In Georgia, crowd of more than 1,000 mourns at Troy Davis’ funeral

posted at 6:40 pm on October 2, 2011 by Tina Korbe

Troy Davis’ funeral in Savannah, Ga., yesterday attracted more than 1,000 mourners, according to the Associated Press and The Washington Times.

Sent to death row 20 years ago as a convicted cop killer, Troy Davis was celebrated as “martyr and foot soldier” Saturday by more than 1,000 people who packed the pews at his funeral and pledged to keep fighting the death penalty.

Family, activists and supporters who spent years trying to persuade judges and Georgia prison officials that Davis was innocent were unable to prevent his execution Sept. 21. But the crowd that filled Savannah’s Jonesville Baptist Church on Saturday seemed less interested in pausing in remorse than showing a resolve to capitalize on the worldwide attention Davis‘ case brought to capital punishment in the U.S.

Benjamin Todd Jealous, national president of the NAACP, brought the crowd to its feet in a chant of “I am Troy Davis” — the slogan supporters used to paint Davis as an everyman forced to face the executioner by a faulty justice system. Jealous noted that Davis professed his innocence even in his final words.

In the midst of the controversy surrounding Davis’ recent execution, conservatives frequently reminded observers to mourn for murdered cop Mark MacPhail and his family — and, on this day, that reminder again seems salient and appropriate. Beyond that, commentary is difficult to offer: Capital punishment is anything but a comfy issue. My touchstone on the topic comes from the father of a victim of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, who once said he thought Timothy McVeigh’s execution would bring him peace and a sense of justice. Unexpectedly, it left him feeling only more hollow at the loss of his daughter. That’s always served as a poignant admonition to me to never support capital punishment out of a spirit of revenge or without regard to the value of human life.

Capital punishment in the service of justice — for the sake of exhibiting the serious consequences of serious crimes and for the sake of deterring such crime in both the executed and others — is appropriate and effective under certain circumstances (i.e. when no real question of guilt exists), but capital punishment employed without regard for the value of human life or the permanence of the punishment (i.e. when doubts as to guilt do exist) should be reconsidered. I’m not familiar enough with the specifics of Troy Davis’ case to know which category his execution really falls under — but I’m inclined to agree with Allah that lethal injection ought to be saved for the guys who are definitely guilty.

Nevertheless, it’s a little indecorous to me that Davis’ mourners are (a) using his funeral as an opportunity for activism and (b) calling for the abolition of capital punishment entirely. It’s a complex issue that deserves to be contemplated outside the realm of difficult-to-process emotions — outside the realm, in other words, of a highly charged funeral.


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Hey…we’re talking about redneck, toothless, crackers who married their first cousins to sit in judgment of her.

Bigot, much?

Crawford on October 2, 2011 at 9:49 PM

Don’t forget that Davis had already shot another person at a party before he went to the parking lot and pistol whipped the homeless guy and shot and killed Officer MacPhail he came to the homeless guy’s aid.

Blake on October 2, 2011 at 9:54 PM

I am Troy Davis Mark MacPhail.

It is time that other celebrity cop killer, Mumia Abu-Jamal, to finally get his well deserved execution.

I am also Daniel Faulkner.

scrubjay on October 2, 2011 at 9:58 PM

A thousand people may have attended his funeral, but it is I that wants to plop a steamer on his tombstone.

southsideironworks on October 2, 2011 at 9:59 PM

We don’t have the death penalty, or any penalty, to do “what’s best.” The state has no claim to that, nor can it be absolutely certain of anything.

We have it because the state has to maintain its monopoly on force to function. The entire premise of civilization is that the citizen can count on a supposedly impartial authority to dole out punishment. The alternative to appropriately harsh penalties is not kumbayah, but vigilante justice.

The reason the state has the authority to forbid freelance “justice” and the anarchy that follows closely behind is the presumption that it will fairly ascertain the facts it can and dole out punishment proportionate to the offense.

State justice exists because it allows us to transcend the alternative. Fail to live up to that standard – and no fictional “life” sentence can match the atrocity of some crimes – and there is no argument against people taking the law into their own hands.

