The United States Supreme Court has chosen not to hear the case of Troy Anthony Davis, a man sentenced to death for a crime he probably did not commit. If seven out of nine witnesses recant their testimony, charge police coercion, and three of them claim that another man murdered the police officer, and there is no other evidence that points to Davis as the killer, I would say common sense would at least put the integrity of the case in question and would argue against the death penalty. (Exoneration is a difficult matter to achieve even for convicts proven innocent by DNA testing, though nonetheless desirable.)
I was listening to news coverage of the case when I heard that the list of high profile petitioners for Davis' case included likely suspects such as the Pope and President Jimmy Carter, as well as — surprise, surprise —presidential candidate Bob Barr. That's right, Jimmy Carter and Bob Barr are on the same side of an issue. How often does that happen? I wondered then when we would be hearing from the candidate with at least two compelling reasons to comment on the case — reasons I mention in this cartoon. Davis is a black man on death row. What reason could inhibit Obama applying his knowledge of the Constitution and of racial injustice to this case?
Well, duh. Why blow a lead in the polls by taking sides on an issue involving a murdered police officer, investigative coercion, and a convicted black man? Davis could be in the electric chair before Election Day. If Obama wins, how will he and his Justice Department deal with cases like this? I hope he speaks out soon. I hope his silence is not a sign of things to come.