In what universe is the standard of proof 100 times easier to legally put a man to death than to conclude that a cyclist was doping?… Today marks the one year anniversary of Troy Davis’ execution by the state of Georgia despite the fact that seven of nine witnesses recanted their original testimony.

In another poll of of over 15,000, most Americans still do not believe Lance Armstrong cheated despite the fact that  TEN witnesses — including former teammates — were prepared to provide testimony that he doped. Lance has given up his fight to prove he is not guilty by pleading cycling’s version of “no contest”, will have all his past titles stripped, and is banned from the sport.

With Troy Davis, there was no physical evidence linking him to his alleged murder. Lance’s apologists claimed there was no physical evidence either because “he kept passing tests”. While this isn’t actually true, let’s pretend it is. Why? Because the standard of proof for physical evidence not required by death row, but given to Lance by so many is more astonishing than this lie itself. Rick Reilly writes in 2010:

“Until [“we find proof that Lance doped”], doesn’t Armstrong deserve the benefit of the doubt?”

As the previous the poll suggests, most still believe in Lance’s innocence. And for many others that have reviewed the evidence, he is still revered anyway. Cue more Rick Reilly who can’t stop, won’t stop loving Lance. In contrast to the decade-long media promotion and protection of  Lance Armstrong, very little was heard from mainstream media about Troy Davis. Dave Zirin asks:

“Why didn’t the New York Times editorial page say anything until after Troy’s parole was denied, when their words wouldn’t mean a damn?” 

Despite widespread activism, there was no media machine to keep Davis alive.

Now just consider for one second if seven of the ten witnesses opposing Lance came forward last week to say they recant their forthcoming testimony. Seriously, think about it.

While this comparison depicts the incredible racial gymnastics of the human mind and so much more, those discussions will not bring Davis back from the dead. All people on death row deserve the benefit of the doubt received by Lance Armstrong, and there is only one possible solution.

Please support The National Coalition to Abolish The Death Penalty to avoid this from ever happening again.