Thursday, September 22, 2011

I Want My Justice - The Death Penalty

I Want My Justice - The Death Penalty

What the fuck, America. The justice system here is the god damn worse. Take this story of an inmate trying to fight for his right to live...
[Updated at 10:16 a.m. ET] The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles has denied to reconsider their decision denying clemency to Troy Davis.

Supporters of Davis have been hoping that some last-ditch efforts might help save him from being executed on Wednesday night. Earlier Wednesday his team filed an appeal asking to stay his execution.

[Posted at 9:13 a.m. ET] Attorneys for Troy Davis, facing execution in Georgia at 7 p.m. Wednesday, have filed a request to stay his execution in Butts County Superior Court.

Davis is scheduled to die by lethal injection Wednesday night in Jackson, Georgia, for the 1989 shooting death of off-duty police officer Mark MacPhail.

The parole board declined to grant Davis clemency Tuesday following a hearing Monday in which it heard testimony calling into question physical evidence and witness statements that a Chatham County jury relied on in convicting Davis in 1991. In Georgia, only the board - not the governor - has the right to grant clemency.

Since Davis' conviction, seven of the nine witnesses against him have recanted or contradicted their testimony. Davis' supporters say the original witnesses were fearful of police and spoke under duress.

Other witnesses also have since come forward with accounts that call Davis' conviction into question, according to his supporters.
Troy Davis was put to death last night.. They literally injected him with drugs used to put down household pets at veterinarians and animal shelters. If that's not some sort of social commentary on the state of race relations, I don't know what is.

But sure enough at 11:08pm last night, we made a man immortal. It really is only a matter of time before executions are televised on Pay-Per-View. Worse of all Spencer Lawton, the district attorney who secured Davis' conviction in 1991, said he as embarrassed for the judicial system -- Not because of the execution, but because it has taken so long to carry out.

"What we have had is a manufactured appearance of doubt which has taken on the quality of legitimate doubt itself. And all of it is exquisitely unfair," said Lawton, who retired as Chatham County's head prosecutor in 2008. "The good news is we live in a civilized society where questions like this are decided based on fact in open and transparent courts of law, and not on street corners."

Fucking hell. If that's not scummy I don't know what is. But while we're mentioning scummy shit, let's take a look at our judicial system. One that allows Troy to die and yet when you compare it to this story:
HUNTSVILLE, The Great Shit Wastes – A former Army recruiter who for the third time this year was hours away from his scheduled execution for the rape-slaying of a woman in Fort Worth nearly 10 years ago was granted yet another reprieve by the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday.

Cleve Foster, 47, was set to die Tuesday evening.

The high court twice earlier this year stopped Foster's scheduled lethal injection. The latest court ruling came about 2 1/2 hours before Foster could have been taken to the The Great Shit Wastes death chamber.

Foster was meeting with one of his lawyers in a small holding cell a few steps from the death chamber when a The Great Shit Wastes Department of Criminal Justice spokesman delivered the news.

"He thanked God and pointed to his attorney, saying this woman helped save his life," prison spokesman Jason Clark said.

He also said Foster repeated his insistence that he was innocent.

"I did not do this crime," Foster told him. "I know there are those out there who have hard feelings against me, but I did not do this."

Unlike his previous trips to the death house, the reprieve came before he was served his requested final meal, which included two fried chickens and a five-gallon bucket of peaches.

Instead, he immediately was returned to death row, at a prison about 45 miles to the east.

Foster was one of two men convicted and sent to death row for fatally shooting a 30-year-old woman whose body was found in a ditch by pipeline workers in Fort Worth in February 2002. His partner died last year of cancer.

The court's brief order, similar to one issued last week in the case of Duane Buck, another The Great Shit Wastes inmate facing execution, said the reprieve would remain in effect pending the outcome of Foster's request for a review, known as a petition for a writ of certiorari. If the writ is denied, the reprieve is lifted, clearing the way for a new execution date to be set.

