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Vol. 75/No. 34      September 26, 2011

Attica to Troy Davis - ‘US justice’

Troy Davis has become a symbol of the brutality and anti-working-class character of “American justice,” whose courts, cops, and prisons protect the property and power of a tiny minority of capitalist families who live off exploitation of the producing majority. We urge readers to join the international actions called to demand a halt to Davis’s execution, set for September 21 in Georgia.

An African-American worker, Davis was sentenced to death 20 years ago on charges of killing a policeman. There was no physical evidence linking Davis to the killing. All but two of nine nonpolice witnesses later said they had been pressured by cops to implicate Davis. At every turn, however, courts rejected his request for a new trial.

The case reached the Supreme Court in 2009, but the justices instructed a lower court to review the facts and rule whether there was enough new evidence that could prove his innocence—despite the fact that the burden is on the state to prove a defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

There could scarcely be a purer example of the aim of the death penalty under capitalism. It is a weapon of the propertied rulers to terrorize working people in face of a system of class exploitation, racism, war, and inequality—a weapon the capitalist rulers can and will use as resistance grows to their assault on workers’ living standards, job conditions, and rights.

Davis’s planned execution coincides with the 40th anniversary of the Attica prison rebellion in New York state. More than 1,200 prisoners rose up against the brutal conditions they faced. They liberated parts of the prison and broadcast to the world their demands for decent food, medical care, adequate legal assistance, and freedom to organize politically and read what they chose.

“We are men… . not beasts, and we do not intend to be beaten or driven as such,” they declared.

The Attica rebellion was crushed in a massacre ordered by New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller, with the blessing of President Richard Nixon. On Sept. 13, 1971, 1,000 cops, guards, and National Guardsmen invaded the prison, shooting to kill. Not only did they mow down 29 inmates but also 10 guards and civilian hostages. State officials initially charged prison rebels with “throat-slittings” “castration,” and other “atrocities.” Following autopsy reports, however, they admitted that all 10 hostages died of gunshot wounds inflicted by Rockefeller’s state police.

Now the state of Georgia is planning to carry out yet another “legal murder,” this time against Troy Davis. All out to stop his execution!
Related articles:
Stop execution of Troy Davis!
Framed up by cops, scheduled to die on September 21  
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