Courts, Crime, Race and Ethnicity

While We’re Busy Praising Sotomayor, Remember That She Signed Off On The Execution of Troy Davis

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The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that Michigan voters did not violate the U.S. Constitution when they banned using race as a factor in college admissions to public universities. Justice Sonia Sotomayor dissented.

Sotomayor was not happy with the majority’s decision to uphold Michigan’s ban. She made her dissenting opinion known to all, calling the ruling and the justices “out of touch.”

Everyone seems to be singing Sotomayor’s praises today. It seems that this calls for an important reminder that Sotomayor was part of the unanimous court decision to allow Troy Davis’s execution.

For those of you who don’t know, Troy Davis was an American man convicted of and executed for the August 19, 1989, alleged murder of police officer Mark MacPhail in Savannah, Georgia. In 2009, the Supreme Court of the United States ordered the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia to consider whether new evidence “that could not have been obtained at the time of trial clearly establishes [Davis’s] innocence.”

Seven of the nine key witnesses to the murder of MacPhail had already recanted their evidence. But in an August 2010 decision, the conviction was upheld.

In January 2011, Davis’s legal team filed a new petition with the United States Supreme Court, alleging that District Judge Moore had “evinced a clear hostility” against Davis during the August 2010 hearing, and again asking for a new trial. The United States Supreme Court turned the appeal down.

After Davis made a last minute appeal to the United States Supreme Court, the sentence was carried out through lethal injection. The Supreme Court unanimously rejected the appeal, and Davis was executed on September 21, 2011.

There were absolutely no dissents were filed in the January 2011 case, nor in the case of the last minute appeal… Not a single one. That includes Sotomayor.

World figures, including Pope Benedict XVI and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, human rights groups and commentators urged the execution to be halted, but that didn’t sway the court whatsoever. That includes Sotomayor.

Sotomayor signed off on the execution of Troy Davis. Let that sink in for a moment, and then PASS IT ON if you agree Davis deserves JUSTICE and that we should never turn a blind eye to those who are responsible for his execution.

(Article by M.B. David; h/t to Bina Ahmed for pointing this out)

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