re evil bureaucrats, which i suppose is a just punishment in itself.

  • Cannonshop

    #49 The problem being, that the decision was put into the hands of Bureaucrats, whose job is NOT to achieve or mete out justice, but to keep their economy-proofed jobs while doing as little work, and accepting as little responsibility, as they can get away with.

  • zingzing

    no, cannonshop, that’s not their job. that’s just you saying something lazy (which is rather ironic). they have a very specific job. i think they failed to do it properly. but i’d bet you’d be surprised at how hard they worked to fuck it up.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Now zing, you know that all government workers and bureaucrats are just lazy unpatriotic liberals making a living off the government dole – except for the ones in the military (pbut).

  • Cannonshop

    #52, NO,Glenn, a lot of them self-identify as “Conservatives”, and root at the same trough, while mastering the art of buck-passing and procrastination.

    The problem is what it has always been-the Board taking on a case of a convicted cop-killer, would have enraged their masters in elective office,who need to look ‘tough on crime’ at any cost.

    ANY cost. at all. Because that is the society in which we live-Justice takes a back seat to perception of safety, just as Liberty does, because that is what the sheep have been conditioned to think they desire.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Cannonshop #53 –

    NO,Glenn, a lot of them self-identify as “Conservatives”, and root at the same trough, while mastering the art of buck-passing and procrastination.

    The five strongest conservatives I know are all very good friends of mine – and all are retired Navy like myself (two PO1’s, two Senior Chiefs, and an LCDR). One (the neocon who worked for me on board the Camden) works at a rigging shop on base, one works at the Post Office, and one just quit working for Homeland Security (Immigration) after fifteen years of getting up at 0330 and getting home at 1800 (commuting from Port Orchard to Seattle), one is an engineering contractor on base, and one owns a defense engineering contracting firm…and none of the first three has to my knowledge EVER worked in the private sector. I spent a few years working in the private sector, and I see NO overall difference in the amount of work accomplished by people working in the public or private sectors. Why did I see no difference? BECAUSE THEY’RE ALL PEOPLE AND ALL HUMAN BEINGS…and biology doesn’t care one whit about whether one works for the government or in the private sector or what one’s political affiliation is!

    And I think each of my friends would love for you to work with them for a day, to see if you would still then think they’re ‘buck-passing’ and ‘procrastinating’. I suspect they’d be amused, because you’d likely be struggling to keep up with them. And if you EVER come to Bremerton with a reporter to expose me as a liar about being retired Navy, hopefully you’d come in time for Church and I could let you talk to them for a while and ask them how lazy they are while they’re “feeding at the government trough”.

    What you’re a victim of, Cannonshop, is the Big Lie that if one works for the government (federal, state, local), then one must therefore be sitting at a desk all day eating donuts, maybe shuffling two or three pieces of paper every couple of hours just to look busy.

    But what you’re NOT getting is THEY’RE PEOPLE JUST LIKE YOU, who WORK HARD and EARN their pay, and many are just as or more conservative than you are!

    All you’re doing is repeating the big lie. And you will NEVER come over here to call my bluff – you’ll tell yourself it’s because you don’t have time or money…but in reality it’s because you have a gut feeling that I can back up EVERYTHING I said, and you don’t want to have to admit that you were so rudely wrong.

    But on the off chance that you do want to try to follow through with your accusations, better make it before the third week of October…because it’s going to be a long time before I’m stateside again.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Sorry Scott, this makes no sense. This is like saying why doesn’t Ford Motor Company release some new packaged food products.

    The Tea Party isn’t about the death penalty at all. It’s just not one of their limited number of issues. If asked about it most of their members would probably support the death penalty in general, but point out that it has nothing to do with their agenda.

    Dave

  • Cannonshop

    #54 Here is where I have the advantage on you, Glenn: I work in a supremely bureaucratic environment, I see managers doing the same thing-taking your statement (which is true) into account regarding them being “just ordinary people”, I’ve watched managers too spineless to get rid of genuine deadwood and too spineless to accept any authority that would hold them accountable.

