Sunday, June 7, 2009

Where is the Smoking Gun

I want to preface that I feel for the family of Patrolman Mark MacPhail and although my heart goes out to them however we would all be remiss if a innocent man is executed for his murder. Wanting to have someone pay for the murder of there son should not outweigh convicting a innocent man. What is at stake is a human life, one who may have spent 20 years on death row .

This has been the second stay of execution for Troy Davis.The facts of this case have been debated for several years now. Seven of the nine witnesses have recanted there testimony. One witness never even testified under oath at the trial. This witness claims that he stated many times over to the Savannah Police of Troy’s innocents and it was only after several hours of interrogation that he signed a affidavit stating Troy Davis as the shooter. The witness then dodges subpoena and fled rather than face Troy Davis in court and testify against him. The DA in this case was allowed to present his statement in as evidence at the trial.Of the two key witnesses who have not recanted their testimony we find one changed his story after being interviewed and another maybe a potential suspect.

Stephen Sanders, was at the scene with his Air Force colleagues at the time of the shooting. Sanders initially told police he could not identify the gunman, but at trial, he testified he saw Davis fire the fatal shots. The other witness whom had not changed their testimony is Sylvester “Redd” Coles, was at the scene and later told police Davis was the shooter. But new witnesses, found by Davis’ lawyers, now say Coles confessed to them that he killed MacPhail. Other witnesses say Coles had a gun immediately after the shooting contrary to what Coles testified at trial.We know according to court records that no DNA evidence was found. There were no fingerprints at the scene of the crime linking Troy Davis to the murder. Lastly there is no murder weapon presented at trial. There have been several hearings over the last several months and now two stays of execution. No physical evidence and 7 witnesses recanting there testimony. We have two witnesses who would most likely be discredited at a new trial.

I am grateful for the support of Troy Davis by Pope Benedict XVI, former President Jimmy Carter, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond M Tutu and the work of Amnesty International. Killing a innocent man does not bring justice to anyone and furthermore keeping him on death row is a travesty in and among itself. All hate crimes are not committed in the streets some are committed in American court rooms.

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