Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Update: Will Georgia murder Troy Davis?


The State of Georgia has no problem murdering an innocent man.

The Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole gave a thumbs down to Troy Davis' request for clemency today - despite overwhelming evidence that the wrong man is on death row.

How, might you ask, is this possible? How could five men and women be blind to seven of the nine witnesses recanting their trial testimony? How could five men and women be so certain when the murder weapon was never recovered? When there was no forensic evidence?

Radley Balko has an idea. Here is the makeup of the board who decided Mr. Davis' fate:
Gale Buckner, a former Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent . . . . Robert Keller, the ex-chair of a Georgia prosecutors group . . . James Donald, the former head of the Georgia Department of Corrections, Albert Murray, who led the state’s juvenile justice program, and Terry Barnard, a former Republican state lawmaker.
Jeff Gamso has a problem with it. So does Mr. Popehat himself.

So we have former prosecutors and ex-cops on the panel that decides whether or not to grant clemency. As Mr. Gamso pointed out so eloquently - what other answer did you expect? The deck is stacked, man. Mr. Davis never stood a prayer.

The hatted one offers a modest proposal - let's have someone from the defense on the panel. How about someone from the outside of the criminal (in)justice system? I don't know if it would make a difference, but as it stands, the panel is nothing more than a rubber stamp for law enforcement. And, since the victim was a police officer, someone has to pay the price.

Maybe this is what the mantra of limited government is all about - limiting the rights of the accused and limiting their access to justice.

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