Remembering Troy Davis One Year Later… What have We Done Since Then?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WZUhITejfI

What have we done since the execution of Troy Davis

One year ago there was a mass movement to save the life of Troy Anthony Davis.. Thousands took to the streets to demand his life be spared. many believed he was innocent.. Sadly that did not happen Political pressure led to the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Parole board which was headed by a Black man named Albert Murray  did not give Davis a stay.. The Supreme ct where another Black man Clarence Thomas also did not give Davis a stay with no explanation.. Since the death of Troy Davis one should reflect and ask what has happened since then.. We know in Georgia there have been major prison hunger strikes In fact it was just a day a go that we saw major protests.. . They have been virtually ignored by many who championed Troy Davis.. The abuses suffered by the inmates has put the Georgia Prison Board under fire…

In California there is a proposition on the upcoming 2012 election to end the Death Penalty.. That’s Prop 34.. Not sure if other states have similar propositions.. If not we should all be asking why? Was Troy Davis the flavor of the month? Was he one where folks got quick shine and then moved on or was he the launch of a movement as many claimed he would be  on the night of his death?

Here’s an interview we did with Kalonji Changa , the founder of the FTP Movement in Georgia  who was good friends with Troy’s family.. He reflects on all that has gone down over the past year, including Troy’s sister and mother passing..

Listen to the HKR Interview by clicking link below

An Incredible Commentary: I am NOT Trayvon Martin

This woman goes in a drops lots of gems on this commentary around Trayvon Martin… She addresses the issue of race, white privilege and activism in the wake of Trayvon’s murder.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBRwiuJ8K7w

Transcript:
I AM NOT TRAYVON MARTIN.
I AM NOT TROY DAVIS.

and to the middle class, white, socially concerned activist who wears a shirt emblazoned with those slogans, you are wrong.

I know you wear that shirt to stand in solidarity with Trayvon, Troy, and other victims of injustice. The purpose of those shirts is to humanize these victims of our society, by likening them to the middle class white activist wearing it. And once we’ve humanized the victims, this proves to us the arbitrariness of their deaths and thereby the injustice at play.

But the fact of the matter is that these men’s deaths are anything but arbitrary. The fact that the real Troy Davis and Trayvon Martin and countless other victims of oppression are buried under 6 feet of cold dirt while we middle class white activists are alive, marching, and wearing their names is an indication that our societal system is working exactly as it’s intended.

A more accurate t-shirt to display on my white body would be “I AM GEORGE ZIMMERMAN.” Zimmerman and I were indoctrinated in the same American discourse where we learned that the “other,” particularly black men like Trayvon and Troy, were less human and were to be feared. Society taught me that as a little white girl, I must preserve my purity and goodness, and that the presence of young single males threatened it. Society taught me that being in the presence of a BLACK man compounds that threat exponentially. I have been taught that male, black, bodies are an immediate threat to my safety and the well being of society as a whole, and Zimmerman was taught the same damn thing. We’re all taught it.

I look at George Zimmerman and think, “there, but for the grace of god, go I.” Had it not been for a decent education, intense critical thinking, and some truly excellent parenting, I would never have questioned the societal norms that Zimmerman and I were both taught, and I would have ended up feeling his attack on Trayvon was justified, just as he did, and the state of Florida does.

If we are to effect real change in the wake of Trayvon’s murder, we have to realize this. Realizing that you more closely resemble a homicidal oppressive force than a helpless victim is a really uncomfortable thing to do. I know. But wanting to identify with the victim is weak, and immature when it is not an accurate representation of reality. Real change is effected when we own up to our actions, our privilege, and our complicity with the system that murdered Trayvon and countless others.

