Sharpton, who called the execution of Troy Davis, a “bleak day in the American justice system,” appeared on the Today Show to state his reasoning behind his trip to D.C. on September 23rd calling for the new law.
“We must not only mourn what happened to Troy Davis but take strong measures so that it does happen again. I promised Troy when I got involved in this case in 2007 that NAN and I no matter what the outcome would fight to change the law. We are calling upon the federal government to supercede and set boundaries before any State can move forward with capital punishment prosecution,” said Sharpton.
Sharpton says that unless scientific or physical evidence is part of a case, the states should have no right to execute a person who many presume to be innocent.
“We must not forget that Troy Davis was executed by the eye witness testimony of nine people with no physical evidence, no DNA, and no scientific evidence. Seven of those eyewitnesses recanted,” said Sharpton. “Under the law, we are proposing that the Troy Davis case would never have been tried as a capital case in the first place. Multiple studies have established how flawed eyewitness testimony is and 75% of the cases overturned by DNA evidence were cases that also had flawed eye witness testimony.”