To Troy Davis: Now, Is The Time For Martyrs

By Noble Johns

Atlanta (BNW) —The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles met on Monday to consider whether to grant clemency for Troy Davis or let him be executed on Wednesday Sept. 21. He is accused in the 1989 murder of a Savannah police officer. I questioned going through the agony of near death experiences every three or four years to stay alive? Let's just give up on him because life in prison is just like being dead.

What Davis needs to do so his own life can have meaning, is let his death serve as an example of a vile wicked criminal justice system that has been used as a hammer to beat the life out of Black male humanity for control of the Black American soul. To give up your life and let it be a stalwart that exposes this evil system is an honorable calling for any man, Troy. …Now, is the time for Martyrs!

Life is not that important when you’re ultimately condemned by a system of justice that falsely accused you of a crime you were innocent of in the first place. With death, you have nothing to lose. Troy Davis, 42, was sentenced to death 20 years ago for the murder of Savannah Police Officer Mark Allen MacPhail. It's the fourth time in four years that the state has tried to execute him. His legal appeals are now exhausted. The Georgia board is the only thing between Davis and death. Why not just give them their way? Because back in 2008, the same board allowed his execution to go forward.

As people in Black America, we are too eager to hold on to our miserable existence in this country of our birth, which is also the country that has systematically tried to destroy us as a people. If more Black Martyrs had come forth during the Civil Rights movement, may be Davis wouldn’t be in the position he’s in today. Sometimes I think we act like cowards as a people because nobody in the race is ready to die for freedom, justice and equality.

According to evidence in the case, Mark MacPhail was a former Army Ranger with a wife and two young children, and was moonlighting as a security guard when he heard the cries of Larry Young, a homeless man who was being pistol-whipped in a Burger King parking lot early morning on Aug. 19, 1989. When he got to the scene, he was shot and killed, and it’s still unclear who did the shooting.

Davis' execution is a hot topic because he has pleaded his innocence since he was first accused of the 1989 murder. That he has maintained his innocence throughout the years has attracted international support from around the world. World leaders like Archbishop Desmond Tutu; Pope Benedict XVI, former Georgia congressman Bob Barr; the Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Lowery; Ron Hampton, former Executive Director of the National Black Police Association; Stefan Trechsel, International Criminal Court Judge; Bishop Wilton Gregory, Archbishop of Atlanta, Roman Catholic Church; Bishop Bolan, Bishop of Savannah, Roman Catholic Church; and Larry D. Thompson, former Deputy Attorney General of the United States all support Davis.

Even William Sessions, former FBI director wrote an opinion piece that appeared in last week’s print edition of the Atlanta Journal stating, “In reality, there will always be cases, including capital cases, in which doubts about guilt cannot be erased to an acceptable level of certainty. The Davis case is one of these, and it is for cases like this that executive clemency exists.”

Advocates of the death row inmate who have been using social media to gather support to fight against his death has said Davis is an innocent man. They have noted that several witnesses in the case have signed affidavits withdrawing their testimony, stating that police coerced them into accusing the 42-year old.

"If I knew then what I know now," Brenda Davis, one of the jurors in the trial told CNN in a 2009 interview, "Troy Davis would not be on Death Row. The verdict would be 'not guilty.'" Brenda Davis was a Black person on his jury, so what does that tell you about Blacks on juries? Be careful about Blacks you pick for your jury.

Davis' lawyers have argued for years that they can prove his innocence, and have managed to keep him alive ever since. But after a series of appeals receiving special attention from the U.S. Supreme Court, Troy Davis couldn't convince the courts to grant him a new trial, The Associated Press reported, and now they are back at the paroles board that is now considering whether to show him mercy.

Last week, hundreds attended public protest rallies held all over the globe opposing the execution. On Thursday, Davis' supporters gave the paroles board the names of 663,000 people asking for him to be spared execution. They are trying to keep him alive when his death will serve a higher purpose by calling attention on a crooked criminal justice system that has persecuted millions of Black men and him over the years.

I say let them take his life as an example of their injustice. Death at the hands of this wicked system will give his life meaning by exposing this evil system of justice in America — this will be a far better thing to do than Troy Davis has ever done.

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