As a criminal defense attorney I am constantly trying to stay up to date on new criminal case law and legislation as well as the state of the justice system in California and the United States. One of the ways I do this is by getting emails from organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Anti-Defamation League and even the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action. As anyone who reads my blog likely knows, I have fairly conservative views and I rarely jump on any liberal bandwagons.
I recently got an email from Ben Jealous, the President of the NAACP and I read it because the title “Stop the Execution”, caught my attention. Ben’s article talks about the tragic situation of Troy Davis, a Georgia man who is facing the death penalty very soon. But that is not what got my attention. What got my attention is the fact that “seven of the nine original witnesses in Troy’s case have now recanted or changed their story” and “at least 10 individuals have implicated the alternative suspect as the actual perpetrator”.
As a defense attorney, this speaks volumes to me and that is why I am speaking to you. There are many reasons why people get wrongly convicted. Some reasons are perjured testimony, mistaken identifications, poor investigations, self interest, inadequate defense resources and much more. If I read that one or two people changed their stories or that one or two people implicated a different suspect, I probably would be writing about something else right now, but these numbers are scary to me. And please understand that I am not saying that Troy Davis is innocent and I am not saying that he is a nice guy. I am saying that any time a human life is taken by other humans under the blanket of “justice”, we must be certain that we have the right guy. In this case, I’m not certain the authorities in Georgia have the right guy and therefore, I’m not comfortable taking Troy Davis’ life. I support the NAACP’s mission to promote justice and I hope you will join me in that support.
If you believe in the value of the human life, please join Ben Jealous and the NAACP in taking action to try and prevent what could be a wrongful execution.
If you have questions about this or any other criminal justice matter please contact me: