Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Death in Georgia
I am utterly shocked at the Georgia Board of Parole and Pardons. Their decision not to stay the execution of Troy Davis is a stunning one, given all the evidence that the original evidence was tainted. It is a shame that we (USA) call ourselves civilized all the while injecting, electrocuting, etc so many of our citizens. We are at the top of nations which kill their own citizens in retribution in the world. Civilized? I think not. Non one was asking them to PARDON him, only to not KILL him and to take another look at the process and evidence of his original trial. What would have been the harm in that. Is it not better to explore the new facts than to jam a needle in his arm? (and don't get me started on how they will do it, given that the approved drugs for so doing are not available).
The death penalty is a barbaric way to dispense "justice" and not at all a deterrent to murder (no proof exists of deterrence). We get a little crazy with the notion that seeing one person fried or poisoned will keep someone else from committing murder. And I am absolutely amazed by certain people who claim to respect life, to actually fight for the life of an unborn child, and who turn around and celebrate or sanction the death penalty. If their claim (for babies) is that only God can decide whether someone is alive or not, then what happens when that someone does something we abhor? OK to kill that person and not leave the decision to God? And when Governor Perry of Texas BRAGS about the death penalty and gets applause (!) for the number of people he has "legally" killed, we are all diminished by that. It is wild west mentality, not a civilized approach to a carceral issue.
OK, lest you think I am not outraged at the horror of murder... I am. I think those who commit these high crimes ought to be kept away from society, that society has an inherent right to protection from them. But to kill them ourselves is not right. Not our right.
So, Troy Davis will die. If he is not guilty, the blood shed tonight will be on the hands of every citizen who failed to speak out. If he is guilty, then justice was still not served. Our motives and our methods are as big a part of the mix as our intentions.