The execution of Troy Davis seems iminent now that the plea for clemency from the State Board of Pardons and Parole in Georgia has fallen on deaf ears. Since their decision though, many in the defense bar have focused on what was or wasn't done along the way. Some among us have even been openly critical of the lawyers who fought for Mr. Davis at various stages of the appeals process since his conviction.
I never was much for Monday morning quarterbacking, except for when I lay awake all night after I convict another client wondering if I should have done this or that differently. Its kinda like watching the bad guy empty his gun on Superman and then, when he is out of bullets, deciding whether or not it was a good idea to throw the gun at him. The real answer is you never should have fucked with Superman in the first place. If we are on trial it is usually because the offer to plead guilty and resolve the case wasn't, at the time, good enough; or there was no offer. So, consequently, you roll the dice and either fight like Custer and get you ass crushed; or, like The 300 or the Light Brigade you attack. In either event though, you can't find the bodies and as a historian opine that Custer never should have split his forces the day before when he didn't know that the band of Indians he saw on the hill, and whose wives and children he intended to slaughter, wasn't a scouting party. Nor can you kill every goat in Greece for creating a path through the mountains that allowed Xerxes' gang to out flank Leonidas. At the end of the day what we have to remember is that all of those guys were doomed, no matter who plays them in the movie that comes later and which romantically paints the situation differently than it was on the day they died. Custer's last stand was a massacre unless you are a Native American, just like Davis' death sentence is a travesty unless you were related to the Cop.
Still at every motion, trial, appeal or habeas we show up and fight for our clients, no matter how limited our resources, because that's what we do. I am proud of every person who tried to help Troy Davis at every step along the way, whether or not the "sum bitch" was guilty; or, whether or not they handled it the way I would have.
Oh yea with regard to the Superman question, every self respecting Criminal Defense Lawyer would throw the gun at the bastard.