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Troy Davis Gets Hearing, Says U.S. Supreme Court

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: TroyDavis, U.S.SupremeCourt, HearingforTroyDavis, CapitalPunishment, Abolitionists, JusticeForTroyDavis, GeorgiaSuperiorCourt, AssistanceToTheIncarceratedMentallyIll, AIMI, MaryNeal, LarryNeal, DogJustice, WrongfulDeathOfLarryNeal )

- 3597 days ago -
The Supreme Court on Monday ordered a new hearing for death row inmate Troy Davis, whose supporters say is innocent and should be spared from execution for killing an off-duty police officer almost 20 years ago.


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Mary Neal (183)
Monday August 17, 2009, 12:30 pm
Davis has spent 18 years on death row for the 1989 slaying of Savannah, Ga., police officer Mark MacPhail. Davis' attorneys insist that he is innocent and deserves a new trial because several witnesses at his trial have recanted their testimony.

The high court ordered a federal judge in Georgia to determine whether there is evidence "that could not have been obtained at the time of trial (that) clearly establishes petitioner's innocence."

Defense lawyers had appealed to the Supreme Court after a federal court denied a new trial request in April.

"The substantial risk of putting an innocent man to death clearly provides an adequate justification for holding an evidentiary hearing," said Justice John Paul Stevens, writing for the court. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer concurred with Stevens.

MacPhail was slain while working off-duty as a security guard at a bus station. He had rushed to help a homeless man who had been pistol-whipped at a nearby parking lot, and was shot twice when he approached Davis and two other men. Witnesses identified Davis as the shooter at his 1991 trial.

But Davis' lawyers say new evidence proves their client was a victim of mistaken identity. They say three people who did not testify at Davis' trial have said another man confessed to the killing.

Davis' attorneys have delayed his execution three times by raising doubts about those witnesses. But state and federal courts have denied Davis' request for a new trial, and Georgia officials have repeatedly rejected calls for clemency.

The case has attracted worldwide attention, with calls to stop Davis' execution from former President Jimmy Carter, Pope Benedict XVI and Nobel Peace Prize-winner Desmond Tutu.

Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissented from the decision to order an evidentiary hearing, with Scalia saying that "every judicial and executive body that has examined petitioner's claim has been unpersuaded."

Davis' "claim is a sure loser," Scalia said. "Transferring his petition to the District Court is a confusing exercise that can serve no purpose except to delay the state's execution of its lawful criminal judgment."

Scalia said the Supreme Court was sending the District Court for the Southern District of Georgia "on a fool's errand."

"That court is directed to consider evidence of actual innocence which has been reviewed and rejected at least three times," he said.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who was just confirmed as a new justice earlier this month, did not take part in the consideration of Davis' motion, the court said.

Davis' family said the ruling gives them hope that he could be exonerated.

"I'm always optimistic," said his sister Martina Correia, who has traveled around the world advocating for his case. "This means he gets another chance. And we're going to keep fighting for that chance."

State officials welcomed the ruling.

"Hopefully, this hearing will resolve the doubts about the verdict handed down by the Chatham County jury 18 years ago," Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker said in a statement.

MacPhail's family was not quite so conciliatory. Anneliese MacPhail, the officer's mother, said she was "in shock" and worries the ruling will plunge a family seeking closure deeper into turmoil.

The ruling comes as MacPhail's friends and former colleagues prepare for a rally at a Savannah courthouse to honor the 20th anniversary of his death.

"They are pussyfooting around it," she said. "This has gone on long enough. The courts have been through this two or three times and nothing has changed."



I pray that this opportunity for justice is met with success and that the truth prevails for Officer MacPhail's family as well as for Troy Davis and his family and supporters. The officer lost his life helping a homeless man who might even have been mentally ill escape taunting by a young man, and Troy was among those who witnessed the taunting. Sometimes, people get in trouble for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. When defendants are poor and members of a minority group, it can be hard to get out of trouble regardless of innocence. Troy's appeals attorney had over 70 active cases to handle while working in Troy's defense.

This is excellent news for justice. Happy Heroes Day, Supreme Court Justices!

