Attend Troy Davis vigil tonight

By Jonathan Wassell

On October 24 the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Georgia issued a temporary stay of execution for Troy Davis. Davis was sentenced to death for the murder of Officer Mark MacPhail in 1989 and since 1992 has been on death row. Since Davis’ trial, seven out of the nine witnesses against him have recanted or contradicted their testimony. Of the remaining two witnesses, one did not identify Troy Davis as the shooter until two years later and the other is the alternative suspect in the murder.

There was never any material evidence, whether it be DNA or a weapon found to point to Davis as the shooter and yet he remained on death row. Davis maintains he did not commit the murder on that day. Despite all the evidence pointing to the need for a new trial, no such action has taken place.

I believe that the communities in our country should take notice of this case, not only because of the unwillingness of authorities to retry it, but to also show to the public the great necessity to take another look at the problems with the death penalty.

When innocent people are kept in prison and subsequently executed for a crime they did not or may have not committed it not only affects that person and his family, but the moral fabric by which our country has been built on.

In accordance, please come out on Tuesday, November 18 at 8 p.m. on the Quad side of the Union on the University of Illinois campus. Through this vigil we wish to show not only an urgent need for justice in the case of Troy Davis, but also to show solidarity against the death penalty that all too often makes key mistakes in such cases.

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    Jonathan Wassell

    Senior in LAS