Tag Archive: Troy Davis


New Beginnings


New Beginnings

 

    January always seems to be a time and occasion for new beginnings. It marks the beginning of a new year, and we are hopeful that this year will be better than the last. I, too, have that hope. I hope this year isn’t filled with as much loss and sadness as last year was; not only for me but for all those that the light touches.

  But no matter how I try and divide it, had it not been for the wonderful people in my life this past year…I may not have survived the sadness and loss. All of this goes back to my concept of life…everything has its season…and God brings all things into the light. I may have had moments when I was sad or even cried, but they were downplayed by the many minutes, hours, days, weeks, and months I had filled with smiles and laughter.

  While I can not deny the pain that I felt, I also could not hide the joy that our Creator bestowed upon me, as well. I learned that the best way to work through my sadness was to write. I not only wrote about what made me unhappy in my own personal life…but what made me sad with the world that we all live in. And although I am only one person, I was hopeful that if only one person read what I wrote…maybe they would tell someone else about it. We have a possibility to link to one another like a chain…and we could spread compassion instead of hate. It is a way of becoming one with our creator. And since we all have the attributes of God, similar to the way we have characteristics of our birth parents; we can choose to give love and become love.

  The sadness I had felt periodically through out the year was very real; and while focusing on other things did not make the emotions go away…it did help steady me. I could concentrate on what was making someone else sad or concerned. I could lend my shoulder or ear to my fellow man/woman…hoping to show them that they are a significant part of my life; furthering the idea that we are all one.

  My heart broke for the children dying in the Horn of Africa; and whilst I could not feed them…I could bring them into my writing. I could pray for them and those who were in a position to help them. I could sign an online petition and write about the drought and the deaths occurring as a result of that drought. I could link my writing back to an informative video, petition or information link…so if nothing else, I helped create awareness. This gave me hope, because finally I felt like I was not only a drop of water in a bucket…but the beginning of a downpour. If I could take a small step, perhaps someone else would, as well. In January of last year there were people who had no idea what was going on in the Horn of Africa, and some didn’t even know where it was. However, by December, we could no longer claim ignorance. Yes, we could still choose to do nothing. We could sit around on our hands or point fingers at others…but we could no longer say, “I just didn’t know”. The actions we take from this point on would be an informed action…even if the only action we took…was to do nothing.

  Also in this past year, we came face to face with the death penalty. And although our feelings and thoughts on it were clearly divided…we allowed ourselves to have the conversation. This is also another sore spot in my heart, as I feel without a doubt that ALL life is precious. Even though we may not agree about the issue, this year, via the Troy Anthony Davis execution, we were all able to voice our opinions. Again this is a sad situation, but we should at least rejoice in the fact that we got the opportunity to have the conversation. And I do pray in the coming year and many more to come that the rest of the country will join the 15 states that have taken away the death penalty. Hopefully we will see that punishment should be just that and not retaliation…murder is murder.

  In 2011, we became painfully aware of our children and the issues that bullying has on them. We learned that it is no longer that kid on the corner waiting to steal lunch money. Bullying has gotten much more perverse, violent even fatal. As parents we need to be proactive before we must become reactive. Our children are dying, not only at the hands of other children…but at their own hands. The number of teenage suicides is on the rise and this is largely due to other teenagers. We must watch our children. Be aware of the social networking that they participate in…Bullying does not just happen in the classroom, but online and via text messages. Being a teenager is difficult, and being a parent just became more difficult. Watch your children…do they find humor at the expense of other children? Watch for the signs of bullying…or even worse….complacency. If your child does not speak up for the child that is being harassed…they are contributing to the abuse of that child. Create a dialogue with your children…their lives have just gotten dangerous. When you are aware that your child is not “NICE”…and you don’t speak to them…it is similar to letting them walk out of your home to go school with a gun in their back pack.

  2012 is a year of hope; a year of reflection. We can be the change we are always looking for by using the experience of 2011. I pray that you use the love of our creator in all that you say and do.