HitNRun on October 2, 2011 at 10:02 PM

We don’t have the death penalty, or any penalty, to do “what’s best.” The state has no claim to that, nor can it be absolutely certain of anything.

We have it because the state has to maintain its monopoly on force to function. The entire premise of civilization is that the citizen can count on a supposedly impartial authority to dole out punishment. The alternative to appropriately harsh penalties is not kumbayah, but vigilante justice.

The reason the state has the authority to forbid freelance “justice” and the anarchy that follows closely behind is the presumption that it will fairly ascertain the facts it can and dole out punishment proportionate to the offense.

State justice exists because it allows us to transcend the alternative. Fail to live up to that standard – and no fictional “life” sentence can match the atrocity of some crimes – and there is no argument against people taking the law into their own hands.

HitNRun on October 2, 2011 at 10:02 PM

Exactly, and very well said.

sharrukin on October 2, 2011 at 10:06 PM

He was convicted because the jury found that the evidence proved his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Akzed on October 2, 2011 at 6:48 PM

The morally confused cannot wrap their minds around the concept of a reasonable doubt, Akzed. They are looking for metaphysical certainty, which does not exist in our physical world.

I listened to a rerun of Guy Benson on the tonight, whining about this case and his opposition to the death penalty. Whatever, Guy. You go wring your hands about Troy Davis and Anwar Al-Awlaki … I’ll sleep like a baby tonight.

Jaibones on October 2, 2011 at 10:16 PM

Good Lord!

Tory Davis, a “foot soldier” in the war against the war on crime!

Mike OMalley on October 2, 2011 at 10:33 PM

“Capital punishment is anything but a comfy issue.”

Tina you’re starting to sound like Rick Perry. Those of us who are “comfy” with capital punishment – will you tell us we don’t have a heart? Sorry but most Americans do not have a bleeding heart for vicious, brutal murderers. Other than that, great essay. DD

Darvin Dowdy on October 2, 2011 at 10:45 PM

…but I’m inclined to agree with Allah that lethal injection ought to be saved for the guys who are definitely guilty.

Please explain the judicial meaning of “definitely guilty”?

What a pathetic column. Are you trying to prove how weak and feminine you are? It’s bad enough that females are statistically such saps for liberal ideas but someone with your usually lucid lucid reason should be capable of avoiding such illogical drivel on any issue.

On a positive note I could agree with you and the HA Beta Male that Troy should not have received a lethal injection. He should have been shot like the officer he murdered.

I’ll volunteer to pull the trigger on the next cop killer you feel sorry for.

rcl on October 2, 2011 at 11:21 PM

I live here in Georgia and there was not that much sympathy for Davis here. It was mostly his family and the race hustlers that came to his execution. Think about his night before he was arrested, he was at a drunken party and shot into a departing car where he hit and almost killed a man. This meant that he absolutely did not care whom he hit. Then he leaves the party and confronts a homeless man whom he pistol whips without mercy. Guess who one of the “Recanting” witnesses was NOT? That’s right the homeless man. He saw the entire thing and was the victim of this homicidal maniac. He as well as one other “Eye” witnesses refused to recant and the defense did not mention them in their appeal. The appeal was heard four times by different judges and they all came to the same conclusion that this man was a mindless killer and that the recantors were lying bags of s**t. Of all the subjects for the “No death penalty” crowd to use as their object of sympathy this was not the right guy.

inspectorudy on October 2, 2011 at 11:42 PM

>>>but I’m inclined to agree with Allah that lethal injection ought to be saved for the guys who are definitely guilty.

This is the dumbest statement I’ve heard in a long while about the death penalty. I suppose that your position about imposing life in prison, is that the certainty of guilt should be less? That is pure silliness. The standard is “beyond a reasonable” doubt for any criminal conviction. There is no higher standard of proof in our system, nor should there be – unless you are prepared to cease criminal prosecutions at all.

Either you support the death penalty or you don’t. The “compromise” that you are suggesting is a foolish unwillingness to make up your mind. For it, or against it. But make up your mind.

seanrobins on October 2, 2011 at 11:59 PM

There was ZERO doubt about this man’s guilt, the media is anti-death penalty and cooperated with his defense team to LIE about the supposed “recanting witnesses.” There were 34 witnesses against him at trial, seven decided after 20 years they couldn’t be 100% sure, two changed their testimony in a material way but neither actually “recanted” in a legal sense.

