Human rights groups and millions of people around the world expressed concern about the possibility of Troy Davis' innocence and urged the state of Georgia to stop the execution.
Troy Davis was convicted in 1991 for the murder of a police officer. His conviction was based on nine eyewitness accounts. There was no murder weapon or physical evidence linking Troy Davis to the murder. There was no DNA evidence. As if this was not enough, seven out of the nine star prosecution witnesses changed or recanted their testimonies. This raised genuine questions about the conviction.
On 21 September 2011, Troy Davis was executed and pronounced dead at 11:08pm local time. This marked a shameful victory for the state killing machine and highlighted flaws in the U.S. legal system.
Despite the grave injustice demonstrated by the state of Georgia in the Troy Davis case, there is a glimmer of hope for the abolition of the death penalty in the U.S. - the only country in the Americas that still kills its citizens in the name of justice.
The case inspired millions to join the cause against the death penalty. Many have seen the reality of the possibility of the execution of an innocent individual. Many realized that "we are all Troy Davises." Anyone could be convicted based only on eyewitness accounts and executed despite recantations and doubts.
Before you support the death penalty and "feel relief and peace" after someone is executed, think again. Keep in mind that anyone, including you, could be wrongfully accused, wrongfully convicted and wrongfully executed in a country where the death penalty is exacted.
The execution of Troy Davis marked a low point in the U.S. legal system and highlighted the reason why the death penalty should be abolished in the U.S. and all other countries that still have capital punishment in legislation.
Troy Davis is dead, but the fight against the dead penalty in the U.S. is stronger than ever.
"If one of our fellow citizens can be executed with so much doubt surrounding his guilt, then the death penalty system in our country is unjust and outdated."
- Jimmy Carter, former U.S. President.