What Troy Davis Implies About Race and Justice

He is just one of thousands of black men who have had their lives stolen by the criminal-justice system, blogs Dr. Boyce Watkins at Your Black World.

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Protesters before Troy Davis' execution (Getty Images)

In a blog entry at Your Black World, Dr. Boyce Watkins weighs in on the Troy Davis case, saying that the criminal-justice system has never been a friend to black males. He highlights how the deck was stacked against Davis.

Many of us went to bed hurt and angry about the unbelievable execution of Troy Davis last night. As I woke up in the midst of my emotional hangover, I thought carefully about Davis' case and the racial implications behind this predictable, yet deeply hurtful incident. When my brain finished processing the ramifications of this state-sanctioned murder, the following thoughts came to mind regarding what the Troy Davis case says about race and justice in America:

The Chatham County District Attorney is black: Larry Chisolm is the African American who led the team of attorneys who inexplicably looked past all of the evidence that has come out proving that Troy Davis may not have killed anyone. Although Chisolm wasn't responsible for the original conviction, he must certainly answer to his own conscience regarding why he didn't take necessary steps to investigate facts that have been released since Troy Davis was first sentenced to die. I'm not sure what law school Mr. Chisolm attended, but I presume they taught him about a concept called "reasonable doubt." Any reasonable man/woman would see that there was significant doubt in the case of Troy Davis ...

White liberals view Troy Davis differently from the African American community: As I listened to mainstream liberal analysis of the Troy Davis case, I noticed a stark difference in perspective from what I was hearing from many members of the black community. Liberals seemed to see Davis' case as part of a broader argument against using the death penalty under any circumstances. There was almost no discussion about the fact that yet another black man was being wrongfully executed, nor was there much discussion about the mass incarceration epidemic that has served to decimate the black family in America. The family of murdered police officer Mark MacPhail was right to be offended by the fact that this case was being used as a pawn to support a broader liberal agenda.

Read Boyce Watkins' entire blog entry at Your Black World. 

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