Today, CNN features the excellent video above on Troy Davis’ case, including interviews with the victim’s family and with a juror from the original trial. It also provides a rich background on the racial overtones of the case. The plot is thicker and murkier than it appeared on the newspaper coverage, and this piece does a good job of exposing it.

Do something:

NAACP petition to the original prosecutor
NAACP petition to the Georgia Department of Parole
Legal Professionals petition
Religious Leaders petition

As a coda, I want to offer a thought experiment. Having read plenty about this case, I am fairly convinced that Davis is factually innocent. But if he were guilty – and he’s been in prison for the last two decades, scheduled for execution four times – does all that not count as punishment for homicide? The problem with our administration of the death penalty is that it is not merely execution; it’s life imprisonment under atrocious conditions with an execution thrown in at the end as a coup-de-grace for good measure. It is an unconscionable system.

So, fight for Troy if you believe, as I do, that he is innocent; and I do hope you come to that conclusion upon learning more about the case. But think on whether this system makes sense for guilty people, too.

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