When I first heard about the case of Troy Davis back in September 2008, I was enraged. What enraged me wasn’t so much the injustice of his situation. His saga is one of many, past, present and unfortunately future cases where a Black man has been incarcerated and/or executed on questionable evidence. What enraged me was that the life of another human being could be held in so little regard, that it could be “taken” away by the judicial system of a so-called “civilized” society… a society in which I live… when there is so much “doubt” concerning the evidence. For a background on his case see here.
I recently watched a documentary on the Armenian genocide in 1915 and the narrator made a comment which we always hear when it comes to the mass killing of a group of human beings by another: “the victims were de-humanized”. I also believe that this happens between individuals… the victim is de-humanized by the killer. I further believe that the perpetrator(s) of the killing(s) have in the same process de-humanized themselves… and there is nothing more dangerous than a “de-humanized” criminal judicial system!
I was never comfortable nor impressed by the notion of Lady Justice being portrayed as white, blindfolded woman with a sword! In an imperfect, racist, sexist, and class centered “civilized” society such as ours, blind justice is no justice at all. It’s a justice which blindfolds itself to truth, rationality and compassion. It’s a justice which can sentence an innocent man to death and sees nothing wrong with that.
So in September 2008, I directed my rage into this post on Troy Davis called “Life”. He has subsequently lost his latest appeal for a new trial and his stay of execution expired last Friday on May 15th, 2009. Today on May 19th, Amnesty International is sponsoring a Global Day of Action for Troy Davis. Visit the site to take action and get involved in this cause. I also want to recognize the efforts of Sojourner’s Place for organizing this “Global Blogging Day of Action for Troy Davis”.