    I see, on a daily basis, the same problems that infest Government in the private sector, Glenn-policy changes to react to something that, if examined on the basis of cause-and-effect, has no relevance to the change in policy beyond the urge to ‘do something’, buck-passing among middle management types, procrastination in addressing real problems and poll-sitting.

    and endlessly, the office politics getting in the way of the job. and that’s in an environment with LESS political influences, fewer layers of ‘management’, and a lot more focus on actual output and turning out working results.

    That board did, exactly what the ‘average’ middle-management type DOES with hard decisions-they hemmed and hawed and passed the buck and did everything BUT risk angering powerful lobbies in the state of Georgia, and anything BUT offend the sensibilities of the elected officials who put them there.

    Davis was convicted as a cop-killer in a state where that’s a big deal, He was a minority convicted by a jury composed of minorities. Do you really think that “average” people are going to stick their necks out for this guy? Seriously?

    Fact is, while I don’t put government officials on the same gilded pedestal you do, assigning them superhuman virtue and unconditional love as you do, I do account for the basic frailty of normal people.

    which you don’t.

  • zingzing

    cannonshop: “Fact is, while I don’t put government officials on the same gilded pedestal you do, assigning them superhuman virtue and unconditional love as you do…”

    do you really think that’s true?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Cannonshop –

    “Fact is, while I don’t put government officials on the same gilded pedestal you do, assigning them superhuman virtue and unconditional love as you do…”

    Gee, didja miss the all-caps part where I said that everyone – whether in government or in the private sector – are ALL people and ALL human beings, and where I later said that biology doesn’t care about whether one works for the government or the private sector, or what one’s political affiliation is?

    Maybe you did – but you then went on to claim that I put them on some kind of pedestal.

    IN OTHER WORDS, YOU’RE MAKING CRAP UP AND POSTING WHATEVER SOUNDS GOOD TO YOU REGARDLESS OF WHETHER OR NOT IT HAS THE LEAST BASIS IN FACT.

    By your own words – you “work in a supremely bureaucratic environment” and “see the same problems that in infest government in the private sector” – you accept that the people are no different…which is precisely what I said!!!!

    But I guess agreeing with a far-left socialist liberal on something was too much for you, so you had to add in that I put government workers on a “gilded pedestal”.

    Cannonshop, I do so wish you’d take the time to find out that there really are a lot of things that we agree on, that we’ve been, done, and seen a lot of the same things…and that someone who holds political views that are radically different from yours isn’t necessarily the reincarnation of Josef Stalin. Okay?

    The hand’s proffered. Are you going to accept it or slap it away?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    The problem is what it has always been-the Board taking on a case of a convicted cop-killer, would have enraged their masters in elective office,who need to look ‘tough on crime’ at any cost.

    I think Hollywood has to shoulder some of the blame here. The plot of just about every crime movie released in the 70s and 80s (just at the time when many of our rulers of today were at their most impressionable age) hinged on some serial killer, drug kingpin or – a particularly heinous fellow, this – cop killer being arrested bang to rights and then released on a technicality: whereupon our detective hero (who’d invariably done something incredibly heroic in order to effect the arrest in the first place) would show the finger to his boss (who was invariably African-American and incapable not only of speaking at a decibel level lower than three digits but also of making a connection between this behaviour and his ulcer) and set out on a mission to mete out justice to the villain on his own.

    The “official” justice system never came out smelling of roses in these movies, which may explain the Georgia parole board’s reluctance to leave open the possibility of a Dirty Harry shlepping around the state hunting doggedly for Davis and making them look incompetent.

  • Kit

    The only doubt here was why it took so long to end this farce.
    We could resolve the “It’s been so long that the witness has changed his mind and can’t recall” problem by delivering the Constitutional mandate to a fair and SPEEDY trial instead of the sludge like delays we now encounter.
    TRoy Davis is finally dead , and he still gets sympathy – where is the outcry for the rights of his victim?
    Oh, my bad – just a nother cop, and we don’t need need cops, do we?
    Wait until the next Troy Davis is in YOUR face, and ask him for a moment to write your note of forgiveness for the murder he is about to commit so that he won’t have to suffer the horror of paying for his crime.

