Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Isn't it Time to Join the World?


European Parliament resolution of 10 July 2008 on the death penalty, particularly the case of Troy Davis

The European Parliament,

- having regard to its previous resolutions on the abolition of the death penalty and the need for an immediate moratorium on executions in those countries where the death penalty is still imposed,

- having regard to UN General Assembly Resolution 62/149 of 18 December 2007 on the moratorium on the use of the death penalty in the world,

- having regard to the updated and revised version of the EU Guidelines on the Death Penalty, adopted by the Council on 16 June 2008,

A. having regard to the case of Troy Davis, sentenced to death by the Georgia State Court in 1991 for the murder of a policeman and scheduled to be executed at the end of July 2008,

B. whereas, according to Troy Davis' lawyers, there is abundant proof of his innocence, material evidence against him has never been produced and seven witnesses for the prosecution have retracted their testimony,

C. whereas on 4 August 2007 the Supreme Court of Georgia agreed to reconsider new elements casting doubt on Troy Davis' guilt,

D. whereas on 17 March 2008 the Supreme Court of Georgia denied Troy Davis a retrial, although the Chief Justice dissented,

E. whereas since 1975 more than 120 people have been released from death row in the United States, having been found innocent,

F. whereas in the United States the power of clemency in cases where a capital sentence has been imposed exists as a failsafe against irreversible errors that the courts are unable or unwilling to remedy,

G. whereas New Jersey is the first US State to have abolished capital punishment by legislation since the reintroduction of the death penalty in the United States in 1972, citing the inescapable risk of executing those wrongfully convicted,

1. Calls upon those countries where the death penalty is imposed to take the necessary steps towards its abolition;

2. Asks that Troy Davis' death sentence be commuted and, in view of the abundant evidence which might lead to such commutation, for the relevant courts to grant him a retrial;

3. Appeals urgently to the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles to commute Troy Davis' death sentence;

4. Calls on the Presidency of the Council and the Delegation of the Commission to the United States to raise the issue as a matter of urgency with the US authorities;

5. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Government of the United States, the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles, and the Attorney General of Georgia.

(Via International Action Center Online Petition.)

1 comment:

dudleysharp said...

It is always required that both sides of the story be told.

Dudley Sharp

(1) Davis v Georgia, Georgia Supreme Court, March 17, 2008
Full ruling http://www.gasupreme.us/pdf/s07a1758.pdf
Summary http://www.gasupreme.us/op_summaries/mar_17.pdf

" . . . the majority finds that 'most of the witnesses to the crime who have allegedly recanted have merely stated that they now do not feel able to identify the shooter.' "One of the affidavits 'might actually be read so as to confirm trial testimony that Davis was the shooter.' "

The murder occurred in 1989.

9/22/08, http://www.pap.state.ga.us/opencms/opencms/

"After an exhaustive review of all available information regarding the Troy Davis case and after considering all possible reasons for granting clemency, the Board has determined that clemency is not warranted."

"The Board has now spent more than a year studying and considering this case. As a part of its proceedings, the Board gave Davis’ attorneys an opportunity to present every witness they desired to support their allegation that there is doubt as to Davis’ guilt. The Board heard each of these witnesses and questioned them closely. In addition, the Board has studied the voluminous trial transcript, the police investigation report and the initial statements of all witnesses. The Board has also had certain physical evidence retested and Davis interviewed."

(3) read the PDF statement released by Chatham County District Attorney Spencer Lawton on the case facts at: http://tinyurl.com/46c73l

A detailed review of the extraordinary consideration that Davis was given for all of his claims.

(4) Officer Mark Allen MacPhail
The family of murdered Officer MacPhail fully believes that Troy Davis murdered their loved one and that the evidence is supportive of that opinion.