Transcribed: "Troy Davis: Movement Lessons" by Mumia Abu-Jamal
30 Sep 2011 21:21 GMT
Mumia Abu-Jamal's Radio Essay from 9/25/2011 about the execution of Troy Davis on 9/21/2011. Mumia Abu-Jamal is an award-winning journalist and author who chronicles the human condition. He has been a resident of Pennsylvania’s death row for twenty-nine years.
Troy Davis' execution was condemned by Amnesty International
The state judicial murder of Troy Davis of Georgia showed both the limits and the successes of the Anti-Death Penalty Movement. It seems silly to speak of successes when a man is poisoned to death by judicial decree but though they were partial, they were successes nonetheless. To obtain the support of people like former U.S. President, Jimmy Carter, pope Benedict XVI, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and former F.B.I. director, William Sessions, was no small feat; it showed the reach of the movement to procure such support.
The movement was also fueled by such revelations as shown by the recantations of people like Anton Williams, who was one of the state's witnesses. Williams later stated, “After the officers talked to me, they gave me a statement and told me to sign it. I signed it. I did not read it because I cannot read. I felt pressured to point at him.” Was there police coercion in Davis' case? The D.A. certainly thought so and was quoted as saying “Oh well, they were probably coerced by the defense too so that balances it out and we should still kill him.” Think about that. What power of coercion does the defense posses? Handcuffs? Threats? Jail cells? Criminal charges? Death sentences? That any prosecutor can say something so dopey is, well, nuts.
The Troy Davis Movement amassed almost a million signatures on petitions; remarkable. But signatures on paper or online aren't people in the streets. If a million people were on the march, maybe, maybe he would be alive. Maybe. The limits of the law blockade imposed in part ironically by a former constitutional professor who came to be seen as the first black President, I speak here of Bill Clinton, also denied Troy Davis true redress.
Troy Davis' family and supporters brought much to the anti-death penalty movement. I hope they're not too disheartened to continue the struggle. Such struggle will ensure that Troy Davis will not be forgotten. From Death Row, this is Mumia Abu-Jamal. These commentaries are recorded by Noelle Hanrahan of Prison Radio.