  • zingzing

    glenn: ”
    IN OTHER WORDS, YOU’RE MAKING CRAP UP AND POSTING WHATEVER SOUNDS GOOD TO YOU REGARDLESS OF WHETHER OR NOT IT HAS THE LEAST BASIS IN FACT.”

    keep in mind that he’s a complete pervert. not in that he’ll pervert the meaning of your words to his own end, but in creative and pleasurable ways involving a venus fly trap and large amounts of grape jelly.

    it’s true, and it nasty.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Kit –

    Seven of nine witnesses recanted, and referred to the pressure cops put on them to give testimony against Davis.

    One of the two remaining witnesses should have been a suspect.

    There is no physical evidence linking him to the crime.

    Eyewitnesses are proven to be notoriously unreliable…but he was put to death on the word of two eyewitnesses, one of which should have been suspected to begin with.

    Whatever happened to reasonable doubt? Especially in a capital murder case?

  • Cannonshop

    #58 Glenn, I wouldn’t get so frustrated that I fly off the handle with you if there weren’t a fair (and fairly broad) number of ways in which we agree. That said, there are times, subjects and places where our disagreement is very nearly irreconcilable, and sometimes you go so far to the Left that, from my perspective, you do end up fringing right on fanatic territory.

    I’m certain that there are times and places where I go right to the edge of fanatic as well. One of these, is my deep suspicion of concentrated authority and what I consider to be authoritarian ‘solutions’, often to problems that strike me as better solved at a much, much lower and more distributed level.

    This may have something to do with the deep differences in when, where, and how we were each raised-I spent my childhood as one of the very few white kids in my class, and neighbourhood, moving to a predominantly “european” area was culture shock for me, and not in a good way. You grew up in a predominantly white Deep South, You had to overcome racist upbringing and a fairly corrupt version of patriotism, where I grew up around kids whose families were fanatically glad to just BE HERE, instead of in the place they left, with its political bosses, corruption, and oppressive nature.

    In the place and time where I grew up, you didn’t try to get someone else to fix things, you had to fix it yourself, because ‘help’ was many miles away and ‘government’ was that thing that closed the mine and put everyone’s father out of work, the thing that sent people to get in the way, stop you, or fine you for doing what you had to do, and that thing that you avoided contact with, because inevitably, it was the thing that would take your property, and re-sell it to a political crony for a ski area or golf-course, then pat itself on the back for creating more part-time minimum-wage jobs while ‘saving the environment’ for people in far away places who’d already destroyed their own, it was the thing that took the water-rights and gave THEM to people too stupid not to build a city in a desert dustbowl where there was no water, and it was the thing that ripped off your other friend’s families through the Bureau of Indian Affairs and spread government cheese and processed sugar (and with them, diabetes and alcoholism).

    So, try to understand, there IS a cultural difference, Glenn. You’re an Easterner, you have a faith in Government that frankly, I can not muster, and a belief that, to my eyes, makes you blind to the simple principle of “unintended consequences”.

    This all started because of a statement I made, rooted in my own observations of how these agencies, boards, and the like work-that the board members studiously and with great care focused on a course of action that, while denying justice to one man, would keep their jobs and avoid being held accountable.

    Given the simple fact of his conviction, the short attention span of our society, and the geographic location involved, his death was inevitable. It’s human nature, esp. in among Bureaucracies, especially in the Deep South, and especially because the fooferaw over his impending doom did not start early enough, or with enough persuasion or sponsorship by ‘important people’ as the general culture terms them (celebrities, major-league politicians) to stop it.

    In my perspective, you immediately read that as a call to defend said board, in spite of your own revulsion at this case, which struck me as something worthy of harsh reply.

    The Davis case is a fundamental expression of a situation where those tasked with protecting the integrity of our judicial system as a means of obtaining justice, failed-they chose the easiest route (prosecution on the basis of eyewitness testimony not supported by evidence, of a man ‘fingered’ and thus known to them), followed by the path of least resistance, right down the line-politicians didn’t step in or they would risk being seen as soft on crime, cops wouldn’t weigh in because they got ‘somebody’ and the work-load was too big, Prosecutors certainly don’t want to have their ‘wins’ reversed, judges need votes at the lower levels, and political sponsors at the upper levels, and the Board is in the same boat-lots of workload, most of which are guilty as hell, what’s one more?

