But Davis has had no trial. There’s been no jury, no verdict, no conviction. Police say he killed a man in a drug deal gone wrong, but he hasn’t had his day in court. He’s charged with capital murder and could face the death penalty. Trial dates have come and gone, and it’s now scheduled for September. By then, 10 years and three months will have passed since the crime.
The Constitution guarantees suspects “the right to a speedy trial.” Capital cases often take a year or longer to get to trial, but 10 years is rare — experts call it shocking and say it could be unconstitutional. Prisoner advocates and court-watchers say such delays take an exhaustive toll on suspects stuck behind bars and on victims’ families, who are robbed of closure that can come from trials.
Davis’ mother says her son is innocent but hasn’t had the chance to prove it in court, and his health is suffering because of the long stretch in jail.
“It’s like they snatched up my child, put him in a cage and threw away the key,” Chrycynthia Ward Davis said.
Read more: 10 Years in Jail and Still No Trial for Murder Suspect