Ten years and ten days later, September, has now become a month too well-known for unwarranted deaths and tragedies in the history of the United States. Two days ago, Troy Davis was executed, an execution that caused a nationwide outcry in opposition causing hundreds of thousands to join together in protest. Some people out there are ready to do away with the death penalty, but the death penalty isn’t the issue, at least for me it isn’t. As a minority I am even more leery to travel to certain destinations of the United States (where I was born and raised) knowing that as long as minorities are living we will always be considered prime suspects, while also not given the full extent of our rights to not only a fair trial, but innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
While watching CNN the night Troy Davis was executed (which is something I refuse to ever do again, watching CNN that is) one of their so-called experts shared some interesting information regarding the execution. He was talking about race regarding the death penalty, and he stated that blacks do not necessarily receive the death penalty more than whites, but a black person receives the death penalty on more occasions when it’s a crime against a white person than vice versa. That piece of information put it all in perspective for me; the double standard is still alive and well. What is also clear to me regarding the case of Troy Davis is that somebody was going to be held accountable for the murder of Officer McPhail, and it didn’t matter to the state of Georgia if Davis was innocent or guilty.
If Troy Davis had not been executed, the state of Georgia would have had to re-open the trial knowing there’s a strong chance that Davis would not be found guilty, which would have probably resulted in a lawsuit by Davis against the state for wrongful imprisonment. The state would then have to find the real murderer (or another suspect) to convict and that would obviously result in the state issuing more money to law enforcement. Then once that suspect is convicted, he would then become another prisoner in the state prison. I will spare you from any more redundancy by just stating that racism did play a factor, but it was not the main factor, but more of a sub-factor. Money, either the lack of it or the unwillingness to use it for the justice of a minority in a southern state was the main reason I feel Troy Davis was executed. I also want to reiterate for those that may still be in doubt… there was no murder weapon, no DNA evidence, and seven out of nine witnesses whom have recanted from their original testimony. Under our current legal system, I highly doubt that would not be enough to convict someone of a crime. If this would have happened in another state (probably further up north) my feelings are the outcome would have been much different, but the fact that it was a black man in the south, this process came into play. Hopefully, we can use this occurrence to help us move forward as a nation so that these injustices will not and cannot occur ever again.