. (0)
Monday August 17, 2009, 5:29 pm
he is innocent i am glad he is getting a new trial

Susan M (46)
Monday August 17, 2009, 5:56 pm
I honestly did not think I would ever see this day! Congratulations Troy!

Past Member (0)
Monday August 17, 2009, 6:48 pm
Was holding my breath on this one, Mary, thank you for bring the good news.

Mary Neal (183)
Monday August 17, 2009, 7:13 pm

Another important thing the Supreme Court decided recently was to allow forensic lab personnel to be subpoenaed by defendants regarding test results. This was a 5 to 4 decision. It means that defendants will no longer have to accept lab results at face value. Even labs can be wrong sometimes. Ask Detroit, which had to close its crime lab due to sloppiness that might have caused wrongful convictions.

Thanks for noting and commenting on this good justice news. Please share with your friends and groups.

Mary Neal (183)
Monday August 17, 2009, 7:16 pm
Attention Care2 friends,

Do you have an ad that simply says "BOOM" at your sharebook and email page and here at Care2 News? It looks like baloons. Just checking. Thanks.

Gemma H (48)
Monday August 17, 2009, 8:27 pm
May justice prevail!! Thanks for promising news Mary.
Yes, am getting the BOOM BOOM sponsors ads too,
think they must be ok, have my computer set up like Fort Knox.

Mary Neal (183)
Tuesday August 18, 2009, 1:14 am
I don't really know if we should be popping the champaign bottle just yet. The article reads, "The high court ordered a federal judge in Georgia to determine whether there is evidence "that could not have been obtained at the time of trial (that) clearly establishes petitioner's innocence."

That means it goes back to the same Georgia courts that repeatedly decided against even giving Troy Davis a hearing at all. Yet, we will have to take this one step at a time and hope for the best.

Thank you, Care2 News Network! Congratulations on the articles carried here that helped get Troy much grassroot support from Care2 members. You had a large role in today's victory, I believe.

Congratulations, Amnesty International! You do an awesome job for Troy Davis and many justice issues.

Congratulations, NAACP! Thank you for taking on this battle and for addressing capital punishment and prejudice.

Congratulations, President Carter, Bishop Tutu, Pope Benedict, and many other dignitaries and celebrities! Your advocacy for Troy Davis was commendable.

Congratulations, Care2 members and my dear friends! Thank you for all the petitions you launched and signed and every email you sent to elected officials in Georgia and Washington for Troy to be granted a hearing.

Let us pray that it is a fair hearing and that Troy's attorneys will be allowed to present his evidence before an impartial federal judge. All Troy Davis said he wanted was "a fair day in a just court." Hopefully, he will have his heartfelt desire.


Mary Neal (183)
Tuesday August 18, 2009, 1:28 am
"CLEARLY ESTABLISHING INNOCENCE" is a much tougher thing than establishing reasonable doubt, which is all that is needed to get "not guilty" verdicts during a regular trial. I have been wondering all day how that could be done in Troy's case since there is no forensic evidence for DNA testing.

I am not an attorney, but the standard set by the Supreme Court for Troy apparently demands that he give irrefutable proof of his innocence. This disturbs me because all I read that his lawyers have is evidence of reasonable doubt of Troy's guilt, such as the seven witnesses retracting their testimony or contradicting earlier accounts of what happened.

Therefore, Troy's success seems to depend on a standard that might not be possible to reach: "irrefutable proof" from a defendant with no forensic evidence? I am no lawyer, so hopefully . . .

Past Member (0)
Tuesday August 18, 2009, 1:56 am
Thank you Mary. This is hopeful.

Sheila G (267)
Tuesday August 18, 2009, 4:14 am
being a postitive thinker, I am postitive they will find a way cheat this man again, it doesn't seem to me that anyone is searching for who may have done the deed, just trying to nail Mr. Davis for the crime. who is involved that there is such a desperate need for cover up? oops, best be careful before I am called paranoid over my conspiracy theory :)
missed this item in AIMI this morning, I suppose you have it listed there, if you're able? I did find another article there about this trial, but this link wasn't listed? will go look again, ty Mary

Mary Neal (183)
Tuesday August 18, 2009, 4:44 am
Thanks for noting, everyone. Sheila, I was late posting this to AIMI. Thanks for your attentiveness to that.

