On 21 September, Troy Davis was executed by Georgia State in the USA, after 20 years on death row for the alleged 1989 murder of a police officer. Davis protested his innocence up until his dying breath, uttered during the 15 minutes it took the lethal injection to kill him. Seven of the nine key witnesses who originally implicated him have since recanted their evidence, several claiming they were ‘persuaded’ to give false eye-witness statements by the police. A further 10 witnesses identified the real culprit as a Sylvester Coles.
One man who won’t be bothered is Texas Governor Rick Perry, a firm believer in the death penalty, even where evidence is debatable and whose supporters proudly boast ‘it takes real guts to execute an innocent man’. In a civilized, democratic society, that statement makes no sense. Some of the right-wing evangelical attitudes in Perry’s camp undermine the very foundations of the US Constitution, making a mockery of the 6th and 7th Amendments. Imagine Ratko Mladic, under trial for Bosnian Serb war crimes, claiming: ‘it took balls to kill thousands of men, women and children’.
August 13, 2011, Perry announced his intention to run for the Republican nomination for President in the 2012 election.