It was never much of a chance, not with the robotic law-and-order types conservatives have been able to get assigned to the US Supreme Court filling up the seats, but it was a chance. If there was enough pressure, enough noise, enough people asking uncomfortable questions, maybe even Fat Tony Scalia might have reconsidered for the sake of his almost certainly unpleasant legacy the way he did over some labor law – which he hates – when a woman got screwed. Again.
But it wasn’t much of a chance and now it’s over. The Supreme Court has refused to hear Troy Davis’ appeal for a new trial.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday cleared the way for Troy Anthony Davis’ execution, declining to enter a contentious debate as to whether the condemned inmate was the real killer of a Savannah police officer in 1989.
The court, without explanation, refused to hear his appeal even though seven of nine key prosecution witnesses have recanted their testimony since the 1991 trial. Just three weeks ago, the high court had halted Davis’ execution with less than two hours to spare.
The family of the dead officer, Mark MacPhail, is thrilled. They want Davis dead whether he’s the right guy or not, mainly because they want their part of this ordeal to be over.
The officer’s mother, Anneliese MacPhail, expressed relief at the high court’s decision.
“Especially for my grandson and my granddaughter,” she said, referring to the slain officer’s two children, now adults. “We can now settle down.”
MacPhail, 75, does not expect “closure” if Davis is executed.
“There is no such thing,” she said. “We will always be thinking about Mark. At least we won’t have to go to court. We will have some peace.”
And that’s what’s important, of course, even if an innocent man has to fry to give it to them. At least the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, unlike the Savannah Morning News, took the time to interview Davis’ family as well.
Davis’ sister, Martina Correia, was furious .
“I’m truly disgusted by these people,” Correia said. “I don’t even know what to say. I wonder why I’m still a U.S. citizen sometimes.”
Correia told her brother of the high court’s decision.
“He said, ‘It doesn’t make any sense. What do I have to do?’ to convince a court that he is innocent,” Correia said.
“I haven’t given up hope,” Correia said. “We’re going to fight until we can’t fight any more.”
Davis’ mother, Virginia Davis, 63, said police charged the wrong man.
“The real killer is walking around Savannah, bragging about what he’s done,” she said. “If they kill Troy, they have God to answer to. They don’t have the Davis family to answer to.”
In fact, Sylvester “Red” Coles hasn’t been doing much bragging that anyone here in Savannah is aware of. He’s been laying low what with the feeling in the black community running as high as it is against him. Maybe he’s afraid. Maybe he ought to be.
Thomas Nephew at newsrack is quietly furious.
If Troy Davis had eluded capture until now, he’d almost certainly be found not guilty of the crime he’ll be executed for. The Supreme Court has made itself a participant in the judicial murder of one man today, and of more in the future.
The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles will not re-consider his case. The last ditch hope, one so slim as to be invisible, is that Georgia’s GOP Gov (and movement conservative law-and-order hack) Sonny Perdue will sense a greater political price attached to saving Davis than letting him die.
In Georgia, this will not, cannot, happen. If there are demonstrations, the rednecks will cheer him for ignoring them. If there are riots, he will call out the police and the NG to put them down and be applauded by the white suburbs for protecting the MacPhail family and refusing to give in to all that pressure from a bunch of niggers black folks. The ACLU and Amnesty International don’t like it? So much the better, so much louder the applause.
And so another globule of racist guilt will be added to a Georgia that’s been trying to live down its reputation as a state run by racist, white supremacist rednecks and whackos. That guilt will have be added to the burden of better people becuse, in fact, they have allowed their state and their justice system to be run by conservative, racist rednecks and whackos.
That guilt is the price you will pay for fear, for being afraid to stand up when it counted. And Georgia will go right on being the butt of jokes and head-shaking disgust, and you will have more embarassment and shame to live with than you do now because you refused to change it.