If you read the federal appellate judge’s ruling after his last Habeous hearing in 2010 which included these supposed “recantations,” you would understand that. Start on page 127 of the ruling (actual page numbering, not the PDF numbering) – he goes over every one of the nine witnesses and demonstrates why they do not make ANY difference in the case as a matter of FACT OR LAW.

If all you read on the subject is media and squishy bloggers, you will only swim in the pool of ignorance and deceptions.

Argue the death penalty all you want, but this guy WAS guilty beyond ANY doubt at all. Those who claim he even “might be” innocent are either liars or dupes. PERIOD.

Enough stupidity! READ the judge’s ruling, or STFU.

Adjoran on October 3, 2011 at 12:16 AM

I’m inclined to agree with Allah that lethal injection ought to be saved for the guys who are definitely guilty.

So, basically, you’re as big a weenie as he is then.

At least you’re cute, lol.

xblade on October 3, 2011 at 1:02 AM

I would have stuck the needle in myself if I had the chance.
I would then go home and curl up in my bed and soundly sleep, safe in the knowledge that one-less murderer roams the earth.

A chance to stick that cop-killer in Philly (Mumia Whatshisname) would also be appreciated.

Oh! And a clear head-shot at O.J. Simpson, who decapitated his wife, would be priceless. My only problem would be deciding on .308 or .223. I guess it would depend on the distance…

shorebird on October 3, 2011 at 1:06 AM

It is largely a myth that those who kill cops are treated more harshly by the system. Other cops,of course become personally vested when a cop is killed, but not so the criminal justice system as a whole. Accused cop killers have an additional tool available for creating a reasonable doubt, in that the dead officer can always be accused of misconduct , where a good sumaritan civilain citizen killed while attemping to stop Davis from pistol whipping the man would not.
Our cops get precious little additional protection from criminals and from legal liability considering a good citizen can decide not get involved, while an officer is bound by his employment contract, his oath sworn unto God, his self respect and his reputation with the professional law enforcement community to do his duty to serve and protect by running to the trouble, while everyone else is expected to run away.
I have been sworn to support the Constitution by always seeking due process in my practice. I complained we are not informed enough to know if Alwaki was afforded due process. I know Mister Davis was.
Chief of Police Cecil Gurr of Roosevlt Utah was not given due process when he was also murdered while trying to save the life of one he had sworn to protect. He was a husband, father of three, 30+ years police officer, Viet Nam CIB veteran, my best friend and the finest man I have ever known. Killing our cops gets personal.

borntoraisehogs on October 3, 2011 at 1:08 AM

Tina: The responses may seem harsh but don’t you think a subject as important as this – a murder of a cop, deserved a more informed response from you? You’re b.s. comment makes you appear to not value Officer MacPhail’s life.

Blake on October 3, 2011 at 1:31 AM

I like the “He was a Martyr and a Foot soldier”

Yepp, Foot Soldier sounds about right, foot soldier in a growing movement who believe we should get rid of all police and replace them with the brownshirts.

I’m sure many of these people are “Troy Davis,” no good thugs

Rbastid on October 3, 2011 at 1:34 AM

Why are they not including the fellow in Texas that was executed on the same day?

Could it be that they do not want to remind people that …

The Democratic party ran campaign ad after ad slamming George Bush because he did not support special hate crime legislation over this exact case? And now with that very example of why Bush hated black people put to death, their argement is shown as the absurd lie it always was?

Is it possible to not see this kind of biased reporting, and one of thousands of lies by Democrats for decades, that has led to the ‘brainwashing’ as Herman Cain has stated?

Could this protest be as simple as a political game by these particular alledged death penalty opponents? They clearly do not actually care about the death penalty as long as it is applied where they feel it is appropriate!

Freddy on October 3, 2011 at 2:42 AM

According to folks in Amsterdam, and Paris and other foreign lands, who know about as much about Troy Davis as they do the man in the moon, along with our many friends in the knee-jerk cracks and crevices of blatant, radical, mindless, lazy-brain liberalism in the U.S., any person sentenced to death is, by definition, innocent. A “victim” of the state. The mere fact of receiving a death sentence somehow elevating an ordinary criminal to martyrdom. Astounding.

