I must admit throughout the day as I was keeping up with what was going on via Twitter & Facebook (mostly Twitter @PSTRNIMMONSTV), I truly believed that at some point we would hear good news that another stay of execution was granted or even that his execution was commuted or absolved, because of a lack of evidence, or because of 7 out of 9 witnesses recanting their testimony or because of no weapon was ever found...you know because of the truth eventually coming out. And, not just because of those facts about the case, but because of the overwhelming support that this man had received not just from the community of his peers, but from the more influential people of our country and even the world. From Nobel Peace Prize Winner-Desmond Tutu, to Pope Benedict XV. Former President Jimmy Carter also weighed in on the fate of this young man, and believed his case deserved a closer look. On twitter, the likes of notables such as Russell Simmons (@UncleRush), Big Boi of Outkast (@BigBoi), Kim Kardashian (@KimKardashian), James Fortune (@MrJamesFortune) and others voice their concerned for the possible execution of what appeared to be an innocent man. How could this unconscionable act be committed in a country founded on the principles of innocent until proven guilty? And, yet it seemed that there was a conscious effort at every level of law enforcement to sign this man's death certificate without any care or concern for the ramifications of killing an innocent man.
After bible class last night I rushed home to watch the developing story on CNN as it continued to unfold. Protesters were outside of the prison in Georgia and outside of the Supreme Court in Washington until the wee hours of the morning in disbelief of what had taken place. My heart went out to Troy Davis' family, again not knowing them, but empathizing and sympathizing with them regarding their unfortunate situation. And, after hearing the mother of the slain police office talked with Anderson Cooper on CNN, my heart was saddened by her cold & seemingly cavalier attitude towards Troy Davis, as much as it was for her son officer MacPhail who was killed that fated day back in 1989. I waited to hear from the Georgia State Corrections spokesperson as they came out and addressed the media and indicated that Troy Davis' time of death was 11:08pm. And, his last words to the family were
"...despite the situation you are in, I'm not the one who personally killed your son, your father, your brother. I am innocent. The incident that happened that night is not my fault. I did not have a gun. All I can ask ... is that you look deeper into this case so that you really can finally see the truth. I ask my family and friends to continue to fight this fight. For those about to take my life, God have mercy on your souls. And may God bless your souls."
He maintained his innocence until he took his last breath. God is the ultimate judge and he is the only one the knows what happened to office MacPhail and who the real culprit is. My prayer is that if the facts of the case are true and Troy Davis was NOT the killer, then whoever pulled the trigger on that fated day some 20yrs ago will be brought to justice.
Johnn Donne-the poet, wrote very poignantly about the relationship that we all have to one another, "No man is an island entire of himself, every man is apart of the continent apart of the main. If a man dies it diminishes me for I am involved with mankind. So, never send to know for whom the bell tolls it tolls for thee." He and Dr. King both would agree on the interdependence of mankind, and how, "we are all tied together in a single garment of destiny," as he once said. What effects one of us ultimately effects us all in some way shape or form. And, I guess the message in this blog is simple, the events of yesterday personally impacted my life and this is no exaggeration. I truly felt like one of my brothers was lost on last evening. I did not have to know Troy Davis personally for his life to have effected me personally. Knowing someone does not always have to be a prerequisite for empathy, but we all were touched in some way by someone that we didn't even know. And, so the question becomes what do we do now? It would seem that we have lost the battle, and Troy Davis was the unfortunate casualty of a system of justice that failed all of us. But, the war on the death penalty, the war on poverty, the war on drugs, the war on violence the war on injustice continues. We mustn't sit idly by and wait for this to happen again, but we must become as Ghandi once said, "...the change that we seek." We have to actively pursue justice in our communities, schools, neighborhoods, churches, local, state and national governments. We mustn't give up the fight until as the Prophet Amos so eloquently put it, "...judgment (justice) rolls down like waters and righteousness, like a mighty stream."
I AM TROY DAVIS! WE ARE TROY DAVIS....AND WE MUSTN'T EVER GIVE UP!
Pastor Michael S.Nimmons