 

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Giving Thanks


Giving Thanks

  Today I want to give thanks for the experiences of this past year. Some have been happy and some have been sad…but all have been necessary. This year my sister passed away…and while I definitely feel her absence…which makes me sad. I also felt blessed by her presence…for which I will forever be grateful. Life has a way of giving you just what you need…even though we might want more or feel like we actually have less. I am a better person for just having known her…and fortunate enough to have just known her. My sister loved me unconditionally, as I did her. And while I am still saddened by her death…I am elated that God loved me so much that He sent her to me…even if our time was brief.

  This year was a time of awareness…the world had become more aware of the trauma caused by the famine in the Horn of Africa. While this has been an ongoing problem, which has now become dire…, at least now we can no longer claim ignorance. We must acknowledge the ongoing problem and the obligation that we have to try and help…our fellow man. I have seen online videos and statements….as well as, online petitions to create awareness of this devastating problem. I pray that this dreadful condition…improves over the coming year. The only way to improve…however is to bring and keep this issue in the light; as people, it is our job to bring awareness to the fact that our fellow man is starving to death.

  In 2011, several states created racial profiling laws; and while I found this to be sad and disheartening…I still have hope that we will eventually do the right thing. It is my prayer that in the coming year we will be able to look at all the injustices and learn from our own mistakes. I hope that we will soon learn that not only are we no better or superior to anyone or anything else; but that there is no way for anyone to fix what has already happened. All that we may hope for in the near future is that we can move ahead and start treating other people as we would like to be treated…even if we aren’t being done so right now. I believe that we have the ability to rise above our differences and uplift ourselves by uplifting our fellow man. We have the chance to rise above any and all adversity…using our unique characteristics as means to connect. In 2012, I pray that we will understand that racial profiling, legal or not, is a huge step backward…and is no better than making our fellow man sit at the back of the bus.

  I want to thank Troy Davis…posthumously, while the light and awareness you helped spread did not save your life…I believe that it will help others. I hope that people may understand, because of your voice beyond the grave…that killing is wrong…no matter whom the assailant is. I also wish peace to the families of those touched by this case and the thousands before it. Let us not dwell on the errors of man…but learn from it so that we can build upon the fact that loving one another is all we need to do.

  2011 was the year that American troops came home from Afghanistan…and while too much life was lost…on both sides…. I know we are relieved to have our sons, daughters, fathers and mothers back on our soil. But let us not be so overjoyed that we forget the many lives lost. I pray we spend more time giving unsolicited hugs to the children of that war…once time has escaped us…there is no way to back track; but we can begin new…today.

  My thoughts and prayers are with those people still at war…all over the globe; those children of God fighting for their rights to exist…and I ask that we no longer turn a deaf ear to their plight. Let us remember how hard it was for us…knowing that our family members, our neighbors…our fellow man were fighting and may not return. And pray for those families that still live with that turmoil today. Let us show compassion and empathy for the orphans born as a result of the wage of war…not forgetting that it is our children that pay that price.

  Let us remember in the coming year, the sacrifices that the women in our lives have made. Please join me in shining light on anyone and everyone who believes they have the right to do harm to any one of them. Please help me bring awareness to the fact that millions of women are beaten, abused (physically and verbally), raped, and even killed every year…a senseless and vile act. But even sadder than the fact that it happens…is the fact that it usually happens at the hand of someone they love and trust. I pray God reminds us to be respectful and kind to one another everyday…because we are breeding this behavior in our young children who sit and watch idly. I pray for the soldiers in this fight…the women and girls that are affected by this travesty every single day. With love, perhaps we can put an end to this war, as well. 

Lastly, I want to thank all of those people who did the right thing this year…loved unconditionally without bias. You are the reigning example of what we are all supposed to rise to…your example speaks in leaps and bounds.

  I wish all of you a safe and happy holiday season, and hope you leave room for growth in the coming year. Every day is a lesson. Every thought can maintain peace or create war…let us shine our Creator’s love on all that we touch.

