Dispatch from our intern


Troy Anthony Davis, who was convicted in 1989 of killing off-duty white police officer Mark MacPhail, was executed by the state of Georgia yesterday. Killed by lethal injection, Davis was pronounced dead on Wednesday at 11:08pm ET.

And yet there were significant doubts about his guilt. Davis’ execution was delayed for approximately four hours while the US Supreme Court considered an appeal, but ultimately the Court denied a last-minute stay of execution. Davis, an African-American who was convicted when he was only twenty, maintained his innocence until the end, and in the moments before his death he told the family of MacPhail he had nothing to do with the police officer’s murder.

Democracy Now! broadcast live from the prison grounds in Jackson, Georgia in the hours leading up to Davis’ execution, speaking with some of the hundreds of supporters who gathered there to hold an all-day vigil for Davis. You can learn more about Davis’ story and the anti-death penalty protests that have been spurred by the execution of a man who was very possibly innocent at Democracy Now!.

Here are some other links of interest I found during the week:

The Islamic Centre near Ground Zero (dubbed the ‘Ground Zero Mosque’ by opponents) just opened to the public.

• The Palestinians are taking their bid to be recognised as a state by the UN on Friday. +972 Magazine uploaded a podcast exploring the pros and cons of the Palestinian UN bid. In conversation are +972 bloggers Dahlia Scheindlin, Dimi Reider, Joseph Dana and Larry Derfner.

• Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gave an interview with Nicholas Kristof from the New York Times. They spoke about Iran’s nuclear program and human rights in Iran, and Kristof posted the full transcript of the interview online.

Guy Rundle writes in Crikey on the release of Julian Assange’s unauthorised biography. Assange has denounced the book’s publication, but it is already on sale in the UK. The Independent has also published a couple of ‘exclusive extracts’ from the book.

• Larvartus Prodeo looks at Tony Abbott’s misrepresentation of the facts in the carbon tax debate.

• Over at New Matilda, Martin C. Jones explains how the government’s Clean Energy Future package will work. New Matilda is also still looking for financial supporters.

• Lastly, Overland editor Jeff Sparrow has written an essay in the latest Meanjin on Osama bin Laden’s death and how violence is used to foster public unity in the US.

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  1. Hey Rose

    thanks for this excellent – though terribly sad – summary of the internet/world this week. There are a couple of things I’d like to add, if I may, all relating to the Troy Davis case.

    First, a video* about Rick Perry and his homicidal tendencies, focusing on the Todd Willingham case:

    *will make blood boil

    Yet another excellent piece by Dr Jeff Sparrow, in today’s Crikey, about the case and the role of the death penalty in the States:

    A few years ago, I interviewed former Florida prison warden Ron Andrews about the death sentences he’d carried out. He spoke of the ghastly mechanics of putting a man to death, about how, after a lethal injection, he’d been required to pull the needles out of the prisoner (a man that he’d known intimately for years), how following an electrocution, the dead eyes of the inmate were left frozen open, staring at him as he stuffed the corpse into a body bag, put it into a hearse and brought it to the medical examiner’s office.

    “When they say cause of death, do you know what the word is?” he continued. “It’s homicide. Homicide!”

    And finally, the statement Troy Davis made to Amnesty earlier this week:

    ‘The struggle for justice doesn’t end with me. This struggle is for all the Troy Davises who came before me and all the ones who will come after me.’

  2. ‘Justice’ sounds-about, as a chilling

    word today… vertebrae by vertebrae-signal

    synced to screech, through a sterile faith

    a curdling wail purged faint

    from abound, the state of Georgia, can be heard

    with cause célèbre inmate 657378’s slaughter

    Please.. do not mention ‘justice’

    and court or law from the same thought

    I am bleeding at heart, being squeezed

    from my breath I’ve been left to dying,

    in belief that the order of yours,, is protecting mine-

    Forget summonsing me forth

    to serve ‘justice’, of any kind!

    I renounce jury as a duty henceforth!

    The rage of poise in a cage destroying innocence

    calls, demonstrations to swell in the name of Troy..

    Speak me, not a word, about ‘Justice’.

    ‘Justice,’ rubs me of Dixie today,

    by a fist full of hair from the back of the head

    it’s got us all hung up on trees in that way;

    there spits a brazen snickering gaze of a threat

    weighing chains on my neck swaying draped,

    on the fate, of Black, U.S.A

  3. Rose, thanks for your excellent post.

    That the state could sanction and carry out the murder of one of its citizens (or any human being) is utterly chilling. And it’s sickening that this eye-for-an-eye mentality has so much support that politicians, including Obama, are too self-interested to speak out against it, let alone make changing the law a priority.

  4. Just watched the video, I’m horrified. What made it worse was how the audience at the candidates debate applauded Perry at the news that his state has killed 234 people. Regardless of whether Davis was innocent or not, executions, in my mind, are abhorrent, and it disturbs me that anyone can applaud it. Too sad.

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