The Long, Murderous Arm of the Law Has Killed Troy Davis
By Kai Wright and Jamilah King, ColorLinesPosted on September 21, 2011, Printed on September 23, 2011http://www.alternet.org/story/152502/the_long%2C_murderous_arm_of_the_law_has_killed_troy_davis
Let us not mince words: The state of Georgia just murdered Troy Davis. The state coroner willlist homicide as his cause of death. But he wasn’t the first and, sadly, he won’t be the last personslaughtered in the name of U.S. law and order. There are today dozens more people scheduled to be killed by states, according to Amnesty International. Their likely deaths represent the ultimateact of perversity in a system that destroys untold thousands of primarily black and brown livesevery day.The execution came following a harrowing and wrenching night for Davis’s family andsupporters all over the world. Hundreds had gathered for a vigil outside of the Jackson, Ga., prison where Davis was put to death. Literally minutes before Davis’s scheduled 7 p.m.execution, the U.S. Supreme Court delayed the killing in order to review a final appeal. A littleover three hours later, news broke that the court had refused to block the execution. He was slainat 11:08 p.m. eastern.As the world waited those agonizing hours, the crowd chanted, sang songs and prayed. Perhapsthe most moving speaker of all was Davis’s 17-year-old nephew DeJaun Davis-Correia. JenMarlowe has reported for Colorlines.com on how DeJaun grew up visiting his unclein prison,
and was inspired by his plight to get involved in the fight against inequity in the criminal justicesystem. In an interview with Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman outside of the prison, DeJaunsaid pointedly, “I am Troy Davis, we are Troy Davis, and you could be Troy Davis, too, Ms.Amy Goodman.”Amnesty International director Larry Cox offered that, importantly, the massive movement thatdeveloped around this case offers an opportunity to question this country’s values. And it offers achance to engage the many people who are repulsed that the state would murder in our namesand yet remain silent about it. “We have to take people who were against the death people andnever did anything about it,” Cox told Goodman, and mobilize them. “Now is the time.”Davis’s case offers a bracing and depressing illustration of capital punishment’s many problems.In their eagerness to prosecute a black man for murdering a white cop, local officials set inmotion a killing machine that, once turned on, is near impossible to haltwithout executive
intervention. Much has already been written about the details of Davis’s case; no reasonableobserver can deny there is significant doubt as to his guilt. But our criminal justice system isanything but reasonable. Those who don’t come into contact with it can sit in self-satisfiedassurance that our cops and courts measure out blind justice that keeps society well ordered. Theevidence simply does not support that fantasy, as Davis’s life and death so dreadfully illustrate.In fact, if we are to judge our criminal justice system by its
, it is built to round upmasses of black men, transfer public funds to private companies to warehouse them, and then killthem in cold blood.