After much controversy, public angst and with a great cloud of public doubt hanging over the case, the state of Georgia moved to execute Troy Davis last night at 11:08pm. Despite the national outcry and questionable evidence, this murder by the state still occurred. The shameful and biased American criminal justice system has taken the life of yet another innocent man. There was nothing to be gained by carrying this out, absolutely nothing!
There are far too many instances where the people given the death penalty have little confirming evidence against them. There isn’t much good to say about those in positions of power who could have stopped this. Right now, its much bigger than them. The entire policy of the death penalty itself should be re-examined. The conversation should be re-centered around ending the death penalty, so travesties like this wont keep occuring. It may sound utopian, but this problem is deep rooted, and this is the only way to resolve it.
The battle over the Troy Davis case has come to an unfortunate end, but this should not deter those of us against the death penalty to keep moving forward. The death penalty itself is a biased institution. Whether those in power like it or not, this case has become a turning point in raising the consciousness of a generation. The fact that Twitter felt it necessary to block trending topics about Troy Davis alone tells you that. If social media activism doesn’t matter, why do this?
A horrible situation, but it has created so much public awareness. This will not be forgotten. It will be added along with the other cases, high or low profile, and be etched into the memory of millions of people. Those in power who stood by in silence, well.. it remains to be seen how history will record them.
A word about the Howard students arrested yesterday. The NAACP and other civil rights organizations need to fight on their behalf to get the charges dropped. They were only exercising their rights to protest peacefully. This generation is aware of the gross injustices of the criminal justice system. Its only right to have their back. We cannot turn into a society that criminalizes dissent. Even though it looks like that is what we are on our way to. There is much work to be done, and while this is indeed a sad time, its no time to drop the baton. This all was not in vain. The struggle against the death penalty must continue. Rest In Power, Troy Davis.
-Marc W. Polite