Tuesday, September 20, 2011

There can be no doubt

LAST MINUTE UPDATE: In less than 90 minutes, the state of Georgia is scheduled to execute someone whose guilt is very much in doubt. Any hope for intervention rests in the hands of Chatham County District Attorney Larry Chisolm and Judge Penny Freesemann. Please sign the petition asking them to stop what can never be reversed: an execution.

The United States of America continues to kill people, as the State of Georgia plans to do tomorrow to Troy Davis. Mr. Davis was convicted of murdering a Georgia police officer, Mark Allen Macphail, in 1991.
Since then, the case against him has collapsed, and a new trial would certainly fall well short of reasonable doubt. (See Amnesty International for a summary.)

I do not know if Troy Davis is guilty or innocent. And that is a problem.

I believe we should not be in the execution business at all. But we certainly can't be killing people when guilt is not certain.

Troy Davis has said "They can take my body but not my spirit, because I have given my spirit to God."

Criminal justice is not principally about the criminal. It is about all of us, and strives to restore the body to health.

It probably will not stop the State of Georgia from killing Troy Davis. But please speak up. Call the District Attorney of Chatham County (912-652-7308), and ask him to intervene. And when you can't get through (their phone may be off the hook), send your message at districtattorney.chathamcounty.org/Home/ContactUs.aspx.

You may also wish to keep faith by talking with others about justice, life, and death, and by fasting on Wednesday evening. And please mark the 7 o’clock hour Eastern time - the time of Troy’s scheduled execution — as a moment to offer prayer.

Thank you.

Almighty God, let your justice rule. Spare the lives of the innocent and the guilty, and work your way in the hearts of every human being, that each may turn from destruction and towards the light of righteousness. Restrain us from the impulse to kill. Be with each of us who lies under the threat of death, and open to us the way of truth, of hope, and of life. Amen.
 

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