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September 21, 2011, is the date of execution of one of the most controversial capital punishment cases that created national attention. I Am Troy Davis is a book written by Jen Marlowe and Martina Davis-... It documents the story of Troy Davis and his childhood, and what led up to the moments that were captured during his conviction for murder, and his subsequent death by the state.
Troy Davis was accused of shooting police officer Mark MacPhail, who was moonlighting as a security guard when he attempted to break up a fight with two other men. Davis was placed at the scene of the crime and was accused of being the shooter, by eyewitness testimony. A manhunt ensued, and Davis turned himself in and didn’t realize that the criminal justice system would convict him and put him to death. When reading how Davis was convicted based on no DNA evidence (even the gun that was used was never found), would frustrate the reader. One knows that the criminal justice system was about to give Davis a raw deal that would lead to his death, based on reading how unethical the case was handled from the very beginning.
After Davis’ conviction, his sister Martina Davis-Correta did everything remotely possible to prevent the state from killing her brother. The chapters discuss the stay of execution for Davis, as he was preparing to take a walk to his death. The back and forth that the state put this family through was torture until the end, where he was finally put to death, proclaiming his innocence to the bitter end.
This book highlights capital punishment and makes one thinks how many potential innocent defendants, are placed on death row, and executed. We read it every day how many defendants that are on death row are exonerated because of their innocence. The Troy Davis case made me look at the death penalty differently. Some would say they should get rid of capital punishment entirely. I would go on to say, no one should be put to death based on only eyewitness testimony, which includes only circumstantial evidence.
There are special cases that I wouldn’t mind seeing a needle embedded in the human flesh. For example the killer (who we won’t name) that entered a church in South Carolina and executed the majority of the people inside, while at bible study. I’m sorry, I’m still stuck in the middle of the capital punishment argument, but again, circumstantial evidence is unacceptable when evoking the capital punishment on defendants. The risks of innocence is too great to appoint the death penalty based on weak evidence.
I Am Troy Davis is a very emotional piece of non-fiction, and it's become one of my favorite books that I’ve read in 2015. Not only does the reader gain incite on Troy Davis’ life, but it also highlights his family and their fight for the truth, while the alleged killer gets away with the murder. It also makes one angry at the bias police department, that coerce eye witnesses into framing their stories, just to lock up any Black face imaginable, without having integrity when performing their jobs. Lastly, the sad ending of those involved should resonate with the reader and make one seek an end to the corrupt system. Black Lives Matter is a new movement, but it started centuries ago. In Troy Davis’ case, Black lives didn’t matter to those who sought to give Davis the ultimate punishment, no matter how flimsy the evidence.
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