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Judging America’s Court Systems: “It’s stated innocent until proven guilty!” – By Anthony Love

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CWR Student’s Forum

November 2011

Judging America’s Court Systems: “It’s stated innocent until proven guilty!”

By Anthony Love


Anthony Love, CWR Student Correspondent, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania

Anthony Love, CWR Student Correspondent, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania

“I did not personally kill your son, father and brother. I am innocent,” Troy Davis said before his execution, reported by CNN.com. “Despite the situation you’re in, (I) was not the one who did it.”

Florida Agriculture and Mechanical Business Management Major Anthony Sullivan insists the death penalty is “inhumane”, he thinks life in prison would suffice.” “It’s not like killing the person is going to bring the victims back to life. The death penalty should be done away with”.

Davis’ death and other controversial rulings have some college students scratching their heads and questioning the validity of their country’s legal system.  Many questioned their court system.

Davis’ death reached Hollywood’s hills and former presidents. Celebrity, Alex Baldwin and Former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton weighed on Davis’ execution. Carter said he hopes the case “will spur us as a nation toward the total rejection of Capital punishment”. “Courts must slow down the appeals process to properly consider DNA evidence,” Clinton stated in an interview.

Actor Alec Baldwin chimed in too. “The U.S. death penalty humiliates us in the eyes of much of the world.” Thirty-four states who use capital punishment have killed 15,645 people by lethal injection, electric chair, or by other means of execution, cited by deathpenalty.org.

Davis, convicted for murdering police officer Mark MacPhail in Savannah, Georgia, died from lethal injection September 21, 2011.

Americans voiced their opinions on Twitter after Davis’ death. Daniel Pewewardy tweeted, “So are we all ignoring the fact that Troy Davis is dead and Amanda Knox is free? Temple University junior business administration major Amir Patterson strongly said, “It was an example of American society and how equality still isn’t practiced at this day in age.” Davis’ execution came after Casey Anthony walked beat a murder charge. She walked away with probation

“ Michael A. Watts Jr. tweeted, “{Troy Davis RIP and all those innocent ppl lynched in amerikkka.}” People can debate over previous rulings, but the numbers are irrefutable.Justice may not always be blind, its scales tipped to the wrong side on 1000 occasions, according to deathpenalty.org. Those 1000 wrongly convicted people died needed a “get out of jail free card.”

Some wrongly accused people like Michael Blair have escaped capital punishment from the skin of their teeth. The escapees are a living proof of the flaws in America’s court system.

Officials in Texas exonerated Blair in 2008 after he served 14 years on death row. DNA evidence revealed that he didn’t murder seventeen-year-old Ashley Estel in 1993, despite the jury’s’ 27 minute conviction. Blair is the 17th person in the U.S. exonerated by DNA testing after receiving a death sentence, according to Innocentproject.org.

Sixty-nine people have been exonerated from death row since 1973 cited by death penalty.org.

Many people believed that America’s country system dropped the ball on Davis’ case.

Northwestern University School of Law’s Centre on Wrongful Convictions documented 38 executions which were carried out since the 70s where there was compelling evidence of innocence and insufficient proof beyond reasonable doubt.

Those deaths spark the question: whether the government should nullify capital punishment and change the court system. “It’s stated innocent until proven guilty! If you’re going to kill someone you have to get it right.” Sullivan bluntly stated.

Nickolas Divers,21, Westwood College criminal justice major resides 250 miles from Savannah, where Davis was accused of killing a Caucasian police officer. He firmly believes that if he wouldn‘t get a “fair“ trial either“. “They still have ‘good ol boy’ laws and racist people still uphold them.” Divers believes the problems in the judicial system are political.

Anthony Sullivan and Nickolas Divers believe America needs to iron out wrinkles in the judiciary system

Divers hates how rappers like T.I. (Tip Harris), who served 366 days in prison for buying assault rifles, get “slaps on their wrists”. “The criminal justice system is one big enterprise that is all about capital.”

Divers insists people must rise together to change the court system. “It’s not up to the government it’s up to us. There’s been a void since Martin Luther King died.”


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