Rev. Austin Miles, a chaplain in Northern California is a writer and historian. He is the author of Santa's Surprising Origins, a story that received worldwide circulation and resulted in him being cast in the 2004 Hallmark Christmas Movie titled, Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus. He played the mall Santa who magically received the gift of sign language.

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

General • Was An Innocent Man Executed Tonight?

Jackson. Georgia( 9/21/11). This writer is greiving. Yes, grieving over a government enforced execution….perhaps murder…of quite possibly, an innocent man, earlier tonight in Jackson, Georgia.

Troy Davis, 42, maintained his innocence right up to the very last minute. He had earlier sent a letter to the family of the man he was accused of killing in 1989, police officer Mark MacPhail, in which he stated that he did not own a gun and that he did not kill MacPhail.

After his conviction at a trial by jury in 1991, 7 of the 9 witnesses against him recanted their testimony. They said their statements about him were wrong. What is especially disturbing, there was absolutely NO physical evidence to connect him to the crime. In the meantime, Davis sat in a cell in Death Row for 22 years.

And according to the excellent reports by Veronica Roberts, an Allvoices Anchor, new witnesses have come forward to identify another person who killed the police officer.

Many other doubts about his guilt were brought out, any ONE of which should have stopped the execution.

However, the wheels of ‘justice’ were in motion, the paperwork done, and the State of Georgia was set to receive a grant from the Federal Government for carrying out the execution. That is how these things work.

There was a world wide outcry against the upcoming execution, with petitions of hundreds of thousands of names and pleas from prominent people such as The Pope, and former FBI Director,William Sessions. Still, the clock ticked closer to the state appointed time.

Davis was scheduled to be killed at 7 P.M. Eastern but he was given a reprieve while the Supreme Court weighed in and argued over the case for the next three hours, while he sat in limbo and torturing uncertainty.

Then the go-ahead was given and at 11:08 P.M. tonight (EST), a young man declaring his innocence was put to death by the State that supposedly represents us. No they do not. Not in this case.

Whenever there is the SLIGHTEST doubt about a person’s guilt, the execution must not take place. The prisoner can be kept in confinement as further details are hashed out. If evidence shows conclusively that the prisoner is guilty of that crime then it can go forward. If it is found he is innocent of all charges, he must be released immediately and possibly compensated. That is more like justice.

What happend this evening was barbaric. And tomorrow, Thursday, when I should be celebrating a birthday, I will be grieving over a man’s life snuffed out by our government, a human being who very probably did not deserve to die. This never should have happened. And it cannot be allowed to happen again. When there is doubt, don’t.

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