Us privileged activists have to realize just how easy it is to be Zimmerman, and work to change this. Subvert stereotypes. Make it harder for others to buy into the bullshit that we’re fed our whole lives about race, class, gender, and other people by identifying and critiquing these messed up norms. Force adults to confront these norms, and raise children without indoctrinating them with the same old bullshit. Use your privilege to actively dismantle this messed up system. Listen to marginalized people like Trayvon’s family and Troy’s family and insure them access to the discourse. Listen to them, stand in solidarity with them. But do not, I repeat, DO NOT claim to be them.

 

Troy Davis Gets a Stay of Execution

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Props to all those who steadfastly organized around this issue. Now if only we can have similar energy around a real health reform bill..

D

http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/08/17/georgia.scotus.troy.davis/index.html

WASHINGTON (CNN) — The Supreme Court has granted a condemned Georgia inmate’s request that his execution be delayed as he attempts to prove his innocence.

Troy Davis has always maintained his innocence in the 1989 killing of Officer Mark MacPhail.

Troy Davis has always maintained his innocence in the 1989 killing of Officer Mark MacPhail.

The inmate, Troy Davis, has gained international support for his long-standing claim that he did not murder a Savannah police officer nearly two decades ago.

Justice John Paul Stevens on Monday ordered a federal judge to “receive testimony and make findings of fact as to whether evidence that could not have been obtained at trial clearly establishes petitioner’s innocence.”

Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer supported the decision. Sonia Sotomayor, who was sworn in August 8 as the newest member of the high court, did not take part in the petition.

Davis’ case has had a dramatic series of ups and downs in the past year. He was granted a stay of execution by the Supreme Court two hours before he was to be put to death last fall.

A month later, the justices reversed course and allowed the execution to proceed, but a federal appeals court then issued another stay.

The high court’s latest ruling means Davis will continue to sit on death row.

Stevens said the risk of putting a potentially innocent man to death “provides adequate justification” for another evidentiary hearing.

His supporters in June delivered petitions bearing about 60,000 signatures to Chatham County, Georgia, District Attorney Larry Chisolm, calling for a new trial. Chisolm is the county’s first African-American district attorney. Davis is also African-American.

Davis has always maintained his innocence in the 1989 killing of Officer Mark MacPhail. Witnesses said Davis, then 19, and two others were harassing a homeless man in a Burger King restaurant parking lot when the off-duty officer arrived to help the man. Witnesses testified at trial that Davis then shot MacPhail twice and fled.

But since his 1991 conviction, seven of the nine witnesses against him have recanted their testimony. No physical evidence was presented linking Davis to the killing of the policeman.

The Georgia Pardons and Parole Board last year held closed-door hearings and reinterviewed the witnesses and Davis himself. The panel decided against clemency.

MacPhail’s mother, Annaliese, told CNN at the time, “This is what we were hoping for, and I hope pretty soon that we will have some peace and start our life, especially my grandchildren — my grandson and granddaughter. It has overshadowed their lives.”

After the justices in October refused to grant a stay of execution, Davis’ sister, Martina Correia, told CNN she was “disgusted” by the decision.

“It doesn’t make any sense,” she said. “We are praying for a miracle or some kind of intervention. We will regroup and fight. We will never stop fighting. We just can’t be discouraged. The fight is not over till it’s over.”

Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas objected to the court’s decision Monday, calling it a “fool’s errand.”

“Petitioner’s claim is a sure loser,” wrote Scalia. “Transferring his petition to the [federal] District Court is a confusing exercise that can serve no purpose except to delay the state’s execution of its lawful criminal judgment.”

Ten days after the high court refused last October to intervene, a federal appeals court in Georgia granted a temporary stay of execution. Since then, further appeals by Davis’ legal team have dragged on for nearly a year.

Prominent figures ranging from the pope to the musical group Indigo Girls have asked Georgia to grant Davis a new trial. Other supporters include celebrities Susan Sarandon and Harry Belafonte; world leaders such as former President Jimmy Carter and former Archbishop Desmond Tutu; and former and current U.S. lawmakers Bob Barr, Carol Moseley Braun and John Lewis.

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