It is my understanding that witness testimony alone got Troy condemned, but now that the witness evidence turned in his favor, only CLEAR EVIDENCE of innocence can save him. Clear evidence might exclude witness testimony. In a circumstancial case where there is no forensic material to test against Troy's DNA, how can he provide his innocence with "clear evidence"?

Nevertheless, we'll stay optimistic.

Mary Neal (183)
Tuesday August 18, 2009, 5:02 am
The "clear evidence" of innocence required also has to be something that "could have been found at the time of Troy's trial." Oh, well.

I wish he had been granted a new trial by jury.

Mary Neal (183)
Tuesday August 18, 2009, 5:07 am
Some judges might, but I think most judges will not issue a ruling that is opposite of their friends' and fellow justices' prior rulings.

Even evidence does not matter as much as it should some places. Consider http://wrongfuldeathoflarryneal.

Michael Owens (1647)
Tuesday August 18, 2009, 6:23 am
He is innocent i am glad he is getting a new trial. Our system is so crooked!

Past Member (0)
Tuesday August 18, 2009, 6:55 am
What I believe is on trial here, as well as Mr. Davis, is a system that is so inebriated with irony, that it still believes it can use the option of killing as a method of exercising justice, when, in fact, justice without mercy is not justice at all. We are not that far removed from the days of the KKK, Rodney and M. L. King, and many other historical events in our nation that prove once again to the world that we want to settle matters in their lands, in the lives of their people, issues we haven't even solved in our oun country. The methods used and abused as part of our court system in the GA case of Brian Nichols show just how warped the system is. People err, and cannot discern the cause of their own errors, let alone fix them with prudence, wisdom, mercy and grace. If we cannot solve even the most obvious of issues, in our own hearts and minds, and this applies to all people, regardless of their profession, where do we come up with the nerve to say that this man ought to die? I will not claim omniscience regarding his guilt of his innocence, but the guilt of our system is irrevocablely damaging in our reputation here and abroad. I see reasonable doubt, to be sure in this case, but of our decision to kill in the name of justice is guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt, and in the name of true freedom, it should be abolished. Those that live by the sword shall die by sword.

Karen S (106)
Tuesday August 18, 2009, 7:02 am
This is great news Mary. Thanks. It's not time to let down our guard yet, though, as you suggest. He hasn't had a FAIR trial yet!

. (0)
Tuesday August 18, 2009, 7:34 am
Great news for this man... he must be paid back in full for all trhe misery that he has suffered and for the life that was taken away from him

Winefred M (88)
Tuesday August 18, 2009, 8:29 am
Great news I'm glad he's getting a hearing.

Dava Castillo (0)
Tuesday August 18, 2009, 8:55 am
This is great news. Thanks to people like you Mary who refused to give up.

Joycey B (750)
Tuesday August 18, 2009, 9:35 am
I pray they find him innocent this time. Thanks for this great news Mary. I will keep him in my prayers.

Carolyn T (234)
Tuesday August 18, 2009, 9:55 am
Note. Uplifting news. Prayers go up and blessings come down. Let us continue to believe and to act on that for the battle is yet to be won. Thank you, Mary!

Joann Shanks (251)
Tuesday August 18, 2009, 10:37 am
Good news I pray for the day my son gets a chance to fight for his innocent God bless joAnn

Mary Neal (183)
Tuesday August 18, 2009, 11:23 am



Troy Davis was condemned to death using witness testimony alone, but that is not enough to get him off death row by the standard set by the Supreme Court.

According to AP, Troy has to come up with "CLEAR EVIDENCE OF INNOCENCE" that his initial attorneys had no access to present at his trial nearly two decades ago.

This seems to indicate that even if Troy Davis' present attorneys do come up with irrefutable proof of innocence, if the evidence was available to his first attorney but not used in Troy's trial, it cannot be used now.

This is NOT a victory, as far as I can see, but an exercise in placating the public. I hope I am wrong.

Thanks for your comments and notes.

Blessings on Troy Davis and his family and the MacPhails.


Mary Neal (183)
Tuesday August 18, 2009, 11:32 am

Past Member (0)
Tuesday August 18, 2009, 1:54 pm
Thank God, prayer does work. We've been praying for Troy ever since we learned about his plight while watching Democracy Now!. Finally, something positive for Troy and his family. God willing he will be set free. Peace. :)

Shirley H (49)
Tuesday August 18, 2009, 2:26 pm
Shirley H.

serge vrabec (278)
Tuesday August 18, 2009, 4:57 pm
Troy Davis is innocent and has work to do to help society, he shall be free. Thx Mary. It is nice to see some justice being dealt out. I hope sotomayor had something to do with it, i love her, she is a blessing. It would serve us better to have three women and three men, not taking away anything from the folks serving, it would be wise and move us ALL along quicker to keep the vital balance: this planet was made feminine/masculine for reasons that may not occur to us yet at this point of evolution.

Thx Mary for helping to make this happen, because that is exactly what YOU did by bringing this issue to OUR awareness. Peace to you, Serge.

Catherine Turley (192)
Tuesday August 18, 2009, 5:45 pm
i'm so glad you posted this. i don't know how to do anything and robert has been busy. you're right that we need to keep fighting for a new trial.

Elisa M (93)
Tuesday August 18, 2009, 6:00 pm

Bless you Mary for posting :)

Mary Neal (183)
Tuesday August 18, 2009, 6:49 pm
Thank you, Elisa and Catherine.

I just don't feel good about this. There was a song when I was a girl that said "The same thing it took to get your baby hooked, it's gonna take the same thang to keep her."

Troy was hooked by witness testimony in a trial by jury. I think the only fair way to address this is to let witness testimony UNDO his condemnation in a trial by jury. He has had NOTHING but hearings since landing on death row.

I did not sign all those petitions and write all those articles for him to again stand before a Georgia judge with strengent demands like "Clear Evidence" being needed when they already know there is no forensic evidence. They did not have "clear evidence" to prosecute him and condemn him, did they?

Lord have mercy, Jesus.


Mary Neal (183)
Tuesday August 18, 2009, 6:59 pm
At first, I was as relieved and happy as could be just that Troy was getting a hearing. Now that I re-read the AP report, I wonder if it isn't all smoke and mirrors.

Unfortunately, many judges and district attorneys do not view innocence as being relevant in handing down or upholding prison sentences or even executions. Read the views expressed by Supreme Court justices in the High Court's August 17 ruling wherein Troy Davis was granted a hearing before another Georgia federal judge:


“'The substantial risk of putting an innocent man to death clearly provides an adequate justification for holding an evidentiary hearing,' Justice John Paul Stevens wrote.

But Antonin Scalia, joined in the minority by Clarence Thomas, was unconvinced and unmoved.

'This Court has never held that the Constitution forbids the execution of a convicted defendant who has had a full and fair trial but is later able to convince a habeas court that he is ‘actually’ innocent.

Quite to the contrary, we have repeatedly left that question unresolved, while expressing considerable doubt that any claim based on alleged ‘actual innocence’ is constitutionally cognizable.'”

In other words, “innocence shminnocence. Fry him.” As his fellow justices noted, Scalia’s position allows no legal avenue for even an obviously innocent person to have his or her case heard.

(See the full article at this link -


I fear that if Obama does not pardon Troy Davis, he will certainly die.

Mary Neal (183)
Tuesday August 18, 2009, 7:13 pm
I bet most of you walk around thinking you have "inalienable rights" to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The truth is that those rights can be set aside as long as you have been convicted of a crime by due process of law (and "due process" is usually whatever legal process you can afford to pay for).

I don't know how you are fixed financially, but if someone said I murdered a woman on the moon and I had to hire a lawyer to prove I was home tonight, I'd be in bad shape. Especially if my lawyer had to prove it before a lone judge, and many judges don't think innocense is the priority in court - only the process.

Even the Supreme Court, guardians of the Constitution, stated that there is no constitutional violation in executing innocent people as long as they had a trial first, even if the condemned persons can later prove "actual innocence." Can you get over that?

I think it is time for us to revise our Social Studies and Civic classes and put all of the small print in - You have the "alienable right" to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness unless and until someone accuses you of a crime that you have inadequate financial resources to launch a good legal defense to refute.

