R.I.P Troy Davis

I’m not sure if everyone is familiar with the recent lynching of Troy Davis but he is a black man that was executed last week in Georgia. He was sentenced to death in 1989 for the killing of an off duty police officer. Throughout the years there have been many issues raised that questioned the validity of his trial. There were eye witnesses that retracted their statements in addition to jurors that stated they would have voted not guilty if they were given access to all of the evidence. Regardless of all the new evidence Troy Davis was denied an appeal. The Georgia Department of Corrections killed him by lethal injection on September 21!

This is not the first time that the criminal justice system has failed. So, the question that comes to mind is how effective is the criminal justice system at all? We live in a society that punishes first and asks questions later especially for people of color. How can we trust a system that has so many flaws? In the case of Troy Davis we have a black man accused of killing a white man (Strike 1). The man who was murdered also happened to be a police officer (Strike 2). Lastly, he was tried in a state that thrives on racism and has a disproportionate amount of black men in prison (Strike 3). Troy Davis never had a chance! The criminal justice system has definitely failed our system and only reinforces racism. Instead of always wanting an eye for an eye maybe our society should explore other options such as restorative justice. Maybe then we can actually call America the land of the Free!

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One Response to “R.I.P Troy Davis”

  1. There is no justice in our justice system. We are archaic in the system we use that is “a crime of punishment.” The NAACP has its hands full with the amount of cases that deserve attention and choose a few each year that can be used as touchstones for future cases. There was a case in Texas where Backs living in public housing were targeted to admit to lesser charges in what would be felony offenses. Most submitted since to be found guilty would mean a loss of public housing privileges. The source of the lists were usually repeat offenders who were given lists of names to receive lesser sentences. One woman, and for certain many others, was put on the list because she happened to be the ex-girlfriend of a woman’s current boyfriend. This woman had no history of an drug use or criminal activity. She was a hard working mother.

    There have been many who have been found innocent due to DNA testing, which wasn’t available at the time of the original investigation. Many believe that when found innocent the released, often imprisoned for a decade or more are compensated for their loss. No, often not even an apology as they are released.

    A close acquaintance of mine Gloria, was released after serving twenty years for a murder she did not commit. She was exonerated
    of the charges only because a philanthropic organization funded her legal team. She was released after being robbed of her youth.

    When asked why she didn’t sue, she said that to believe that the system that incarcerated you unjustly would become your benefactor was insane. Often people tell her that she should leave it all behind and go on with her life. These do not take into consideration that the years spent behind bars robbed her of the possibility of a family, a career and much more. She is now an activist and spokeswoman for women in prison.

    As was stated that being of color was a strike against you, Glory shared with me that there are no pretty women in prison, alluding to the devaluation of women who are not aesthetically pleasing.

    We need, as was stated a system of reform, not punishment. To provide opportunities to develop tangible skills and programs for drug rehabilitation so those released will be ready to face addictions with tools to combat and win.

    Prisons, like insurance companies, have put revenue before the health and welfare of America and our policy makers allow this to happen. The tenor of a country is shown by the compassion shown to the masses, the tune the United States places is like clashing cymbals.

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