frightened: (v governments should be afraid)
[personal profile] frightened
On 21st September, Troy Davis was executed by lethal injection by the state of Georgia, after the US Supreme Court denied a stay of execution. The day before, Cleve Foster, facing the same fate in Texas, received a stay of execution from the same court.

Which, don't get me wrong, is a very good thing. I am against the death penalty. Everybody should get a stay of execution. Hell, nobody should be sentenced to death in the first place. People sometimes say, "oh, well yeah, in general, but about this really bad one?" Unless you're in some hellhole like Iran, one would hope that the death penalty would only be reserved for the really bad ones. To be against the death penalty except for the really bad ones is not to be against the death penalty at all. Anyway. Not the point.

The point is, what does Cleve Foster have going for him, that Troy Davis didn't?

Cleve Foster was convicted of raping and shooting Nyanuer 'Mary' Pal, a female Sudanese immigrant. Troy Davis was convicted of shooting Mark MacPhail, a white male police officer.

The evidence against Cleve Foster was not conclusive: his semen in her vagina, and weapons soaking in cleaning fluid in his truck. Her blood was found on his co-defendant's clothes, but not his. The evidence against Troy Davis was even less: nine eyewitness testimonies, seven of which were later recanted, and one of which came from the other possible suspect.

Cleve Foster was a US Army recruiter and Gulf War veteran. Troy Davis signed up twice with the US Marines, but had a generally poor employment and school record.

Cleve Foster is white. Troy Davis was black.

I cannot escape the conclusion that Mark MacPhail was simply a higher-status victim than Nyanuer Pal, and that Troy Davis was simply a lower-status convict than Cleve Foster.
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August 2012


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