The Saga Continues

The Saga of Troy Davis does not end here, despite Judge William T. Moore Jr. issuing a 172 page order yesterday indicating that Davis was not innocent.

For those of you out of the loop, this case has been everywhere. Davis was originally convicted for a 1989 killing of a police officer and put on death row in the early 1990s. Since that time this case has been appealed to the Georgia Supreme Court, the US Supreme Court, France has had their say in the matter, and now that the case has been sent down to a Federal Judge again – is it finally over?

Of course not. This is a death penalty case, the case will never end. And long after Davis is either set free or executed, his case will live on as a cause. His sister will certainly appeal this ruling with the aid of interested third party groups. At issue  now are the testimonies of a number of witnesses who have since recanted their statements in favor of the Davis. But according to Judge Moore, the reasonable, prudent, average juror would not view these recantations as overturning the prior conviction – and thus Davis remains guilty.

I’m all for law and order. But I have to wonder how much we are spending on this saga of appeals.

15 comments

  1. Jace Walden says:

    I am a pro-death penalty libertarian. But, if we as a society are going to allow the death penalty, then we need to accept the costs associated with the endless appeals process. Before we take a life, we must ensure that we use every means available to ensure we’re not sending an innocent person to die. Otherwise, we’re no better than the animals we’re executing.

    I get that innocent people have been killed via death penalty. And I admit that because of that, I struggle with my own feelings on the issue. But at the end of the day, it’s something that I support. But we just have to exhaust every other resource, regardless of the costs, before it’s carried out.

    • Ron Daniels says:

      I didn’t think they would order the most recent hearing, but they did.

      Davis’ case isn’t over. And when the final order is given down, it will be pushed as “Look what they did wrong.”

  2. The death penalty is a tough one for me. On the one hand, I think that people that commit certain crimes deserve to die. However, I also think they’re entitled to a fair trial and appeals process. I think we should be absolutely 100% sure that someone is guilty before we execute them.

    However, dollar-wise… I’d rather put them in prison for life, which I believe is a more cost effective option. Turn the prison into a farming operation or something where they grow food for the prison first and then any extra can be sent to government schools. Make the prisoners earn their keep. Maybe turn a big room into an exercise room where the prisoners can pedal bicycles hooked up to alternators where they can generate their own power for the prison. Or put a bike in every cell… if they want their cell light on they have to make their own.

    Either way, the death penalty to me isn’t so much of a moral issue as it is a fiscal one. It’s all about how do we not make society as a whole pay as much for that person’s crimes.

    • I must admit, David, I think you are on to something big here…I love the idea of the big room with bicycles as a power generation station….I am thinking the few ideas you posited here are better than most that we heard during the entire primary…hmmmmm…..did we actually hear any ideas?

      Kudos!

  3. Comfortably Southside says:

    Just a point of reference Ron, The man he killed was Mark McPhail a Savannah Police Office and not a Security Guard…..This guy is trash and guilty and deserves to pay for what he did to that family.

  4. saltycracker says:

    DS is on the money.
    The scumbag may need to die but adding “regardless of the cost” to justify is nuts. The death penalty today is just a career for some in the legal system. Save the victim’s families and the taxpayers with a life sentence in solitary.

  5. Lady Thinker says:

    Here is data supporting David Staples

    Without Parole: Cases Cost of Life Without Parole: Cases
    Equivalent To Death Penalty Cases
    1. $34,200/year (1) for 50 years (2), at a 2% (3) annual cost increase, plus $75,000 (4) for trial & appeals = $3.01 million
    2. Same, except 3% (3) = $4.04 million
    3. Same, except 4% (3) = $5.53 million

    Cost of Death Penalty Cases
    $60,000/year (1) for 6 years (5), at
    a 2% (3) annual cost increase, plus
    $1.5 million (4) for trial & appeals = $1.88 million
    Same, except 3% (3) = $1.89 million
    Same, except 4% (3) = $1.91 million

    Source:
    http://www.prodeathpenalty.com/dp.html#D.CostCost of Life

    • saltycracker says:

      Ok – hang ’em high –
      but your 6 yrs. avg. on death row seemed to contradict anecdotal info (as does the avg. 50 yrs. for a lifer), so a quick google indicates the death row avg. is more like 13 yrs. –
      long time for the victim families to twist in the wind (has to feel like 50 to them)….
      guess every cause has their own statistics, probably depending on who’s funding….
      http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/time-death-row

      • Lady Thinker says:

        And that is the problem with statistics. Depending on which site one chooses, there is always another to contradict the findings.

        In one of the college textbooks I teach from, it says that it cost ten million dollars to execute Ted Bundy and $100 million to execute Timothy McVeigh.

        Source: Corrections in the 21st Century, 4th Edition, Schmalleger and Smykla; McGraw – Hill; 2009; ISBN: 0-07-332643-7.

  6. Atticus Grinch says:

    Davis’ lawyers (silk stocking pro bono-types from Washington or New York) screwed up by not subpoenaing the alleged actual killer to the hearing and as a consequence most of the statements made by that man to other people were excluded as evidence. The federal judge refused to allow them to “correct” their obvious blunder by granting any type of continuance. This is a built-in error in the case which will herald another round of appeals over the effectiveness, or lack thereof, of the lawyers. Had the Judge been a little more flexible and more attuned to the ramifications of this hearing, he could have brought the “killer” to court, heard the evidence and still ruled against Davis and there would have been NO further legitimate issues. This saga will continue for years.

  7. hugoblacksupreme says:

    Way to much reasonable doubt exists in this case.

    I am for the death penalty but against the process.

  8. jm says:

    Pro death penalty people seem to rather have an innocent man killed than let a guilty one go free, the other side would rather have a guilty man go free than kill an innocent man.
    I think for death penalty cases there should be a higher standard once it comes to the penalty phase – not “reasonable doubt” which allows for some pretty gray areas, but rather, “no doubt.” A confession, videotaped evidence, a case where the convicted ask for the death penalty, etc. Example – there is no doubt that Brian Nichols went on a murder spree in a courtroom, killing at least a judge, and a sheriff’s deputy.

    Troy Davis one’s a gray area. I say life in prison, no parole. He might be innocent, there’s definitely evidence on both sides. He might guilty, but really, is your life, my life, affected because he languishes in a jail for the rest of his life? For the family of the victim – there’s already enough anguish every time the case goes back in front of a judge.

  9. drjay says:

    i am rather conflicted about the death penalty, but anyone who thinks “reasonable doubt” exists in this case has clearly not been following the same case i have for all these years…

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