July 12, just two days before Bastille Day, when heads once rolled from the Paris guillotines, French senator Nicole Borvo Cohen sent a letter to the US court on the behalf of Troy Davis, supplicating that his execution be stopped.
France abolished its death penalty in the mid 1970s.
She writes: “I am convinced that the death penalty is a cruel punishment and that no state has the right to decide the life or death of a human being.”
“It’s been established that a large number of people sent to their death were freed after having been proved innocent and numerous states have suspended executions adopting a moratorium with the view of abolishing the death penalty.”
“These are the values that I defend in my own country and this is why I’m asking you to accord Troy Davis ‘la grace’ “.
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(As of today, Troy Davis has received a ‘stay’ which allows his lawyers 90 days to salvage his life).
If, in fact, he did not commit the crime as he claims, and as other witnesses have confirmed with affidavits, life in prison will be the final irony.
Before being arrested, he had planned to enlist in the Marines. Maybe he’d be in Iraq right now. Maybe he’d be already dead. Maybe being thrown in jail saved him from being killed in the service of his country. Life is strange.