Mary Neal (183)
Tuesday August 18, 2009, 7:27 pm
Serge, thanks for commenting.

I read that Sotomayor stayed out of it.

This is probably nothing to celebrate. It might even be a roadblock. The High Court set forth some rigid demands on Troy's release - very high hurdles he would have to be able to jump to get away from the needle. I have read nothing to make me believe that he can jump that high - "clear evidence" of innocence that was not available to his overworked public defender 20 years ago. Goodness!

That seems to mean that even if his legal team finds "clear evidence" of Troy's innocence now that his first lawyer should have presented because it was available, it could easily be disqualified by saying, "Your lawyer should have told us that or shown us that 20 years ago. Sorry."

Mary Neal (183)
Tuesday August 18, 2009, 7:53 pm
If any judges are reading this stand, I want you to know that this is not justice. You have forgotten the REASON for the "justice" process is to arrive at TRUTH, punish the guilty and exonerate the innocent.

There IS a God, and all of us will stand before that Righteous Judge one day. You will NOT be able to say, "I just did my job," if you deliberately stand aside and let innocent men and women suffer imprisonment and death because you upheld a court process instead of TRUTH mixed with compassion.


Civil court judgments that were rendered as a result of fraud or perjury are automatically void. Such judgments are not merely voidable, but already void. Furthermore, there is no time limit on setting aside such wrongful judgments. Obviously, lawmakers consider protecting litigants from wrongful monetary loss in civil court above the possible loss of innocent lives in criminal court. I wonder why?

Could the reason be that money matters more than people in America? If the fairness applied to monetary matters in civil court trumps justice for accused persons in criminal court, how far does that concept go? How much more important is money than criminal justice to our lawmakers and judiciary?




Mary Neal,
in the Spirit of Sojourner Truth


Catherine Turley (192)
Tuesday August 18, 2009, 8:04 pm
bruce lisker finally got out, so i have hope. but that doesn't mean i'll sit back and wait to see what happens.

Mary Neal (183)
Tuesday August 18, 2009, 8:38 pm
Catherine, thanks. Let me know how you think we can help.

Authorities, we depend on you. You have a responsibility. You must be fair.

You ARE your brothers' keepers. Please put a little love in your hearts. Listen:

Tierney G (381)
Tuesday August 18, 2009, 10:09 pm
Great news and finally!! Lets just hope he gets justice

Kathy W (299)
Tuesday August 18, 2009, 10:11 pm
Finally at long last!!!! Good luck Troy and we'll see you on the outside!
Thanks for this good news Mary.

Mary Neal (183)
Tuesday August 18, 2009, 10:21 pm
One day I exited a downtown restaurant and there was a large crowd of people marching in the direction I was walking. I fell in step with a lady who asked me if I was a "right to lifer" and if I wanted to join their protest against abortion on demand.

I told her that I think everyone is a right to lifer, for their own lives if no one else's. I asked her if they really believed in the sanctity of human life in general, or just protecting the unborn. She stopped smiling, but we were still walking together, so I continued.

I asked her if she and her group went to any homeless shelters and actually offered to take care of the babies who are already here so their moms could go out job hunting or have an afternoon to themselves. I asked if she had considered becoming a foster parent or adopting some unwanted children.

I asked if she was careful to vote for legislation that helped to provide resources for programs that support young children and their moms who did not have an abortion although they could not afford parenthood.

I asked if she also protested wars that kill children, their parents, and big brothers and sisters as well as pregnant young women and the unborn.

I asked if she protested trying youngsters as adults, or if the concept of disposable children was more acceptable to her if the kids are over age 13.

Finally, I asked her if she believed in capital punishment.

Consistency is important. There are no disposable people. None of us is worthy of determining who is is worthy of breath.

Catherine Turley (192)
Tuesday August 18, 2009, 11:27 pm
well said mary. i'll just add that even if some people think killers and rapists deserve to die, we still ought to be 100% certain we have the right guy. and since that's impossible, we shouldn't be killing anyone. nobody worries about the innocent people who die as collateral damage until it becomes their father, brother, or son.

