I was not sure if Mr. Davis would have refused his last meal had he known that unlike in 2008, he would not be granted clemency. Either way, there seemed to be more to it than met the eye. Was it an act of power, a demonstration of faith, a snub? Maybe it was all of the above. Around the dinner tables of his executioners, however, Davis' name would likely be no more than a bump in their conversation. "We executed that Davis boy tonight, honey, would you "Pass the Peas? Then Mr. Davis' name would probably drift off of their lips until the next execution hit the paper. I decided to look to James Brown for more prophetic song titles to help sooth my angst, and his music was on point. James Brown helped me Get on the Good Foot.
The traditional last meal offered to inmates on death row (Texas last week abolished the last meal tradition), has been in existence since pre-modern Europe. The last meal, considered to have roots in superstition, was a symbolic gesture- more for the benefit of the executioners than the soon to be executed prisoner himself. Accepting the meal typically meant that the prisoner made peace with the host, and willingly participated in a symbolic oath of truce passing on all vengeance. In other words, in accepting the last meal the condemned was believed to forgive the executioner, the judge, and witness(es).
The last meal ritual was also supposed to prevent the condemned from returning as a ghost who would haunt those responsible for their killing. Well, I hope Georgia has Ghost Busters on speed dial.
Lickin Stick and gave Georgia one good whoopin. The opposition to the execution of Troy Davis crosses gender, racial and generational lines. It spans beyond this the nation borders to foreign lands. Mr. Davis' death will not be another notch in Georgia's capital punishment belt. His cause is now much bigger than his questionable guilt.
When Mr. Davis was executed you could have knocked me over with a feather. I had to look around to make sure I was still Living in America. People from all walks of life begged Georgia "Please, Please, Please," Georgia, don't do it. Witness after witness recanted their testimony, and the world watched in disbelief. When it came close to the time of his execution, groups banned together saying in light of all of the evidence you wouldn't dare execute a potentially innocent men, would you? Georgia's reply? Try Me.
So, despite protests in America, Paris and London, petitions signed by hundreds of thousands and pleas from Bishop and Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu, former US President Jimmy Carter and The Pope himself, at 11:08pm on September 21, 2011 Troy Davis was put to death.
This Is A Man's World, but not for just any man. Lady Justice still sneaks a biased peek through her blindfold in the application of constitutional rights for some men.
As for Mr. Davis, there was new evidence but he would not get a new trial. No lie detector test. No clemency. Nothing. Prepped for the lethal injection, in his final words Mr. Davis again asserted his innocence from his death bed. Yes, Troy Davis Said it Loud, then he closed his eyes for the last time, black and proud, forgiving those who put him to death.
Georgia, like James Brown, I Got The Feeling, your death penalty days are soon coming to an end. Although you think you are Superbad and can do whatever you like, I for one am Gonna Have A Funky Good Time making sure that Troy Davis' death was not in vain. It took me a few days to get over it, but today I can see the silver lining in this cloud and I Feel Good. I spoke with my friends and my son- who was really distraught over your actions- and I know what I have to do, Get Up Get Into It and Get Involved. Here are just a few things I am going to do, and I welcome anyone who wants to change the environment of America for our youth to join me or any cause to make Troy Davis' death a catalyst for positive change.
|Judge Hart welcomes Me & 3L Participants|
4. I will continue to support fatherhood programs, our children need their fathers at home, and if not at home definitely dads must be active in their children's lives.
Single Mother the New Father, a vital book series that provides essential tips for women raising kids and holding up a household on their own.
6. I will continue to use my skills as an attorney and work with my peers colleagues, friends and organizations to prevent such a travesty of justice from ever happening again on my watch.
|2010 IMD Great Men of Excellence|
Yes, Georgia - look out because it's on like Popcorn. Those of us who were shocked last week by Mr. Davis' death will be mobilized to deflect that Cold Sweat we had when you injected the killer cocktail in Mr. Davis' arm. We will Get Up Offa That Thing because you can't keep us down- so get ready for The Big Payback! Death penalty, don't get too comfortable because those of us who are against you will not give up the fight. Troy Davis is dead, but death where is your victory? I for one was too trusting in the system and that it would work for Troy Davis. I know differently now and I'm ready this time. Death Penalty, Papa's (and Mama) Got A Brand New Bag and Papa Don't Take No Mess.
Cathleen Williams is a practicing attorney, author and advocate for families living in the city of New York.