Letters on the execution of Troy Davis

On “The execution of Troy Davis


Excellent article, Kate. Of the several you have written heretofore, this most closely captures my own views on the issue.


The death penalty has nothing to do with exacting punishment for wrongdoing. If that were the case, those sitting astride the largest military machine the world has known, meting out violence around the world with such frequency, would have been placed in a gurney long ago.


In these times of economic uncertainty, when anxiety levels are elevated, is it any wonder that those in power have deployed this method to strike fear in the heart of the working class and to quell and manage dissent?


The capitalist courts, one could say, is a dagger pointed at the heart of the working class to reinforce and solidify class dominance. And to further the metaphor, one could say that capital punishment is the tip of that dagger.


The liberals make the argument that Troy Davis is innocent. All the evidence would point to that but his guilt or innocence seems to be beside the point for the capitalist courts and the establishment. They needed to make an object lesson for the working class and Troy Davis was available for that.


22 September 2011


Excellent piece on the execution of Troy Davis. There was something about this terrible event that exposed the rottenness of things in the US even more clearly than many other examples of rottenness here. If you don't mind, I’d like to repeat three things I wrote on my Twitter feed last night regarding this sad event:


1. The only positive in the Troy Davis execution is that it clarifies the need for thoroughgoing political change in the US.


2. The execution of Troy Davis highlights just how rotten things are in the United States at the moment.


3. Last night I dreamt that 10,000 men and women gathered at the prison and prevented the execution of Troy Davis from taking place.


(This last one was an attempt to suggest one way in which his life might be spared.)


Fraternal greetings,

22 September 2011


The authorities, state and federal—and the Obama administration—are making things perfectly clear. The message to the working class is this: “We repudiate all regard for law or justice. The general public is now subject to the Rules of Engagement.” If the readers don’t understand what this means, I recommend viewing the WikiLeaks video “Collateral Murder,” part of the unclassified material allegedly provided by Private 1st Class Bradley Manning. Manning is currently in solitary confinement at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. His fate may be the same as Troy Davis, unless a social movement in the United States intervenes to stop it.


Randy R
Oregon, USA
22 September 2011


Good article, Kate. But the important thing is not what happened, because the whole world now knows, but rather what steps the SEP plans to take in order to prevent future injustices like this.


Jared A
22 September 2011



First, I must note an often misused term from your (very good) article: “execution.” The way that it is used refers to an action taken on a person (ex.: “the execution of Troy Davis” or “Troy Davis was executed”). This is, in fact, grammatically improper. Execution refers to the carrying out of the sentence. Performing community service could, in fact, be an execution. More apt terms for the Troy Davis case (or, for that matter, any capital punishment case) would be “put to death” or simply “killed.” In this particular case I find your selection—“murdered”—to be dead-on perfect. Are we still so barbarous that we simply accept it when “our” standing government kills someone in the name of justice? Do we not see hypocrisy in public officials who speak of “pro-life” from one side of their mouths and then order such killings with the other? How long will it take before we open our eyes?


“If not remedied, the scandalous state of our present system of capital punishment will cast a pall of shame over our society for years to come.”

- Justice Thurgood Marshall


Name: Rob V
Georgia, USA
22 September 2011

On “Troy Davis set to die by lethal injection


I am utterly disgusted that this state murder is going to be carried out in the face of such compelling evidence of this man’s innocence. Obama’s silence at this time speaks volumes about his moral spinelessness and reactionary outlook.


Johnny L
21 September 2011