What is more astounding is that these people are so openly unaware of how fundamentally stupid they are. Do they really believe that they know this case because they read a newspaper? Or a blog? Or got an e-mail from a friend? Or do they merely raise the victim flag because they heard that they’re supposed to raise it, without questioning the message or the messenger.

Troy Davis wasn’t convicted of one crime but, rather, two crimes. One hour apart. The first, a shooting, with the same pistol ballistics tests verified was used in the shooting and killing of officer MacPhail a short hour later. Troy Davis was convicted of the first crime but seems to have lost track of his gun in the following hour. Did his twin happen by, pick it up and head out to shoot a cop? Well, it would have to be a twin because Davis was identified by numerous witnesses, including the pistol-whipping victim, who has never wavered.

Not only is there no reasonable doubt that Troy Davis committed the crime of which he was accused; there is virtually no doubt whatsoever that he pulled the trigger and fired the bullet that killed Mark MacPhail.

It’s astounding that there is a core group of people willing to believe anything at all if someone else is willing to say it. As my mother used to say, they don’t have enough sense to get out of the rain.

Well, ma, the problem is, they don’t even know it’s raining. They might be soaking wet but somebody told them the sun was shining so they have no idea why their shoes are filling with water.

IndieDogg on October 3, 2011 at 2:52 AM

That was beautiful, HitNRun.

S. Weasel on October 3, 2011 at 4:10 AM

IndieDogg on October 3, 2011 at 2:52 AM

Actually, the victim of the “pistol whipping” – he was struck once, while arguing with another man – was a “recanting” witness, but Davis’ defense team chose NOT to call him, or the other “recanting” witness, both of whom were present in the courthouse, to testify on his behalf at the hearing, relying instead upon their bogus affidavits. The court mocked the affidavits in the ruling, so one may assume the “recanting witnesses” would not have been convincing on the stand.

I have no respect for anyone who allows even the possibility Davis was innocent. Clearly the evidence proves otherwise, beyond reasonable doubt, beyond any real doubt at all.

If you doubt this in any respect, first READ the federal judge’s ruling on the hearing in 2010 that was supposed to introduce all this “recanted testimony.” The court MOCKS this contention, addressing each of the nine supposed “recanting” witnesses (of the 34 who testified against Davis at trial), and clearly demonstrating that none of them actually “recant” anything of meaning, nothing which would indicate they either lied or misspoke in their original testimony. The Court described the defense appeal as “smoke and mirrors.”

Adjoran on October 3, 2011 at 4:37 AM

Of course, we already know Allahpundit not to be the sort to admit error, so his failure to retract his stupidity is par for the course.

If Tina wishes to peg her own credibility to this sack of poop, that is her reputation on the line for cop-killer Troy Davis.

It’s one thing for a gutless anonymous coward to refuse to recant his errors, again we are used to it from AP, but sad for a young person with their whole life ahead of them to tie their reputation to lies defending a cop-killer.

Adjoran on October 3, 2011 at 4:41 AM

Although many oppose the death penalty from personal conviction, I have to agree with HitNRun on his earlier point. The way I see it, a chunk of that crowd of “mourners” was the OJ jury. A twisted bunch of racists who see all black men as victims of a white judicial system (whatever the hell that means) and deserving of exoneration for that fact alone. The viciousness of their crimes doesn’t matter, only skin color matters.
Good job fashioning that post-racial America, Turdboy.

SKYFOX on October 3, 2011 at 6:18 AM

I’m not familiar enough with the specifics of Troy Davis’ case to know which category his execution really falls under — but I’m inclined to agree with Allah that lethal injection ought to be saved for the guys who are definitely guilty.

Coulter eviscerates this idiotic statement. How unfortunate for Tina that Ann exists.

Jaibones on October 3, 2011 at 6:35 AM

The way I see it, a chunk of that crowd of “mourners” was the OJ jury. A twisted bunch of racists who see all black men as victims of a white judicial system (whatever the hell that means) and deserving of exoneration for that fact alone. The viciousness of their crimes doesn’t matter, only skin color matters.

