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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Troy Davis, Convicted Cop-Killer, Executed In Georgia

[Update] Clayton Cramer compared Ann Coulter's recount of the case with the mainstream media's and then checked the federal court evidentiary hearing opinion from last year... go, read.

His name was Mark MacPhail, he was 27 years old and it took over 22 years for his family to receive closure.

Her name was Adria Sauceda, she was 16 years old, and it took over 16 years for her family to receive closure.

His name was James Byrd Jr, he was 49 years old and it took over 13 years for his family to receive closure.

22 years ago Troy Davis was convicted of killing Mark MacPhail, a police officer.

Last night, September 21, 2011, at 11:08, he was executed for his crime.

Davis became the poster boy for the left in their opposition to the death penalty and that argument, on whether the death penalty is right or wrong, has been going on for decades and will continue for many more.

Ann Coulter gives a run down on the Troy Davis saga:

It's nearly impossible to receive a death sentence these days -- unless you do something completely crazy like shoot a cop in full view of dozens of witnesses in a Burger King parking lot, only a few hours after shooting at a passing car while exiting a party.

That's what Troy Davis did in August 1989. Davis is the media's current baby seal of death row.

After a two-week trial with 34 witnesses for the state and six witnesses for the defense, the jury of seven blacks and five whites took less than two hours to convict Davis of Officer Mark MacPhail's murder, as well as various other crimes. Two days later, the jury sentenced Davis to death.

Now, a brisk 22 years after Davis murdered Officer MacPhail, his sentence will finally be administered this week -- barring any more of the legal shenanigans that have kept taxpayers on the hook for Davis' room and board for the past two decades.

(The average time on death row is 14 years. Then liberals turn around and triumphantly claim the death penalty doesn't have any noticeable deterrent effect. As the kids say: Duh.)

It has been claimed -- in The New York Times and Time magazine, for example -- that there was no "physical evidence" connecting Davis to the crimes that night.

Davis pulled out a gun and shot two strangers in public. What "physical evidence" were they expecting? No houses were broken into, no cars stolen, no rapes or fistfights accompanied the shootings. Where exactly would you look for DNA? And to prove what?

I suppose it would be nice if the shell casings from both shootings that night matched. Oh wait -- they did. That's "physical evidence."

It's true that the bulk of the evidence against Davis was eyewitness testimony. That tends to happen when you shoot someone in a busy Burger King parking lot.

Eyewitness testimony, like all evidence tending to show guilt, has gotten a bad name recently, but the "eyewitness" testimony in this case did not consist simply of strangers trying to distinguish one tall black man from another. For one thing, several of the eyewitnesses knew Davis personally.

The bulk of the eyewitness testimony established the following:

Two tall, young black men were harassing a vagrant in the Burger King parking lot, one in a yellow shirt and the other in a white Batman shirt. The one in the white shirt used a brown revolver to pistol-whip the vagrant. When a cop yelled at them to stop, the man in the white shirt ran, then wheeled around and shot the cop, walked over to his body and shot him again, smiling.

Some eyewitnesses described the shooter as wearing a white shirt, some said it was a white shirt with writing, and some identified it specifically as a white Batman shirt. Not one witness said the man in the yellow shirt pistol-whipped the vagrant or shot the cop.

Several of Davis' friends testified -- without recantation -- that he was the one in a white shirt. Several eyewitnesses, both acquaintances and strangers, specifically identified Davis as the one who shot Officer MacPhail.

Now the media claim that seven of the nine witnesses against Davis at trial have recanted.

First of all, the state presented 34 witnesses against Davis -- not nine -- which should give you some idea of how punctilious the media are about their facts in death penalty cases.

Among the witnesses who did not recant a word of their testimony against Davis were three members of the Air Force, who saw the shooting from their van in the Burger King drive-in lane. The airman who saw events clearly enough to positively identify Davis as the shooter explained on cross-examination, "You don't forget someone that stands over and shoots someone."

Recanted testimony is the least believable evidence since it proves only that defense lawyers managed to pressure some witnesses to alter their testimony, conveniently after the trial has ended. Even criminal lobbyist Justice William Brennan ridiculed post-trial recantations.

Three recantations were from friends of Davis, making minor or completely unbelievable modifications to their trial testimony. For example, one said he was no longer sure he saw Davis shoot the cop, even though he was five feet away at the time. His remaining testimony still implicated Davis.

One alleged recantation, from the vagrant's girlfriend (since deceased), wasn't a recantation at all, but rather reiterated all relevant parts of her trial testimony, which included a direct identification of Davis as the shooter.

Only two of the seven alleged "recantations" (out of 34 witnesses) actually recanted anything of value -- and those two affidavits were discounted by the court because Davis refused to allow the affiants to testify at the post-trial evidentiary hearing, even though one was seated right outside the courtroom, waiting to appear.

There is more, above and below what I quoted, so you can read it for yourself.

You can see the discussions over at Memeorandum, but one specific question over at The Jawa Report, caught my eye.

The Jawa Report points out two out of three planned executions received massive media acknowledgment, one received almost none. No publicly reported protests for that one either. Two were minorities, they got the attention, one was a white supremacist and he wasn't a blip on the radar of these opponents of the death penalty.

A black convicted cop killer and a Mexican born child rapist/murderer drew the attention of the far left with the man that raped, sodomized, and then beat a young teenage girl to death getting national attention from the Obama administration.

Jawa asks: "So, how is the life of a white supremacist any different than that of a cop-killer or a child rapist/murderer? Why are some worthy of saving and others ignored by the left?"

Good question.

How do the left determine who becomes their "baby seals" and who is not worthy of acknowledgment?

Here is what bugs the hell out me.

Troy Davis, cop-killer, Humberto Leal, child rapist/murderer and Lawrence Russell Brewer, murderer.... all names that are now known because they were executed.

Adria Sauceda (16 years old), James Byrd Jr (49 years old) and Officer Mark MacPhail (27 years old), the murder victims of the executed men have been relegated to side notes over the media firestorm about the executions themselves.

A side note.

Sadder yet, many on the left are so busy howling about the execution itself, they do not even mention the victim's name.

What the hell is wrong with these people?

(Changes were made to this post- Update was moved to the top)