Death Penalty Opponents Must Also Fight Racism in U.S. Criminal Justice System
Excerpt of speech by Akinwole-Bandele, senior community advocate, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, recorded and produced by Melinda Tuhus
The controversial September execution of Troy Davis in Georgia raised the profile of the death penalty in the U.S. and the fight to abolish it. Davis was executed after spending 20 years on death row for the killing of an off-duty police officer, a crime for which he maintained his innocence to the end. Opponents of the execution pointed out that there was no physical evidence linking Davis to the murder; witnesses recanted their initial testimony, and there were many doubts about how the state handled the case.