Thursday, September 22, 2011

When in doubt, kill 'em anyway.

Despite 7 of 9 prosecution eyewitnesses changing their stories after the trial and one of the remaining witnesses bragging that actually
he committed the murder, Troy Davis was killed last night at 11:08pm by lethal injection. Welcome to America, where you are presumed executed until proven innocent. You can bet that Rick Perry would be proud and that an audience at a Republican presidential debate would applaud wildly (see this article if you don't get the connection).

We've become a nation of bumbling idiot executioners. Is there strong evidence of your innocence? We'll execute you anyway. Were you a juvenile at the time of your crime? We'll execute you anyway. Are you mentally retarded? We'll execute you anyway. And then your governor will say he's proud of it and run for president as "tough on crime."

For some international perspective, here are the world's top ten executioner countries based on total number of executions in 2010:

1. China

2. Iran

3. North Korea

4. Yemen

5. United States

6. Saudi Arabia

7. Libya

8. Syria

9. Bangladesh

10. Somalia

What great company we keep! Right up there with the world's most brutal and grisly regimes, even putting Saudi Arabia to shame.

Here are Troy Davis' last words, as he was strapped down on the gurney last night in Georgia:

I'd like to address the MacPhail family. Let you know, despite the situation you are in, I'm not the one who personally killed your son, your father, your brother. I am innocent.

The incident that happened that night is not my fault. I did not have a gun. All I can ask ... is that you look deeper into this case so that you really can finally see the truth.

I ask my family and friends to continue to fight this fight.

For those about to take my life, God have mercy on your souls. And may God bless your souls.

I was out in front of the US Supreme Court last night with a couple hundred people when it was reported that the execution was going forward and then when it was reported that Davis was dead. There was stunned silence. And a realization that the world is an even darker place than we had thought.


Veronica said...

When I heard the news, I was likewise horrified and stunned, and I was also wishing that my citizenship in a country that I admire in so many ways did not make me feel embarrassed and ashamed.

And though it is much more difficult to rally around the cause of the man they executed in Texas on the same night, I still wish that our country would decide not to execute ANYONE -- and that we would all decide to be horrified by all executions, and not only the executions of the (possibly) (probably) innocent. Perhaps the horror of what happened in Georgia will help people rally to make a big change?

Dave said...

I agree Veronica. All executions are wrong. I just hope the ones where there are serious questions about guilt will bring attention to how arbitrary and reckless the whole system is.

I was glad to read there was a small protest outside the Texas execution of Lawrence Brewer that night. And in that case, the victim's family was pleading for the state not to execute Brewer.

The victim's son said, "You can't fight murder with murder. Life in prison would have been fine. I know he can't hurt my daddy anymore. I wish the state would take in mind that this isn't what we want."

Camp Papa said...

There is no credible evidence that the death penalty deters crime more effectively than long terms of imprisonment. States that have death penalty laws do not have lower crime rates or murder rates than states without such laws. And states that have abolished capital punishment show no significant changes in either crime or murder rates. The death penalty has no deterrent effect. Claims that each execution deters a certain number of murders have been thoroughly discredited by social science research."
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) 
"The Death Penalty: Questions and Answers,"
Apr. 9, 2007

Elizabeth said...

I haven't been by here in a while and have missed a lot of good stuff.

I'm adding you to my blogroll so that doesn't happen again.

This was certainly a travesty -- as a former Georgian, it made me feel sick.