Mary Neal (183)
Wednesday August 19, 2009, 2:57 am
Thanks, Catherine.

I think I understand why capital punishment is used although it does not deter crime, it is racist, it targets the poor, it costs over twice as much to keep people on death row, and it is barbaric, and sometimes innocent people are executed. I think it may be like the town square beatings that were done in a bygone era or when slaves were beaten or killed while the other slaves were forced to stand by mutely and watch their fellows being abused. Maybe capital punishment is a way for the power structure to remind us that they're the boss and that we all live by grace.

elaine k (2)
Wednesday August 19, 2009, 3:57 am

This is a email I sent yesterday as soon as I heard the great news fromMAACP and amnesty uk.

Oh my gosh, my day has suddenly got brighter. I have had Troy on my mind and the injustice he has received., and if I have done just the slightest to help I am pleased.
He needs all our support still and if there is anything I can do, even just to sign something I will be available. I was thrilled to get a messagef rom Troy thanking us all for keeping his hopes up.
What a wonderful day for his family. Justice must now be done and Troy proved innocent at last, able to return to his beloved family.
Rergards and thanks for letting me know.



Phyllis P (232)
Thursday August 20, 2009, 12:59 pm
I will keep fighting for him as long as it takes.....

Mary Neal (183)
Thursday August 20, 2009, 5:01 pm
Me, too, Phyllis. Thank you for your commitment to justice for Troy Davis. Not only Troy, but many other inmates are innocent behind bars. We have no idea how many, because they are usually deprived of post-conviction DNA tests that could prove their innocence.

Some states that provide for DNA tests don't allow it for any but death row inmates. Authorities don't care if innocent people sit in prison for life without parole. In fact, as Judge Scalia pointed out in the Troy Davis deliberations by the Supreme Court, there is NO law against innocent people being wrongly imprisoned or executed - just since they had their day in court. Imagine that!

See more about this at my Share - PRESIDENT OBAMA, THEY DON'T WANNA CHANGE!


Mary Neal (183)
Thursday August 20, 2009, 5:06 pm

How much does innocence matter in criminal justice? How "inalienable" are your rights, really?

Past Member (0)
Friday August 21, 2009, 7:52 pm
makes me wonder just how many people have been wrongly sent to prison and how many guilty ones are still on the loose.

Mary Neal (183)
Thursday August 27, 2009, 3:14 am
We may have a wrongly convicted person coming up for execution soon. Thomas Arthur has been on AL death row for decades begging for DNA tests, which he finally got this year. Problem is that last year as his July 31 execution date approached, he may have become desperate enough to induce another inmate to claim killing the person Arthur was condemned for murdering. Of course, that man tested negative for the DNA left by the murderer, and so did Arthur! News reports are that the D.A. will ask for a death warrant for Arthur despite the negative DNA tests because he should not have tried to defraud the court by having someone give a false confession to the crime that Arthur did not want to die for doing. Go figure! Lying is a capital crime for Arthur, I suppose, but not for attorneys.

Mary Neal (183)
Thursday August 27, 2009, 3:19 am
EXCUSE ME - IS CARE2 NEWS NETWORK HAVING A DoS virus, or just me? I have been trying to post the news about Frank Horton, the Tennessee mentally ill inmate who was left naked in solitary confinement for nine months until he was saved by a concerned guard who reported his abuse to Health & Human Services and Horton was rescued. Care2 members were very concerned about him when I reported his rescue story. Now that his grandma filed suit, the verdict is in. I think they would appreciate reading about that, but I am not able to post. What's up?

Case Dismissed re: Abused Mentally Ill Inmate - 9 mo. Solitary, Naked in Filth 2:45 AM

What happens when a mentally ill inmate is so traumatized that he can only speak gibberish fails to file grievances for his abuse while imprisoned naked for nine months living in filth in solitary confinement? He loses his lawsuit, of course. Next time, he should take time out of being mentally ill and request the complaint forms to file.

Judge dismisses inmate's suit against CCA
By Kate Howard • THE TENNESSEAN • August 26, 2009

A federal judge has ruled in favor of the Corrections Corporation of America by dismissing a claim that a mentally ill inmate kept in solitary confinement for nine months was harmed by the experience.


