Register for an account


Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.


Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

The Sciences

The night the lights went out in Georgia

Bad AstronomyBy Phil PlaitSeptember 22, 2011 6:43 AM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Shame on you, Georgia. Shame.


We don't know if Troy Davis was actually guilty of killing a police officer or not. But that's the point. Seven out of nine witnesses recanted, another person apparently confessed, there is no physical evidence linking Davis to the murder, and the defense claimed there were serious procedural issues with the case. Any or all of these are enough to cast doubt on the conviction. The fact that he was executed, despite all this doubt, makes it clear this system is terribly, terribly broken. If any good comes out of this, I hope at the very least it's that a solid discussion of the irrevocable nature of the death penalty emerges. Even if you feel capital punishment is justified -- and I would disagree with that, strongly -- I hope you'd agree that even one innocent person executed constitutes a major problem. The case of Troy Davis shows in a brutal and soul-shaking way just how the legal system in Georgia at least, and the nation as a whole, is seriously screwed up. Shame on Georgia? Shame on all of us.

    3 Free Articles Left

    Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.


    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

    Want unlimited access?

    Subscribe today and save 50%


    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In