Of all the roles that I embrace, and I have enough to fill a Business Card holder, my role as a father is paramount. As the father of not one, not two, but now three young black boys, it becomes painfully apparent as I watch the news that the worth of the lives I have brought into the world is much greater to me than it is to the society in which they come of age. My third son is due in a month or so. This will mark the third Black Male I have brought into the world since Troy Davis was sentenced to Death in Georgia.
I confess that Mr. Davis’ plight has not been particularly high on my radar. I am not especially informed in a unique and insightful way on the particulars.
But I am acutely aware that in this society, with the criminal justice system in the condition it is in, Today’s Troy Davis could be tomorrow’s David, David, Devan or Dalen Parrish.
These injustices happen on all of our watch.
I challenge you to read the details of this injustice and remain silent. To do so betrays your humanity, just so you know.
Troy Davis was sentenced to death for the murder of Police Officer Mark Allen MacPhail at a Burger King in Savannah, Georgia; a murder he maintains he did not commit. There was no physical evidence against him and the weapon used in the crime was never found. The case against him consisted entirely of witness testimony which contained inconsistencies even at the time of the trial. Since then, all but two of the state’s non-police witnesses from the trial have recanted or contradicted their testimony. Many of these witnesses have stated in sworn affidavits that they were pressured or coerced by police into testifying or signing statements against Troy Davis.
One of the two witnesses who has not recanted his testimony is Sylvester “Red” Coles – the principle alternative suspect, according to the defense, against whom there is new evidence implicating him as the gunman. Nine individuals have signed affidavits implicating Sylvester Coles.
In a time where social media allows people to gather the power of consensus so quickly and inform the masses with the power of numbers, The Story of Troy Davis must be told and retold to avoid the story being repeated with new names and new details.