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by Hazel Buckingham The execution of Troy Davis on September 21, 2011 has been hailed a miscarriage of justice and another illustration of racial discrimination in the southern state of Georgia. Davis was convicted of murder with an aggravating factor in 1991 and sentenced to the death penalty. Several pleas of innocence were made throughout his 20 year fight for freedom, not only from Davis but also Amnesty, NAACP, and several figures of authority. Davis was granted four stays on his execution and new dates were set each time, in light of new evidence appearing. Davis remained confident of his innocence until his last dying breath and has now become a symbol for global efforts to end the death penalty. So was it right to execute a man who could possibly have been innocent? How is it possible that an innocent man could end up on death row? And is it right to execute him at all, or was this just an act of revenge rather than justice? To answer these questions, let us play a little game of spot the difference:

Troy Davis

16.

Samuel David Crowe

Alright. So on the left is Troy Davis from the state of Georgia. Davis was accused of fatally shooting an off-duty police officer and convicted on the basis of eyewitnesses’ testimonies. However, recently seven out of nine of those eyewitnesses have signed affidavits recanting some or all of their testimonies. Their reasons have been varied, but a common theme has been pressure from the police force threatening jail or conviction. A weapon was never found and there was no physical evidence linking Davis to the crime. Davis consistently maintained his innocence. He made several appeals for clemency but was executed. On the right, is Samuel David Crowe from the state of Georgia. Crowe was accused of killing a former co-worker. He shot his victim, hit him with a paint can, poured paint on his face and beat him with a crowbar. Crowe confessed to his crime, pleaded guilty and admitted remorse. Crowe was sentenced to execution, but was granted clemency hours before his execution. He is now serving a life sentence.

Profile for Debate Magazine

debate issue 23, 2011  

Welcome to the creative issue of debate, brought to you by AuSM.

debate issue 23, 2011  

Welcome to the creative issue of debate, brought to you by AuSM.

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