The New York Times doesn't mince words in an editorial about today's scheduled execution of Troy Davis: Calling it a "grievous wrong," the Times declares that yesterday's rejection of his bid for clemency "is appalling in light of developments after his conviction," among them seven witnesses (of a total of nine against him) who have recanted their testimony. These witnesses are a big issue, in this case and in all cases, argues the Times. Research has shown that witnesses can be easily manipulated. Indeed, of hundreds of cases overturned due to DNA evidence, as many as 85% of the erroneous convictions were due to an incorrect identification.
"The Davis case offers egregious examples of this kind of error": Police showed witnesses Davis' photo in advance of the lineup, which was administered by a cop connected to the investigation. Police also re-enacted the crime in the presence of four witnesses, which "contaminated their memory." And while this case has made headlines around the globe, "it is, in essence, no different from other capital cases. Across the country, the legal process for the death penalty has shown itself to be discriminatory, unjust, and incapable of being fixed. ... Case after case adds to the many reasons why the death penalty must be abolished."