The Long and Winding Road


The Long and Winding Road

 

  Growing up I often heard the expression…not to choose is to choose. The meaning of which became much more clear as I aged and matured.

  How often had I heard some one say that they were angered or frustrated with a situation and yet did nothing? Often we decide to sit the fence about issues…so to speak. We may feel a certain way about something, yet we take no stand. It is unfortunate that we don’t understand…when we fail to take a stand…we already did.

  We may say that we are against slavery…yet if we do nothing to stop the enslavement…we are silently approving the action. True, it may not be easy to stand up against those who are seemingly in the majority…but what are we REALLY saying…by saying nothing…by taking no stand?

  We are saying…it is okay. We are lending our support to those that we may very well be opposed to. We may say that we do not support the destruction of our planet…but unless we are willing to stand up for the world around us…our well wishes…will always fall upon deaf ears.

  It takes bravery to speak openly against those that oppress us…and often those people are targeted as troublemakers. I almost laugh at those statements…because I personally know one of those troublemakers. I have watched and heard her young heart standing up for what she believes is right or wrong in this life. I have seen people try to muffle her cries for justice…with laughter or jokes, hoping to discourage her candor. But I promise you that this angel is only fueled by any opposition. She is never deterred by society’s criticisms…she keeps her head held high and marches on. She is strong and vigilant…she will stand up even when she feels she is under attack. She always makes her position known…regardless of the viewpoint or perception of others. I have seen her defend the life of a tree more passionately than I have seen men or women defend their fellow man.

  In mid conversation, she will say that it is wrong for the state to kill someone…to prove that killing is wrong. The act in itself emphasizes the “do as I say and not as I do” idea. Even before Troy Davis, the Georgia man who was executed Sept 21, 2011…for the death of an off duty police officer; as a fifteen year old girl…my daughter was debating the death penalty with educators. Did she have some information that we didn’t? No, she simply didn’t need anyone to tell her that killing is wrong. She didn’t seek or desire direction on this matter…she just always knew that loving our fellow man was our primary objective. To put it in her own words…how can our parents teach us that we are not supposed to fight…and that turning the other cheek is what God wants from us. Yet…we send our nation to war. It may seem like an over simplification to some…but again, in her words…wrong is wrong…no matter how many words you dress it up with.

  This young woman is one of my personal heroes. She has won no awards…there have been no stories written about her…outside of my own efforts. She has no National Holiday…but she sings her song of justice loudly…to anyone who will listen. She hasn’t prevented a war…she hasn’t stopped famine or the ongoing problems that we have created for ourselves. But everyday she will tell people openly that the man in the mirror is the change needed. For our reflection is who we are…not who we may think we are. We have a voice…we choose when and where to use it.

  As a society, we have chosen to be led. Growing up; we are told how to behave. Where to sit or stand…who to be nice to…what to wear; the problem is that we are now conditioned. We are conditioned to believe that we need permission to do what we already know is right. It is this conditioning that causes us to allow the destructive actions and decisions of others. No one is dictating to us what we should be doing…so we do nothing. As if we need permission to carry out the work of God.

  What I am saying is that the truths we were taught as children…theses still are true today. The fact is that the TRUTH….always will be TRUE. It is the one constant in our lives. Life can be like a long and winding road…seemingly endless; but the path is the one we have always known.

  We were created to love one another…and with love, comes peace. There can be no negative in that…for the basis of love and peace…comes from our Creator.

  Taking a stand can be hard…but masking who we really are in our silence…is a crime against our nature. Stand up for those that have no voice…be the voice of reason and justice…like our fore fathers before us. Be what we teach our children to be…every day. Lead by example…love by choice…be the humanity we seek in others.