    Nobody cared about Troy Davis until he was dead, (or very nearly dead) and when they DID care, they didn’t care enough to do what needed to be done to save him.

    That’s on all of us. It’s not the Death Penalty’s fault-that’s blaming a hammer for bad carpentry, it’s US, we the people, the collective, the mob, that killed him.

    Even those of us who were apalled, aren’t appalled enough to remember it in November of next year, anymore than Joe Guerena’s murder is going to be remembered at the ballot box in Pima County (or Arizona) next election day.

    Now, you and I will probably vehemently disagree as to the cause of that, and the solutions, but I think we’re on the same page as to the core of the problem.

    I think we’ll both get nasty with each other now and again, it doesn’t mean I don’t like you, Glenn. It just means that on some subjects…I think you’re dead wrong.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Cannonshop –

    Three things –

    (1) You’re continuing to defend the original decision to put Davis to death – and you’re ignoring the fact that since the original decision, seven of nine of the eyewitnesses have recanted (and referred to intense police pressure as the reason they said anything at all), the one who reported the crime in the first place was not investigated as a possible suspect, and there was no – zero! – physical evidence to link Davis to the crime.

    Cannonshop, I once very nearly lost my career because of a false accusation someone made against me. Ever since then I do tend to fly off the handle when people falsely accuse me (like when someone accuses me of lying about my career (ahem!)). It also makes more more aware that yeah, there ARE people who are falsely accused, and who are put in the position of having to prove their innocence.

    (2) Attacking the death penalty isn’t “blaming the hammer for bad carpentry” – check out the people (including death row inmates) exonerated through the efforts of The Innocence Project. How anyone – including you – can continue to support the death penalty when there are so many that have been pulled off death row, I don’t know.

    (3) You said:

    You grew up in a predominantly white Deep South

    ‘Scuse you. Sunflower County in MS is seventy-one percent black. That’s also where I went to school one year to an all-white private school, but every other year I went to schools where whites were quite the minority.

    Now I’d love to hear about this school where you were one of the “very few white kids in your class”, because if I read your post correctly, you’re apparently referring to Native Americans as non-white. The only other possibilities are that you went to school in the inner city in someplace like Compton, or you were down in the MS Delta, which has the largest by-county percentage of blacks in America.

    And if it’s the first possibility – that you’re counting Native Americans as non-white – then yes, you saw some racism, but you saw nothing compared to what I did.

    AND ONE LAST THING –

    You’re saying I have an unshakable faith in government…but it’s ME who’s speaking out against the government’s death penalty, and it’s YOU who’s supporting the government’s use of the death penalty!

    Unshakable faith, indeed!

  • Cannonshop

    Southern colorado and New Mexico, Glenn-half the kids lived on the Navajo Reservation, so you can figure out the geography for that from there-if you didn’t have at least some spoken spanish, you missed half the conversation.

    Admittedly, Slavery wasn’t much of a popular issue west of East Texas, so there weren’t many kids from that background, but we also didn’t have to suffer with people who wanted to bring it, and the Confederacy, back from the grave.

    Also: I’m not defending the decision, I’m just allowing for the toxic environment in which it was made-the environment that you came from-the corrupt, decadent, backwards-obsessed, rotten southeast, with its history of human bondage and post-reconstruction serfdom.

    as for the Death Penalty: there ARE people who need to be put down. Timothy McVeigh comes to mind immediately, along with Richard Butler (whom, unfortunately, died of old age before he could be put down…) let’s see who else…Theodore “Ted” Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, notice a thread here?

    Davis was killed because he was a black man in Georgia, in the power of a system that seeks the most gullible and easily manipulated jurors, run by politicians who use fear to stay in power. He’d have had no better in California, (notice these are coastal states?) and little better anywhere else in the ‘enlightened’ and powerful east-coast and like-aligned areas.

    You know the sort of places-the population is kept frightened and unarmed, and ignorant, and look to Government as the solution to all difficulties. Your kind of areas.

    The lack of physical evidence in the Davis case, the reliance on unreliable eyewitnesses, and the sheer desperation of prosecutors seeking to blame SOMEONE, ANYONE for the death of a cop, in a hurry, and damn the evidence, well…

    That’s urban life. It’s the culture YOU defend.