The Washington Post

Obama silent on Troy Davis

There has been a clarion appeal to the Obama administration to weigh in on the Troy Davis death penalty case in a manner that just might save the life of a man who may be innocent.

These appeals for justice have been tweeted and Facebooked by NAACP lawyers and a bipartisan group of politicians and legal authorities, including former FBI Director William Sessions.

Although his appeal for clemency has gained national and international support, his clemency request was denied by Georgia’s pardon board on Tuesday.

So far, President Obama has remained silent.

The question for many African Americans, and for me, is why the deafening silence from the White House. This is a critical human and civil rights concern about whether a man convicted on faulty evidence should be put to death.

Is he afraid of appearing sympathetic to black issues? Or is Obama agnostic towards issues of concern to black people?

Michael Rushing, 35, a graphic designer from Atlanta, Georgia, said: “President Obama gives opinions on everything that’s safe and what he thinks America wants to hear, but he straddles the fence on issues important to African Americans.”

Although Obama cannot directly grant Davis clemency since he was convicted in a state court, he could possibly suspend the execution by requesting an investigation into any existing federal issues, according to Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center.

Obviously as the Presidential election season gears up, Obama may want to answer the clarion call of justice, because this quagmire of race and capital punishment is unlikely to recede with Troy Davis’ Execution.

Joy Freeman-Coulbary, a native Washingtonian, is a civil rights attorney.

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