Barry Paschal's April 22 column segment, "Death to Davis," ignores the significant doubt in Troy Davis' guilt.
There was no physical evidence against Davis. The weapon used in the crime was never found. The case against him consisted entirely of witness testimony. Seven of the nine non-police witnesses have recanted or contradicted their testimony. Many of these witnesses have stated that they were pressured or coerced by police.
One of the two witnesses who has not recanted or contradicted testimony is Sylvester Coles, the principal alternative suspect. Nine individuals have signed affidavits implicating Coles. Davis has never had a hearing in federal court on the reliability of the witness testimony used against him.
In the state of Georgia, six people who have been on death row have later been exonerated and freed. Let us not risk executing an innocent man. Gov. Sonny Purdue should commute the sentence to life imprisonment to give the justice system the opportunity to investigate the case. (Editor's note: In Georgia, the governor does not have the authority to alter sentences; only the Pardons and Paroles Board can do so.)
In addition, death penalty cases cost the state of Georgia more money than life imprisonment, and our state budget cannot fund the current capital cases. According to an April 19 article in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "almost one in five of all pending capital cases statewide is stalled because there is no money to pay for the defense of the accused." More information on this issue is available at deathpenaltyinfo.org.
Ayman Fadel, Augusta
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