Science for Peace is deeply saddened by the needless execution of Troy Anthony Davis, 42, an African-American man who faced the death penalty four times in the last four years. He had been convicted of the murder of a white policeman despite there being no physical evidence, and even though seven of nine witnesses recanted their testimonies. The flagrant injustice of this case led to a world-wide effort calling for clemency, including appeals by former President Jimmy Carter, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Pope Benedict XVI, and by Amnesty International and by the NAACP.
Troy Davis’ execution should be cause for concern for all people. The decision came from both state and federal levels of government, from the executive and the courts. Disregard for human life, the characterization of people as “collateral”, the suspension of basic legal protections, is now deeply entrenched in U.S. institutions and is the country’s modus operandi both nationally and internationally. The military and prisons are now core industries, and the state is given leave to extinguish life, possibly all life, with impunity.