Skip to main content

2011 or 1961? Georgia Lynches Justice and Troy Davis Politics

Denis Campbell: If Georgia spent half the time making sure convictions were solid, allowed questions to be analysed instead of covering backsides, would Troy Davis have been put to death? That’s the question remaining today.
troy davis with mother virginia

Troy Davis and Mother Virginia.

GOP/Tea Party debate crazies across the US have a reason to celebrate. Georgia done killed itself another black criminal as Troy Davis, arguably an innocent man, has been executed. The Georgia Department of Corrections, knowing they were standing on media quicksand by rushing Troy to the death chamber, went to considerable lengths post killing to allow reporters to tell the world how ‘humane’ they were and the ‘drugs’ used were not an issue.

It’s not the drugs that’ll kill ya in Georgia (or others states across the US South), it’s the history of a broken judicial system and African American bloodlust that will.

I am of mixed race. Many people of color don’t even want to drive through the state for fear of being convicted of DWB (driving while black).When my daughter graduated from the University in Tallahassee, I had to drive through back roads to and from my hotel in Valdosta, Georgia, and refused the first rental car because it did not have cruise control.

If Georgia spent half the time it spent covering backsides making sure convictions were solid and answering all unanswered questions, Troy Davis might be alive today.

While the focus was on lethal injection drugs of questionable origin, why was it not on Georgia’s laws that preclude the governor from granting a stay of an execution? Why did the US Supreme Court fail to issue a stay despite evidence something was very wrong with this case? Is the system so broken that even when seven prosecution witnesses recant their original testimony saying they were coerced by police into saying ‘Troy did it,’ this execution went forward as soon as the final SCOTUS appeal failed? Why the rush?

Is the system so broken that three of the original trial jurors said based on the prosecution witnesses recanting they would have voted to acquit? Why is none of that good enough to reopen a case to make certain you have condemned the right person? The US GOP/Tea Party is quick to thump their chest, bang the table and demand swift JUSTICE… but when it is denied… whoa, now just slow down there son… these things take "tahme," you know?

Besides, why is death a more fitting punishment? You take a life in an instant and then deal with the emptiness? I have yet to see a family member of the victim truly say they feel better when another life is taken. Is it not better to put the truly guilty person on 23-hour per day lockdown, in solitary confinement, slide a tray under the door, no telly, no outside contact in 5’ x 5’ cell and hope they live out a very long life in complete punishment, anguish and solitude?

To me it’s a no brainer. Cage them like the animal they are and let nature have its way on them is a far more serious punishment befitting heinous crimes. I’d also add in the Josh Lyman solution from the brilliant post 9-11 teleplay episode ‘Isaac and Ishmael’ on The West Wing telly series:

STUDENT: Do you favor the death penalty?


STUDENT: But you think we should kill these people?

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

JOSH: You don’t have the choices in a war that you do in a jury room. But I – I – I wish… wish we didn’t have to. I think death is too simple.

STUDENT: What would do instead?

JOSH: I’d put ‘em in a small cell, and make them watch home movies of the birthdays and baptisms and weddings of every single person they killed, over and over, every day, for the rest of their lives. [clears his throat] And then they’d get punched in the mouth every night at bedtime. By a different person, every night. There’d be a long list of volunteers, but that’s all right.

The real problem is not the death penalty, rather a culture that pressures cops and prosecutors to act like criminals themselves to secure a quick, iron-clad conviction that makes THEM look good in the public eye. All murders must be quickly solved and the ‘lone assailant’ immediately found. Stories need to have an iron-clad check because cops hate juries and cannot trust them to think like they do. So what better way to secure a conviction then make sure the witness is properly motivated to toe the police line?

And what better way to ensure the witness does as you want, than to bring up information only the police would have access to about the witness’ own past. If the police threatened in that way who would not buckle? Everyone has skeletons that can be exploited.

Too, in a classic why, America can’t compete recession story, the only Georgia approved lethal injection drug, sodium thiopental, was manufactured by the American company. Hospira. They shut down and moved manufacturing operations off-shore to Germany and Italy. Germany and Italy are part of the European Union. EU nations will not even consider extraditing prisoners to the US or any death penalty nation because they could become accomplices to a killing in violation of EU law. So there was no way they would licence Hospira to manufacture and ship the drug. So US supplies began to run out creating a shortage of the drug and Georgia was afraid they could not kill any more prisoners.

Not to be denied, they went online and purchased a supply of the drug from Dream Pharma Ltd of London. Now online drug companies are notorious for dangerous and sometimes lethal scams. Dream Pharma Ltd assured Georgia they were a legit operation and it was just a coincidence that they operated out of the back of the Elgone Driving School in NW London’s Acton town, near Heathrow Airport. The DEA seized the drugs, saying Georgia illegally obtained them. (You really cannot make this up!)

Not to be denied, the Supreme Court has approved the use of a drug used to put down horses and other animals by vets instead. The execution chamber has become a pharmacological experimental chamber of horrors and secrets as all of this runs headlong into ‘cruel and unusual punishment’ statutes.

dennis campbell

The system is broken. The GOP/Tea Party does not care. And like climate science and evolution? Facts are just a bunch of intellectual hooie designed by the edjicated to confuse!

Let’s hope they confuse and force people to act before the next Troy Davis is put to death.


Denis Campbell
UK Progressive