Troy Davis Roundup

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Troy Davis, if you haven’t heard, is scheduled to be executed today in the state of Georgia. There are significant questions as to his guilt. Of the nine eyewitnesses, seven have recanted their testimony, one is the person suspected of having committed the murder, and one didn’t actually identify Davis as the killer, and so has nothing to recant. On top of all this, there was no forensic evidence or DNA evidence linking Davis to the murder.

And yet, the Georgia Board of Paroles and Pardons has refused clemency in this case. President Obama has no power to interfere in this case (even assuming that he would) because it’s a state case, not a federal one. Activists are contacting District Attorney Larry Chisolm asking him to request the State Superior Court to vacate the execution order.

Emily Hauser, writing for The Atlantic, put together an excellent essay on not only this case, but on the issue of the death penalty as well.

Yesterday at the CNN website, Laura Wexler detailed some of the many problems with eyewitness testimony, including her personal story about it. I offered this story of my own alongside it.

Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a wonderful counter-example to the argument that the death penalty brings closure.

Finally, Troy Davis released a statement to his supporters.


Brian Spears is Senior Poetry Editor of The Rumpus and the author of A Witness in Exile (Louisiana Literature Press, 2011). His poem “Upon Reading That Andromeda Will One Day Devour Triangulum and Come For Us Next” was featured in Season 9 of Motion Poems. More from this author →