 

Not In My Name


   On September 21, 2011 at 11:08 PM, Troy Davis was killed by the state of Georgia…even though he may not have been guilty…BUT…

                                                                   NOT IN MY NAME

 3239 people in the United States are currently under a death sentence…BUT…

                                                                    NOT IN MY NAME

 Since 1976, 1269 men, women, children, and mentally ill people have been SHOT, HANGED, ASPHYXIATED, LETHALLY INJECTED, and ELECTROCUTED by the state and the federal government of the United States…BUT…

                                                                    NOT IN MY NAME

 

 Alabama is the only state in our country where a trial judge can override a life sentence and convert it to a death sentence. And approximately 21% of Alabama’s death row was converted to the death penalty from a life sentence by a trial judge….BUT…

                                                                   NOT IN MY NAME

 

 The United States is currently one of the top countries, in regards to executing inmates…BUT…

                                                             I WILL NOT TURN MY HEAD

 No one has the right to take another life…it is wrong. How do we know it is wrong? Because we are executing people to teach them that killing is wrong…and yet the lesson escapes us. We do not have the right to kill another human being. And please keep in mind…some of those human beings…were exonerated after they were already executed and laid in the ground to rest.

  I heard someone say the night that Troy Davis was killed…”An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind”. We cannot change what has happened, no amount of prayers, rallies, parades, or interviews will change what has been done. But we get to choose if the deaths were in vain…we get to stand tall and speak up. If we forget what happened, then we learned nothing from it. The facts are simple…it is more expensive to execute an inmate than to imprison him /her for life. And the death penalty has not deterred crime one bit…or we wouldn’t have anyone to execute. Finally, please never say it could not happen to anyone you know or love. Our system of justice is seriously lacking…if you are a minority or poor in this country, no matter what anyone tells you…you are guilty until proven innocent 9 times out of 10.

 

   Today I ask that you stand with me…not to protect murderers…but to end the death penalty. We are becoming the thing that we hate…we must make a change. THE DEATH PENALTY MUST BE ABOLISHED.

I take this pledge because human rights and human lives are on the line.

 

 http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org/site/c.6oJCLQPAJiJUG/b.7741827/k.62FF/Not_in_my_Name_Pledge/apps/ka/ct/contactus.asp?c=6oJCLQPAJiJUG&b=7741827&en=dmIPI6PPJcIYLgOSLbKULiM9LvL9KmN4LtI9LqNaIAK

And Time Moved On


       

And Time Moved On

 

Lately I am reflecting a lot on the execution of Troy Davis. I wish I wasn’t…I wish my heart wouldn’t hurt every time I say his name. I wish I had believed that he was ever going to escape lethal injection, I wish I had been let down by the parole/pardon board decision…but I wasn’t. I wasn’t let down because I never had enough faith in our “justice” system, to believe that they would halt the execution. I found even the postponement to be no more than drama that played out worse than a low budget, predictable sci-fi matinee movie. The state of Georgia killed Troy Davis, even though there was serious doubt that he was guilty. I think that the state and the general public just wanted for someone to pay for this heinous crime…and so someone did. Someone paid…I guess to the powers that be, it didn’t matter if Troy was the RIGHT someone. A terrible crime was committed, a police officer was killed…everyone was angry. I can understand anger. I get angry…I get angry when I cannot tell my child that Troy Davis had to pay his debt to society; because I doubt that the debt was his to pay.

  In a moment of irony I found this information:

 In March of 1988, the owner of a lumber yard was brutally killed. He was dragged and beaten with a crow bar, until his face was mutilated and he was eventually shot in the back of the head. This was a particularly gruesome event, even in relaying it I find it to be mentally and visually disturbing. For that, Samuel David Crowe pled guilty and admitted to the crime in its entirety and as a result he was sentenced to death. In 2008, the very same parole/pardon board in Atlanta, Georgia…the very same which rejected Troy Davis’ plea for clemency…commuted Crowe’s sentence to life without parole. And once again the scales tilt, maintaining the only constant that I have found…there is no balance. And still, the world keeps spinning, time doesn’t stop. That is…time for us didn’t stop, because on September 21, 2011 at 11:08pm…Troy Davis’ time ended here on our earth.

 Some wept; some said that it gave them the hope that peace would follow. Some felt justice had been served; others found that especially in this case…there was no justice found.

