GEORGIA HAS BLOOD ON ITS HANDS
-Judge Greg Mathis (September 22, 2011)
Judge Mathis Weighs in on the execution of Troy Davis
Uploaded by judgegregmathis on Sep 22, 2011
Judge Greg Mathis Weighs in on the execution of Troy Davis.
This transcript is posted for its sociological, historical, education, and folkloric value.
"By now the world is aware that Troy Davis, a 42 year old Black American from Georgia was executed after the Supreme Court denied his 11th hour appeal. He was convicted in the 1989 murder of an off-duty Savannah, Georgia police officer, but he maintained his innocence until the vey end.
Davis exhausted all of his appeals in the court system, fighting to win a new trial. He presented affidavits from seven of the nine witnesses who recanted their original testimony. Despite the overwhelming doubt surrounding his guilt, Davis never received a new trial and was unjustly put to death by lethal injection. I don’t like to contradict other judges, but Davis should have been granted a new trial so that he could proof his innocence. This was without a doubt a grave miscarriage of justice.
We’ve long known that our justice system is broken. Davis’ execution shows us just how flawed the system has become. Too often prosecutors and parole boards simply refuse to admit that they are wrong or have doubts about the guilt of the accused. Our nation’s governors are often unwilling to sacrifice their political careers in the name of doing the right thing.
Troy Davis was failed at every step of the judicial process. America must revamp its legal system beginning with the way that we investigate and arrest suspects and continuing to the way that we prosecute them and the way that we handle appeals. We must not allow prosecutors to convict an individual based solely on eyewitness testimony when new evidence is introduced or witnesses recant their testimony. A new trial should automatically be granted when this occurs. Lastly, we need a nationwide ban on the death penalty. One innocent man put to death is one too many. If we can’t be certain of the legitimacy of the convictions, the practice must be halted. It is criminal that this man was executed with so much doubt surrounding his case and Georgia has blood on its hands."
My transcription of Judge Greg Mathis' video statement about Troy Davis' execution is provided for the historical, sociological, and cultural record. Judge Greg Mathis is an African American male, a retired District Court Judge of Michigan's 36 District Court, and judge on the popular syndicated American court television show that bears his name.
It's my strong opinion that Judge Mathis' "Georgia Has Blood On Its Hands" statement should join the ranks of other notable African American statements and speeches.*
It should be noted that Judge Mathis did not give the title "Georgia Has Blood On Its Hands" to his statement about Troy Davis' case & execution. That title is lifted from the last sentence of his statement. It appears that a numberf of news reports are using that title in their articles about Judge Mathis' video statement.
The words given in italics are my attempt to approximate the emphasis that Judge Mathis gave to those words.
*A listing of such speeches along with hyperlinks to those speeches is found at http://www.infoplease.com/spot/bhmspeeches.html Notable Speeches and Letters by African Americans, From Benjamin Banneker to Barack Obama
Click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judge_Mathis to find informaton about Judge Greg Mathis.
Click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troy_Davis_case to find information about Troy Davis.
-Ms. Azizi Powell
September 23, 2011
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