A man named Troy Anthony Davis is scheduled to be put to death tomorrow night, in a case that highlights everything that is wrong with how the death penalty works in this country:
Seven witnesses have recanted their testimony in a Georgia death penalty case, but the execution of convicted murderer Troy Anthony Davis is moving forward.
Defense attorneys say that at the time of the high-profile crime, witnesses were afraid. They say police coerced them into blaming Davis, who is African-American, for the murder of off-duty Savannah Police officer Mark McPhail, who was white. Since then, the majority of the witnesses have recanted, and some even point to another suspect.
The Southern regional director of Amnesty International, Jared Feuer, says that to this day, no one has looked at whether the evidence points to Davis' innocence or to his guilt. He says the fact that seven witnesses recanted, combined with the absence of physical evidence or a murder weapon, raises too much doubt about whether the state is executing an innocent man.
"And that's why for us, Troy Anthony Davis' case symbolizes all that is wrong with the death penalty," Feuer said. "You have questions of improper witness handling. You have procedural obstacles that get in the way of the truth. You have issues of race and, ultimately, you have a system that can't go back and correct its mistakes," he says.
Is our nation going to wake up, or simply continue our apparently inexorable slide to third world status?