  For myself, I just couldn’t stop crying. I felt there was another soul that the world cast away. We had another chance to do the right thing and we let it slip through our fingers. I can tell you this much…I do not personally know if Troy Davis shot Mark MacPhail, but I can also say that I do not believe BEYOND a reasonable doubt that the state had cause to execute him either.

 So we take the wound that Officer MacPhail’s murder caused…and pour salt in it by killing Troy Davis. Healing can not happen that way. When we do unto others what they have done to us…it becomes barbaric. It becomes revenge, which just fuels the dark head of hate. So now not one, but two families will grieve. Two families lost a son…but we, as people, lost also. We lost our ability to see people…these were two breathing men, they had blood running through their veins, they had lives, both were important. And then there were none.

 I never met Troy Davis, he never uttered a single word to me…but every day my heart breaks for him. I feel a loss. I feel lost. Once again we allowed our government to decide the fate of another human being. We took a task, which only belongs to our creator, and made it our own. Such a sad event…and yet time keeps moving.

 It is my wish that we end the possibility of more stories like this. We must start cherishing life, and stop feeling like we are cornered into situations. WE must learn to love beyond our limits, think outside of the box; we must stop the violence. Whether it occurs in randomly selected heinous crimes, or in organized, socially acceptable court rooms…we are taking that which was never ours, and destroying it.

 Today, I rose above my tears; I prayed for the families of Mark MacPhail and Troy Davis. I prayed that in some way they will be able to move forward, without hate and resentment. I pray that God will make things easier for them. And I pray for all of us, life is precious…we should stop wasting it.

 

All Eyes on Georgia


All Eyes on Georgia

  Define irony…Irony is planning an execution for an inmate, whose guilt is questionable…at the least, on September 21st …which is International Peace Day.

  In 1991, Troy Davis was found guilty of the 1st degree murder of Mark Allen MacPhail, an off duty police officer….in Savannah, Georgia.  And Mr. Davis was found guilty based on NO physical evidence…no fingerprints…no DNA…no weapon. The evidence that was used to convict Troy Davis consisted solely of 9 eye witness accounts.  Mr. Davis has served 20 years for a crime that he may NOT be guilty of, not a huge shock to many…since there have been countless inmates who have served a decade or more…before being found NOT GUILTY.

  In 2010, 7 of the 9 eye witness accounts were recanted, some of which stated that they were coerced by police to finger Davis.  The judge in the case discounted the recanted testimony, stating that the witnesses had “extensive criminal records” and therefore their testimonies were not valid. One of the 2 remaining witnesses is Sylvester “RED” Coles…the first person, who police suspected of the heinous crime. The judge also stated that Troy Davis failed to prove his innocence in this case.

 So to reiterate…the 7 eye witness testimonies, which were recanted…are not permissible because the have criminal records…however they were valid for the conviction. And the one other suspect in this crime is now an eye witness.

  And on September 21, 2011, the state of Georgia will execute Troy Davis, via lethal injection, unless the Governor intervenes.

 I am not asking you to believe that Troy Davis has been a model citizen, because he hasn’t. Mr. Davis has a police record, beyond this conviction. However, that should have no bearing or weight in this case…since it is not connected in any way.

  I am also not asking you to say that he is innocent. In our Justice system, we do not have to prove innocence…we only need to be certain “BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT” that Troy Davis is guilty. He deserves his day in court…as 7 of the original eye witnesses have recanted their testimony. And one of the remaining witnesses is a probable suspect.

  Let me state also, the death of Mark Allen MacPhail, was a tragic event…and my sympathy goes out to his family. However executing the wrong person…is not justice…it is wrong.

 At this time I am asking for your signature on one of many online petitions, stating that his voice deserves to be heard. Please do not sign if you believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that Troy Davis is guilty, but if you question the verdict, AT ALL…please join us in this cause.

http://www.change.org/petitions/7-of-9-witnesses-say-my-brother-is-innocent-stop-troy-davis-execution-on-sep-21

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