SKYFOX on October 3, 2011 at 6:18 AM

The irony is that Davis mainly victimized other blacks. The guy Davis shot in the car (earlier in the day, when he was leaving a party) was black. The homeless man Davis was pistol-whipping in the Burger King parking lot (because the homeless man wouldn’t give him his beer) was also black. Also, the jury that convicted Davis of killing Officer MacPhail was a majority black jury. And I can’t say for sure, since the court’s opinion didn’t state their race, but it’s probably a safe bet that the two friends of Davis — who told police how Davis had boasted to them shortly after the killing about how he’d shot a cop in the face — were probably also black.

Troy Davis was no poster boy for racial injustice. If he’s to be held up as an example of anything, it should be for the fact that our justice system, as imperfect as it is, oftens works just as it should.

AZCoyote on October 3, 2011 at 7:21 AM

For me the biggest indignity, no really insult, came when it was announced that Rep John Lewis would be an honorary pall bearer for this cop killer. Death penalty arguments aside there is not any actual evidence to the contrary that Davis was somewhere else other then at attendance when the Officer McPhail was killed. In all of the arguments offered have you heard one single alternative alibi for where Davis was? The closet so far has been he didn’t pull the trigger but nobody could put him anywhere else but at the scene.

Just A Grunt on October 3, 2011 at 7:44 AM

Liberals worry about whether the war on terrorism is self defeating because it creates more terrorists in the long run. They ought to be more concerned that crap like this funeral for a cop-killer is creating more racists out of otherwise reasonable people.

sdd on October 3, 2011 at 7:49 AM

They ought to be more concerned that crap like this funeral for a cop-killer is creating more racists out of otherwise reasonable people.

sdd on October 3, 2011 at 7:49 AM

I think most reasonable people recognize racism no matter who perpetrates it and may feel the urge to react in kind but reject it.
We are able (and required) to talk ourselves out of acting on visceral anger or hatred.

Extrafishy on October 3, 2011 at 8:03 AM

It’s IN-ter-esting to note the lack of outpouring of anti death penalty sentiment for the guy who was executed in Texas within hours of Davis for that Jasper, TX Behind-The-Pickup-Truck thing.

TimBuk3 on October 3, 2011 at 8:19 AM

but I’m inclined to agree with Allah that lethal injection ought to be saved for the guys who are definitely guilty.

Well, at least you’re still open to hanging those who are not definitely guilty.

Seriously, while I understand the reasoning behind wanting to “be absolutely sure” before executing a convict, the real thinking behind your statement is to ban capital punishment. Like Allah, saying you want additional burdens to be met is a thinly veiled anti-capital punishment stance and should be treated as such.

To be sure, there are some practical argument against the death penalty…IIRC one was covered in Freakonomics…but navel gazing about requiring an absolute certainty isn’t at all practical and should be recognized as such.

JohnTant on October 3, 2011 at 8:26 AM

We have it because the state has to maintain its monopoly on force to function. The entire premise of civilization is that the citizen can count on a supposedly impartial authority to dole out punishment. The alternative to appropriately harsh penalties is not kumbayah, but vigilante justice.

HitNRun on October 2, 2011 at 10:02 PM

Your post is well thought through, but just to clarify what’s probably obvious to most, we grant government the sole authority to use “retaliatory” force. We all retain the right to use all necessary force to defend ourselves, our property or another person.

elfman on October 3, 2011 at 8:40 AM

Enough stupidity! READ the judge’s ruling, or STFU.

Adjoran on October 3, 2011 at 12:16 AM

Stop beating around the bush Adjoran. Tell us what you really think.

elfman on October 3, 2011 at 8:48 AM

Wonder what Lawrence Russell Brewer and Troy Davis are chattin bout in hell right now?

BigAlSouth on October 3, 2011 at 8:50 AM

A twisted bunch of racists who see all black men as victims of a white judicial system (whatever the hell that means) and deserving of exoneration for that fact alone.

And imagine if you will the chaos, lawlessness and complete breakdown of the “justice” system if these animals were in charge?