Insert by Mary:

SEE THE VIDEO of Frank Horton's release from the "hole" where he lived naked in filth until a kind prison guard became so alarmed about his deteroirating condition that he went to Health & Human Services and reported his employer's abuse. The VIDEO is a part of this news story:

Torture of the Mentally Ill ~ 9 mo. Solitary Confinement in Filth, Naked

Tennessee is hard on the mentally ill. See


The Tennessean article continues:

The lawsuit was filed by Mary Braswell on behalf of her grandson, Frank Horton, who was being held in the Metro Davidson County Detention Facility operated by CCA for parole violations and assault charges.

U.S. District Court Senior Judge John T. Nixon dismissed the lawsuit because Horton was never physically injured by the solitary confinement, and because he didn’t file any grievances with the jail operator about his lack of access to mental health care. The lawsuit alleged that Horton was incoherent, spoke in gibberish and refused to leave his cell for showers during the nine months he was held there. (See full Tennessean article at the link above.) I am trying to post the story at Care2 News Network but seem to be running into a DoS virus. Look for it in the HEALTH section to note, please.


elaine k (2)
Thursday August 27, 2009, 4:12 am
What is happening in a supposed to be human rights country when we keep hearing of these tragedies? Where has the caring gone? I thought that those who were supposed to believe in a god can see how their god can allow this when people like ex Pastor, Ted Haggert t is allowed to get away with anything just by going on the Oprah show. Help the mentally ill, the children who cannot see America pull together to make your country proud of what it stands for. Make your laws fair for all not just for a privileged few.

Mary Neal (183)
Thursday August 27, 2009, 4:35 am
Elaine, thanks for responding. I am a person who went on frequent bus trips as a little girl. My grandma and I always arrived early, because she enjoyed talking to the people at the counter so much and the other passengers as they arrived. But she always held me back until the other passengers boarded the bus. She did not explain why, but she kept an iron grip on my arm so that I had to wait. It was not until I figured it out for myself years later and learned about Jim Crow.

Believe me, human and civil rights have never been much of a priority in the U.S. We just heard it so much that we believed what we heard rather than the reality. Democracy is not a reality, but it is a worthy ideal that each generation works toward achieving. People like you and I are disgusted with the abuses we read and hear about. Just commenting about it as you are makes a difference, hopefully. Also, we vote and we write to our representatives. If none of that works to bring about equal justice, which is what most Americans want to see happen, what does that mean?

Mary Neal (183)
Thursday August 27, 2009, 5:00 am
August 28 is the 46th anniversary of the Poor People's March on Washington. Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech there. About 250,000 people attended, and Dr. King' voice reverberated around the world. The crowd included people who were black, white, Jewish, Christians, Muslims, atheists, agnostics, wealthy, and mostly poor people. The crowd included actors and other entertainers and 300 Congressional representatives. They all came together for CHANGE.

Today, the disparity between the haves and have-nots in America is even greater than it was in 1963 when the Poor People's March on Washington happened. Our jails and prisons are bursting at the seams with poor whites, blacks, and Latinos, some of whom are innocent but denied DNA tests and new trials. There were some prison riots recently - Chino Prison in Calif. and in a Kentucky prison. The inmates are suffering and crying out for our attention to their human and civil rights, which are frequently ignored.

Roughly 60% of the people in solitary confinement right now where they spend 23 hours each day are mentally ill. Sick people should be in treatment, not in prison. About 80% of those in solitary confinement are African Americans. Psychological tests police participated in revealed that when asked to choose the most likely criminal among photos they were shown, most picked the photos that had people with dark skin. The darker their skin was, the more likely the police was to identify them as suspects. These tests were not done in 1963, but recently. Racism lives! Victimization of poor people, particularly minority citizens and those with disabilities, happens as much or more now than in 1963.

Thomas Arthur is a white inmate - wrongly condemned for murder and passed his DNA tests, but he still may be executed. That is a wake-up call for you.

Happy anniversary of the Poor People's March on Washington. This is 46 years later, and more Americans fit that description as being "poor people" than ever before. The middle class has been losing ground as jobs are lost, homes foreclosed, executives make off with their anticipated retirement funds, etc. We need to pray and remember the words that Dr. King spoke that day, saying:

Let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.

Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.

Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.

Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.

But not only that:

Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.

From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

Free at last! Free at last!

Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!

~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

elaine k (2)
Thursday August 27, 2009, 9:56 am
On my t-shirt is the following OUR LIVES BEGIN TO END THE DAY WE BECOME SILENT ABOUT THINGS THAT MATTER MaRTIN lUTHER kING. . I am not black, I am not religious but to me this says it all. I cry,in fac t I weep when I hear Martin Luther. It wil come about,who knows when, but it will. If we all stick together to make things right, do not keep silent.

elaine k (2)
Thursday August 27, 2009, 10:08 am
Mary it is a priviledge to correspond with you, and to some one who experienced some part of history as myself, perhaps making us perhaps more venerable.. I was born in 1935 and lived through the civil rights, just feeling the pain of the black struggle for equality. After all I believe we are all descended from Africa...
I could feel deeply the prejudice that was abounding then. My uncle returned from a Nazi Camp, and living through that nightmare of a war which has made me feel empathy with the oppressed.
With people like you Mary I am sure things will get better.
Love Elaine


Lauren Stone (586)
Wednesday September 2, 2009, 12:46 am
I've followed the case for years. I pray that something good comes out of this.

Mary Neal (183)
Wednesday September 2, 2009, 2:49 am
Thanks, Lauren. I also hope the best for Troy Davis. Many of his supporters are encouraged by this development. I wish I were more optimistic. It might be hard to come up with PROOF of innocence w/o forensic evidence, especially after all these years. It is not as though they could go back to the crime scene and get some DNA. Not only that, but it has to be proof that is new - not info. his initial attorney could have used and did not. Sometimes I hopeful for Troy, and other times I just think they gave us false hope to get us off their backs about him and to be able to say they were fair. But when the justices already know that there is no irrefutable DNA evidence, why would they say it has to be PROOF of innocence rather than "reasonable doubt" of guilt?

Lauren, some inmates are slated to be executed even with irrefutable proof such as DNA evidence. Such is the case with Thomas Arthur in Alabama. He has begged for DNA tests for decades. Although decisive testing has been available for 20 years or more, he was only given the right to post-conviction DNA testing in April. THOMAS ARTHUR IS INNOCENT, SO HE PASSED THE TEST ON THE EVIDENCE THEY ALLOWED HIM TO USE FOR TESTING. However, they still intend to kill him. Judge Pulliam put the DNA results under seal, and the Alabama D.A.'s office is seeking a death warrant.

Did you ever see the Michael Jackson video called "They Don't Care About Us"? Did you ever see the YouTube video called "Wake Up Call - New World Order"? Lauren, this is a strange planet and I perceive that not only are Troy Davis and Thomas Arthur in trouble. Maybe we all are.

elaine k (2)
Wednesday September 2, 2009, 3:13 am
We must do all in our power to see that Troy gets justice. Are we human or not. In UK we let those convicted of terror compassion. Ob hama should be doing some thing. I believe because Troy is black they think oh well he is not important. My skin is not black but I am still his Sister.

We should all be up in arms about this case.

Mary Neal (183)
Wednesday September 2, 2009, 5:01 am
Elaine, any justice system that puts a gag order on a man's DNA results that prove him innocent while they plan his execution like they are doing to Thomas Arthur will do anything at all.

I think there is something horrible wrong with our justice system, Elaine. Sociopaths have a silent mental illness. They don't act out the way schizophrenic or bipolar people might do. Sociopaths have no compassion or sense of fairness toward other humans. They completely lack love and respect for people. They usually seem OK and can fake feeling emotions they don't really feel, while they actually hold everyone other than themselves in contempt and will hurt people without remorse. That makes them more dangerous.

Catherine Turley (192)
Wednesday September 2, 2009, 1:09 pm
mary, and anyone interested, you've got to read suzybell's recent news " trial by fire" from the new yorker about the possible, wrongful execution of cameron todd willingham. it's a long read, but so enlightening. i used to think of fire science like dna evidence, but it's really only as scientific as the individual doing the investigating.
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