Pictured: Deceased Officer Mark Allen MacPhail
As Georgia ponders the execution of convicted killer Tyrone Anthony Davis (The GA Parol (Update: Board gave him a 90 day stay of execution last night) I couldn't help but notice the presence of US Congressman and Civil Rights Legend John Lewis in the court room testifying on behalf of community the sentence to life. Having spared Mr. Davis from execution this would give the defense team more time to get the conviction over turned. This post is not about the details of the case nor the individuals who have later recanted their testimony so I will not provide my views on the matter.
The purpose of this blog entry is to plot out the views and actions of one John Lewis and consider his consistency on the subject of "Unsolved Homicides". If it is true that 7 eye witnesses lied and thus an innocent man is on the verge of death....since we still have a DEAD POLICE OFFICER then, logically this is a "Cold Case File" and the real killer is still walking the streets of Savannah Georgia. This past Sunday the Atlanta Journal Constitution interviewed one woman who has changed her testimony, claiming that it was the heavy handed police who forced her to pin the crime on Mr. Davis ( AJC Report of Recanting Witness). The witness, Tonya Johnson, says that a "bad man" who roams the community is the real killer but she feared for her safety in what he might do if she fingered him. He is a free man none the less - if her story is true.
Let us expand our view from the perspective of John Lewis. A few weeks ago I heard that he was partnering with US Senator Chris Dodd - Democratic Presidential candidate, to sponsor legislation which would provide funding to solve "Cold Case Civil Rights Era Murders". Mr. Dodd, during an interview on NPR, stated that no killer should be allowed to sleep at night, figuring that he has gotten away with the crime that he has committed. I am a law and order type of guy and I agree with this sentiment. Since we are focusing on the consistency of John Lewis on the subject of murder further analysis is due.
Where as Mr. Lewis believes that we should apply resources from all level of government to find the real killers of individuals and thus provide justice for the victim and their families - he offered no such vision of justice for the family of Officer Mark Allen MacPhail who is now dead of the results of the night in question in Savannah. Officer MacPhail was working an off-duty security guard to make ends meet for his family when he was shot twice in the head. Details If Mr. Lewis has a strong belief that Mr. Davis is an innocent man then logic holds that there is a guilt man still - "sleeping easy at night", walking the streets. Why is Mr. Lewis for "springing an innocent man" on the one hand but so dispassionate about finding the killer of the officer on the other hand. Isn't this a bout of inconsistency over the august pursuit of killers?
Expanding our focus on Mr. Lewis one more time.....in the Vine City section of Atlanta which resides squarely in his district a local television station recently labeled it "Atlanta's Most Violent Zipcode". It turns out that there is only a 32% closure rate on homicides in this majority Black community. A killer of a Black man stands a 68% chance of walking away from accountability for his actions.
As we adjust the microscope on Mr. Lewis the picture of one John Lewis. He is a strong advocate of justice for falsely accused men and for victims of Civil Rights Era murders. At the same time the "Cold Case files" of dead policemen and Black people who are killed in modern times absent the banner of "Civil Rights" are left out of Mr. Lewis' vision of Justice. They clearly don't fit within his "Civil Rights champion" niche. (I would love to be proven wrong on this point but the evidence says otherwise.)