Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Troy Davis Must Not Be Executed!

Editor's Note:  Troy Davis was executed tonight at 11:08 PM EST as the U.S. Supreme Court refused to grant a last minute stay of execution.  What kind of system do we live in where a Black man has been framed and executed for a murder he did not commit?      
by Carl Dix
Paris demonstration for Troy Davis (undated).

     As I write this, Troy Davis is hours away from his scheduled execution. His case is a damning exposure of how the criminal “injustice” system in the US is rotten to the core. Troy Davis was railroaded to prison 20 years ago on charges of murdering a cop in Savannah, Georgia. There was no physical evidence connecting Troy to the cop who was killed, and 7 or the 9 witnesses who placed him at the scene of the killing have since recanted their statements. Several of them have said that they were coerced into fingering Troy as the killer by cops who didn’t care that their statements were untrue. And one of the witnesses who maintains that Troy killed the cop has told acquaintances that he was the one who really killed the cop!
     It is an extreme travesty that Troy has been on death row for 20 years in this case and that he has gotten to the brink of being executed several times. And it will be an outrageous crime if this system goes ahead with his execution.
     What the system is saying with how this case has been dealt with is a big step back to the days of the Supreme Court’s Dred Scot decision—that Black people had no rights the system needs to respect. At every level, from the cops to the prosecutors to the courts, the message has been the same. We railroaded you the way we so often do to poor people and oppressed people, and we don’t give a damn if you’re guilty or not! Every appeals court, including the Supreme Court, has refused to consider the mounting evidence that Troy is innocent and allowed his execution to steamroll ahead.
     Thinking about this injustice reminds me of Shaka Sankofa. The state of Texas executed him despite a lot of evidence that he was innocent, and in that case too the courts ruled that process — "we railroaded him fair and square" — trumped evidence of innocence. And it brings to mind Mumia Abu Jamal, another victim of a railroad by a lynching judge presiding over a kangaroo court. Mumia has spent three decades on death row.
     These cases concentrate the way this system treats Black people! It is intolerable that people get railroaded to prison on trumped up charges and coerced evidence, that people can be executed on the basis of shit like this. And it must be stopped.
     We must do everything we can down to the final minute tonight to fight to save Troy’s life. And we must stand up and fight to end the way horrific numbers of Black and Latino youth are warehoused in prisons across the US. Cornel West and I have issued a Call for a day of Stopping “Stop & Frisk.” The aim of this day of resistance is to take the movement against racially targeted mass incarceration to a whole new level. This Call is available at, or you could get a copy by writing to the Network to Stop Mass Incarceration at I urge people to take up this Call, spread it and help make this resistance as powerful as possible.
     It’s going to take revolution, millions of people rising up to get rid of this system and replace it with a totally different system that serves the interests of the people, to end mass incarceration and all the other horrors this system enforces on humanity. And a big part of getting ready to revolution is mobilizing people to resist the system’s attacks — Fighting the Power, and Transforming the People, for Revolution.
     So stand up and fight back, for Troy’s life, to end mass incarceration and to end everything this system brings down on the people.