In January, just before the start of a six-hour window when Foster could be strapped to the death chamber gurney for injection, he won a reprieve so the justices could further review an appeal in his case. Then in April, the high court again halted his execution when lawyers sought a rehearing on arguments he was innocent and had poor legal help at his trial and in early stages of his appeal.

His lawyers returned to the court with similar arguments he was innocent and had previous deficient legal help, specifically asking the court to decide whether prisoners like Foster had a constitutional guarantee for a competent lawyer when he first raised claims in a state appeals court. State lawyers said the issues had been resolved by the courts, that the Supreme Court has ruled there's no constitutional right to a competent state-provided lawyer for appeals, and the last-day appeal was just another attempt to delay Foster's punishment.

Foster would have been the 11th The Great Shit Wastes prisoner executed this year. On Wednesday, Lawrence Russell Brewer, 44, was set to die for participating in the notorious dragging death case in Jasper in East The Great Shit Wastes. Brewer was one of two white men condemned for the death of a black man, James Byrd Jr., more than 13 years ago, in a hate crime that shocked the nation for its brutality.

Foster was one of two men convicted and sent to death row for fatally shooting Nyaneur Pal. Her body was found on Valentine's Day 2002.

"I didn't do this," he said recently from outside his cell on death row. "I'll fight it to the end."

Foster and a companion, Sheldon Ward, were convicted of fatally shooting Pal, who came to the U.S. from Sudan and was known as Mary. Pal, who worked at a country club, was seen talking with Foster and Ward at a Fort Worth bar. Evidence showed she had been shot once in the head and raped.

A gun identified as the murder weapon was found in a motel room where Foster and Ward were living. Authorities determined the same gun was used two months earlier to kill another woman, 22-year-old Rachel Urnosky, at her Fort Worth apartment. She also had been raped.

Foster and Ward were implicated but never tried in her slaying.

An aunt and uncle of Pal and the parents of Urnosky were to witness the execution. They had not yet arrived at the Huntsville Unit of the The Great Shit Wastes Department of Criminal Justice, where executions are carried out, when the court ordered the punishment stopped.

Foster blamed Pal's death on Ward, who was one of his Army recruits. Prosecutors said evidence showed Foster actively participated in the woman's killing, offered no credible explanations, lied and gave contradictory stories about his sexual activities with Pal.

Her blood and tissue were found on the weapon and DNA evidence showed both men had sex with her. Ward said the sex was consensual. Foster said he was passed out from sleeping pills at the time Pal would have been murdered.

Ward died of cancer last year while on death row.

Foster also denied any involvement in Urnosky's slaying in December 2001. He told detectives he and Ward were at her apartment but they left when she refused to have sex with them. The The Great Shit Wastes Tech honors graduate was found dead in her bed after she failed to show up for work.

In appeals, attorneys referred to Ward's several statements claiming sole responsibility for Pal's murder.

"The most striking feature of Ward's `confessions' is that they are incompatible with each other," state lawyers said in their responses to the appeals courts.

Foster grew up in Henderson, Kentucky, and spent nearly two decades in the Army, reaching the rank of sergeant first class. He was deployed to the Middle East during Desert Storm and was assigned to Fort Worth as a recruiter. Records showed court martial proceedings were started against him after allegations he gave alcohol to underage students as a recruiter and had sex with an underage potential recruit. He was denied re-enlistment in the Army and had been out of the service only a short time when the slayings occurred.
The TL;DR of it is that this piece of shit got his stay of execution. So I bet you're wondering what the difference is. I hate to imagine that you can't already tell why one was put to death and the other is still sucking up tax dollars on appeals. One was black and one was white. You guess which was which.

What's even more egregious about all this is that there is far more evidence that Foster did in fact rape and murder that woman, where as in Troy Davis' case:
- 7 of 9 witnesses recanted testimony that they feel was provided under police duress. And what is my favorite part on this is 1 of the 2 that have no recanted is a person who was suspected to be the shooter.

