Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Troy Davis, Jason Vassell: keep on fighting!

60,000 signatures were presented to the Savannah District Attorney on the same day that the U.S. Supreme Court decided to delay reviewing Troy Davis' appeal for a new trial until at least this fall. Davis has spent 18 years on death row after he was convicted of killing a police officer in Savannah. There was never any physical evidence, and most of the witnesses have recanted, but somehow, innocence stands distinct from justice in cases like this.

Closer to home, the next hearing for former UMASS student Jason Vassell, on trial for defending himself against an assault by two white non-students, won't take place until later this summer and will be before the Mass Supreme Judicial Court. The court will be making a decision about Jason's attorneys' Motion for Discovery, requesting the past five years' of all cases in Hampshire county involving interracial assaults and other violent hate crimes. It also included a request for case files regarding another example of selective prosecution that had odd similarities to Jason's case. The trial judge had ruled in favor of the discovery, but the D.A. appealed to the SJC. You can find out more at Justice for Jason.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Jason, stay the course!

The DA's in Massachusetts are clearly overzealous with no sense of judicious discretion. They argue "prosecutorial discretion", but use it to the extreme and often inane outcome, rather than to bring rationality to their office, the courts, and the complaints they pursue.

Most cases, such as yours, reported in the news of late, scream more of "persecution" and stereotyped bias rather than appropriate application of the law.

All the best!!