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Hello. Come on in. The daddy writes about current events, literature, music and, once in a while, drops something on you from back in the day to make you pause and ponder, stop and stare, and begin to wonder. Who knows? You may start to pace the floor, shake your head from side to side, then fall down on bended knees in a praying position and cry, "Lawd, have mercy! What is this world coming to?" Check yourself! But this blog is NOT about the daddy. It's about you: your boos, your fam, your hood, your country...our hopes and dreams of a better tomorrow. So let's make a pact: the daddy will put it on the track if you'll chase it down and hit him back. Together, we can definitely take it to another level. Shall we?"

Monday, June 1, 2009

Death Penalty Disgrace by Bob Barr

"With the effective death penalty act, Congress limited the number of habeas corpus petitions that a defendant could file, and set a time after which those petitions could no longer be filed. But nothing in the statute should have left the courts with the impression that they were barred from hearing claims of actual innocence like Troy Davis’s."--Bob Barr

Listen up. The only thing The Daddy remembers about this Bob Barr dude is that he was a conservative Republican, that he was one of the first congressman to call for the removal of President Clinton from office, and that he was picked to run for president in 2008 by the Libertarian Party, which some said would make him a spoiler, because he would be taking votes away from Sen. John McCain. But did you see his editorial in the New York Times about the Troy Davis case? It was very good and, from a legal point of view, right on the money.

Specifically, Barr said that there is no law that should keep judges from hearing Davis case at the state or federal level. Another way to put it is to ask the question: When a state is involved in the death of a man who could be innocent, shouldn't they give him a full hearing? Here is the article by Barr:

By Bob Barr
Published: May 31, 2009

THERE is no abuse of government power more egregious than executing an innocent man. But that is exactly what may happen if the United States Supreme Court fails to intervene on behalf of Troy Davis.

Mr. Davis is facing execution for the 1989 murder of an off-duty police officer in Savannah, Ga., even though seven of the nine witnesses have recanted their testimony against him. Many of these witnesses now say they were pressured into testifying falsely against him by police officers who were understandably eager to convict someone for killing a comrade. No court has ever heard the evidence of Mr. Davis’s innocence.

After the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit barred Mr. Davis from raising his claims of innocence, his attorneys last month petitioned the Supreme Court for an original writ of habeas corpus. This would be an extraordinary procedure — provided for by the Constitution but granted only a handful of times since 1900. However, absent this, Mr. Davis faces an extraordinary and obviously final injustice.

This threat of injustice has come about because the lower courts have misread the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, a law I helped write when I was in Congress. As a member of the House Judiciary Committee in the 1990s, I wanted to stop the unfounded and abusive delays in capital cases that tend to undermine our criminal justice system.

With the effective death penalty act, Congress limited the number of habeas corpus petitions that a defendant could file, and set a time after which those petitions could no longer be filed. But nothing in the statute should have left the courts with the impression that they were barred from hearing claims of actual innocence like Troy Davis’s.

for the full story, go to http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/01/opinion/01barr.html?_r=1&th&emc=th. It's worth the read.

14 comments:

MacDaddy said...

Robster: Love your new blog. But I I tried to comment, but the word verification mechanism wouldn't let me. I wanted to comment that you should write what you know and what is in your heart.

SjP said...

This is one time when I really wish that Barr was still a republican and a force to be reckoned with in that party. If he were, I suspect that there might be more media coverage regarding this case. But, of course even Jimmy Carter has voiced his opposition to Troy's pending execution - so I guess that probably says it all.

Anyway, I'm happy to know that Barr is doing everything he can.

Much obliged for this post!

MadMike said...

I am not convinced that Davis is innocent but I am convinced that he should not be executed. No one should be executed in America. It is an act of barbarism. Secondly, Barr writes that the court should not be prohibited from reading briefs of those who claim innocence. If that were the case they would be busy indeed as almost two-thirds of death penalty appeals claim innocence. Finally, did you know it costs more to execute someone in America than it does to imprison them for life?

SagaciousHillbilly said...

Daddy, This'll lift you up. . .

http://playingforchange.com/episodes/9/Change_Is_Gonna_Come

Robster said...

MacDaddy, I'll try and get that fixed ASAP. I'm still going to write what I want, but I'm going to step away from the group I was writing with. Some members were cool, but the ones who live in the Southern states couldn't stand it when I spoke truth to power yesterday about the assassination of Dr. George Tiller.

CareyCarey said...

I would be interested to see if Mad Mikes claim (cost) was true.

Anyway, this appears to be another case similar to the Governments Fair Sentencing Laws ...which are seldom fair to "certain" citizens. The drug Kingpin laws have created similar problems. They seldom if ever take down kingpins. It's not the "snow" that's sold, it's who you know and which way the winds blow.

Consequently, it's not guilt or innocence, it's who's reading the paper (the law).

If the law says fry him, than fry him. If the law says to see if he should be fried, then we would hope that a reasonable man (law)/(court) should take a long hard look. If all the information is correct (recantments) then something is rotten in the system. I can understand the limitations on frivolous appeals. Obviously, some use the courts as a resting place. But it appears this case runs counter to the spirit of said limitation laws.

MacDaddy said...

CareyCarey: What MadMike says is true. But I'll get the specific info and talk about it on another post about Troy Davis.

Big Man said...

Unintended consequences are a mother...

Reminds me of all those black folks begging for the crack cocaine sentencing laws. Sometimes you have to see that what you're asking for might not be in your best interest.

judy said...

Daddy, I missed Barr's editorial. Thanks for publishing it. I think Big Man's point about unintended consequences is right. And I'm impressed that Barr (not someone I usually agree with) is willing to stand up and say what's happening is wrong.

Sista GP said...

Here are my two main issues with executions:

1. How can we punish those that murder and also have executions? Hypocrisy?

2. Thou shall not kill.

Vigilante said...

Here is the way I would modify Barr's initial, opening line:

THERE is no abuse of government power more egregious than executing anyone convicted by the imperfect judge and jury system.

I take no position on Troy Davis's guilt or innocence. (Let others research and opine on that.) But I decidedly take a position on the government's guilt if Davis is executed.

Guilty. Guilty. Guilty.

judy said...

Vigilante, You have perfectly stated my position on the death penalty. We cannot execute people based on our decidedly imperfect and unequal justice system. Thank you for saying it so concisely.

rainywalker said...

daddyBstrong,
Some days the laws seem to be turned upsidedown and other days are enforced. The same goes for people and some are singled out. It would be wonderful if that would change but there is a dark side to man and some individuals that will never change.
Let me know what you think of my blog tomorrow. Its a true story and the young lady clapping and laughing is my niece.

MacDaddy said...

Judy: Yes, I appreciated his willingness to look at Troy's case. He didn't have to. My understanding is that he is a proponent of the death penalty. So his piece is quite interesting. Thanks.

"There is a dark side to man and some men that will never change."
Rainywalker, sadly, I agree with you. It will never change.

SGP: Yes. Hypocrisy and principles trespassed. No doubt in my mind.