Twana on October 3, 2011 at 9:38 AM

“…martyr and foot soldier”? What does that even mean in this context? Are they declaring war on the police? That would just be stupid. Oh, wait…

jakev on October 3, 2011 at 10:21 AM

If you thought the man was falsely accused as a murderer, then why on earth would you refer to him as a ‘foot soldier’?

zoyclem on October 3, 2011 at 11:04 AM

I have a question.

To all readers, many people believe, and the movies often depict, that a person who is innocent denies their involvement in a crime, including murder, even on their death bed, even at the time they die, even at the time of their execution. Another way to phrase it, is that the guilty confess at the time of their death to clear the conscience and “Make Peace with God,” while an innocent person does not, for they did not commit a crime, and they did not murder anyone.

We are told by the Defense attorneys for Troy Davis that he denied committing the murder of Officer MacPhail, even at the time of Davis’ death. If that is true, if Davis never admitted to the murder, by denied it even at his death, why would he do so if he were not innocent?

William2006 on October 3, 2011 at 11:37 AM

This has nothing to do with weather this guy was guilty or innocent. He was convicted and justice was served. This is about ANTI-DEATH-PENALTY screwballs who believe people should be able to do whatever they want. WRONG. Kill a cop, You get the needle.

tx2654 on October 3, 2011 at 12:05 PM

Wheather? I guess I should proof read better!

tx2654 on October 3, 2011 at 12:06 PM

If that is true, if Davis never admitted to the murder, by denied it even at his death, why would he do so if he were not innocent?

William2006 on October 3, 2011 at 11:37 AM

Because he is a pathological liar who has been kept alive by the useful nitwit left who believe them? He should have been fried within months after the final appeal proscribed by Georgia law, but fifteen years later he has an international celebri-douche following…why stop lying now?

Fool.

Jaibones on October 3, 2011 at 12:18 PM

We are told by the Defense attorneys for Troy Davis that he denied committing the murder of Officer MacPhail, even at the time of Davis’ death. If that is true, if Davis never admitted to the murder, by denied it even at his death, why would he do so if he were not innocent?

William2006 on October 3, 2011 at 11:37 AM

Let me make sure I understand…

You’re coming at this by saying that “many people” believe (and has been depicted in movies) that only truly innocent people continue to profess innocence to their deathbeds? And because of this belief/depiction, there is by definition a reasonable doubt as to his guilt?

JohnTant on October 3, 2011 at 12:58 PM

As opposed to those aren’t definately guilty? Aren’t those people aquited because you need proof beyond a reasonable doubt? Hot Air is going all Tory wet on us.

federale86 on October 3, 2011 at 3:26 PM

Off topic, but Amanda Knox just had her conviction overturned in Italy. How long before someone makes a comparison between the two cases, and claims the Italian system is fairer, and more just. Plus they don’t have the death penalty like us barbarians here in the U.S.

xblade on October 3, 2011 at 3:55 PM

To all readers, many people believe, and the movies often depict, that a person who is innocent denies their involvement in a crime, including murder, even on their death bed, even at the time they die, even at the time of their execution. Another way to phrase it, is that the guilty confess at the time of their death to clear the conscience and “Make Peace with God,” while an innocent person does not, for they did not commit a crime, and they did not murder anyone.

Many people believe in UFO’s and Bigfoot.

We are told by the Defense attorneys for Troy Davis that he denied committing the murder of Officer MacPhail, even at the time of Davis’ death. If that is true, if Davis never admitted to the murder, by denied it even at his death, why would he do so if he were not innocent?

William2006 on October 3, 2011 at 11:37 AM

Did Saddam make some tearful confession of his wrongs before he died?

You have a Hollywood idea of human nature that doesn’t correspond with reality. Criminals avoid responsibility, guilt and morality. They justify what they do with cheap excuses… she shouldn’t have been out that late man, or He was dissing me.

Do you really think they will suddenly change who they are at the end, find God and accept responsibility for their actions?

Davis pistol whipped a homeless guy… and that is not disputed by anyone, and you are expecting noble behavior from the guy? Only in the movies!

sharrukin on October 3, 2011 at 4:01 PM

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