Troy Davis Again

The state of Georgia is going to murder — yes, murder, because I believe that’s what it’s tantamount to, and I don’t blame the individuals who will actually do the deed, as they’re just doing their jobs, and in this economy you can’t really afford to tell your employer to go screw themselves. No, the murder is the responsibility of the fatally (no pun intended) flawed criminal justice system operating in the state of Georgia and in the United States of America. In any sane country, there would be no death penalty. I recognize that there’s some controversy regarding the death penalty. Here’s the short version of why it makes zero sense.

You can’t. Take. It. Back. There are many documented cases of individuals who have been proven innocent after being executed. There are many more cases of alleged criminals being found innocent after having been convicted for non-executable crimes. If you put a convict to death who later turns out to be innocent, you’re complicit in murder, the crime for which you put the alleged convict to death. That means you — judge, officer, witness whoever are a murderer. Doesn’t that irony seem poignant? The standard of evidence used to convict individuals in the United States criminal court system is “beyond a reasonable doubt,” and I believe the number is considered 95% certainty. Could you kill a woman or man if there’s a 5% chance she or he is innocent? I couldn’t. Because if you’re wrong state of Georgia, that’s not the sort of thing you can ever make right. You kill someone and it’s final; you can’t bring them back, you can’t console their loved ones.

As I wrote on Daily Kos yesterday, I don’t know if Davis is guilty or not. But there are just too many questions to murder him without a new trial. Killing someone isn’t something you just do. In my opinion it’s not something you should ever do, but if you’re going to, you have to be 100% certain. Not 95%, not a shoulder-shrug “meh, maybe,” but absolutely certain. In Davis’s case, that’s not the case.

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~ by Benji on 21 September 2011.

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