- Racial Equity
- Talk About Race
Troy Davis’ last resources to avoid the consummation of the death penalty he was sentenced to in 1991 for killing an off-duty police officer were consumed when the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a last-minute plea.
A convicted killer according to Georgia’s judicial system, Davis lived his last hours under the mounting shadow of doubt of his guilt and the last sparkles of hope many people around the world had about his innocence.
For 20 years, Davis was a convicted killer on death row. For many years to come, his execution will be a forced reminder —perhaps even a symbol— of a legal system that in spite of reasonable doubt carried out his death sentence, and of the struggle against capital punishment.
Whoever killed police officer Mark Allen MacPhail sure needed to be punished in order for justice to be served. But if the man that was put through lethal injection was not guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, justice was cheated.
Troy Davis maintained his innocence up until his last minutes of life. His claim, however, was not able to change the course of his judicial fate. Now his case, and now certainly his death, will step up the fight to change the system that ended his life.
With Troy Davis dead, what is clearer than ever is that the struggle was not just to keep him alive, but to prove his innocence. In his own last words, he outlined the fight ahead: “The struggle for justice doesn’t end with me. This struggle is for all the ‘Troy Davises’ who came before me and all the ones who will come after me…”