Rev. Al Sharpton appeared on the TODAY Show Thursday morning and told Matt Lauer that although he is disheartened by the execution of Troy Davis, he is not surprised given the country’s spirited show of support for the death penalty — particularly from Republicans.
"When I'm watching Republican debates and see people cheering...that 234 people were killed in Texas under Governor Perry, it doesn't surprise me,” Sharpton said.
He continued by chiding the U.S. for taking on the role of instructing other nations on human rights, when the execution of Davis, what he calls an injustice, happened within our borders.
"How do you think we look to the world when a man with this kind of doubt was executed by the state last night and we're lecturing them on human rights?”
Sharpton also used the platform to call for legal reform in light of the contoversial case.
“The larger debate is there ought to be a law that you cannot have a capital case, a case that would lead to execution, only on eyewitness testimony. We should at least have the bar, whether you're for the death penalty or not, and I'm not, but even if you're for the death penalty there ought to be a bar that there has to be more than eyewitness accounts. I'm sure you will agree that there's numerous studies where eyewitness accounts are flawed. You can't take people's lives on that,” he said.
Watch the interview at TODAY.
(Photo: AP Photo/David Tulis)