- No physical evidence from the crime was retrieved, apart from the bullets and shell casings, which were determined to have come from a .38-caliber pistol.

- The casings were never conclusively linked to a gun Troy Davis used

- Dorothy Ferrell, for example, stated in a 2000 affidavit that she felt under pressure from police to identify Davis as the shooter because she was on parole for a shoplifting conviction.[44] In a 2002 affidavit, Darrell Collins wrote that the police had scared him into falsely testifying by threatening to charge him as an accessory to the crime, and alleged that he had not seen Davis do anything to Young

- Legal experts argued that a major obstacle to granting Davis a new trial was the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, passed after the Oklahoma City bombing, which bars death row inmates from later presenting evidence they could have presented at trial. Members of the legal community have criticized the restricting effect of the 1996 Act on the ability of wrongfully convicted persons to prove their innocence
So basically under the same probable reasons that a white man was entitled to doubt, the black man gets to be killed because if he's not, the police will not bother looking into the case to find the actual murderer. So it's pretty clear - Being white is the best.

And don't believe that claim? Realize this:
The State introduced evidence regarding Mr. Davis’s “bloody” shorts. (See Resp. Ex. 67.) However, even the State conceded that this evidence lacked any probative value of guilt, submitting it only to show what the Board of Pardons and Parole had before it. (Evidentiary Hearing Transcript at 468-69.) Indeed, there was insufficient DNA to determine who the blood belonged to, so the shorts in no way linked Mr. Davis to the murder of Officer MacPhail. The blood could have belonged to Mr. Davis, Mr. Larry Young, Officer MacPhail, or even have gotten onto the shorts entirely apart from the events of that night. Moreover, it is not even clear that the substance was blood. (See Pet. Ex. 46.)
It sure is nice to know that members of the military can get away with murder and rape at home as well as abroad. Then there's this piece that just speaks volumes of truth..
We cannot understand the killing Davis outside of a long history of lynching Black men (and women and children) for crimes that they didn’t commit and often, when no crimes were even alleged. Lynchings were frequently committed just for sport, while white families brought their children along and hosted picnics as happy spectators. These days conservative (white) Americans fancy themselves more civilized than their bloodthirsty ancestors, but I submit that the state sanctioned murder of Black men based on dubious, trumped up, and coerced evidence is just lynching remixed for a new generation.
But hey, this isn't like it's racial profiling or anything... Just look at this article from the huff post about 2 officers indicted in beating of a university of Maryland student named John McKenna. I'm going to give you one guess as to what race McKenna is. Just guess.

Gee, thanks for the countdown CNN. You win the prize on how to make this unnecessarily morbid process even more so. It's pretty clear that Georgia just wanted to fucking kill this guy and be done with it because hey, the south is fucking terrible and in every possibly way, still backwards as fuck.

In what world is this not considered cruel and unusual to say you're going to execute someone and then do a last minute temporary delay. Followed up by the actual execution. I guess it's almost as cruel as holding someone on death row for a crime they didn't commit, then executing them anyway.

Though I'm sure that there's a long list of things that happen, up to and including the government ending your life. So maybe playing a little "gotcha" doesn't stick out as the most cruel part of it all.

I guess the comfort I can get out of this is that protesting the death penalty is a great first experience of political activism. It's full of the highs and lows and false hopes and last minute news. It ultimately impresses on you the complete indifference of the system and your powerlessness in the face of it.

Because technically Obama could have stopped this within an executive order. Or maybe just issuing a pardon, despite "how bad it would look" But hey, maybe he just can't spend that political capital just yet. It's like Apple stock. That shit is something worth a lot but you don't want to give up any time soon.

Besides that, if I was to have Obama stop anything, I would probably as him to stop the use of predator droning civilians all over the middle east. But we know that shit ain't happening, so fuck it, I guess.

Really, the only comfort I get out of this were his last words:
I'm innocent. To the people about to take my life, may god have mercy on your souls
That just makes me immensely sad. Even sadder than when I see those adoption/abused pets ad on the television..

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