Not One More Troy Davis

Not one more. In the United States of America, we do not kill women or men who might be innocent. Or women or men who are guilty; we give them justice, but justice doesn’t include killing individuals. Yes, we actually do, but it’s going to stop. There is not a single rational reason to murder individuals either convicted or accused of a crime, even one as horrific as homicide. “An eye for an eye” comes from a fictional book and describes 16th-c. justice.

Georgia murdered Troy Davis last night despite legitimate doubts about his guilt. That isn’t justice; it’s vengeance. Retribution. Revenge. It doesn’t bring the victim’s family anything but the fleeting satisfaction of seeing another dead man. It doesn’t bring them justice — and if Davis is innocent, it puts them at a further remove from justice, as the state is far less likely to pursue other suspects now that Davis is dead. The death penalty is revenge that accomplishes nothing other than murdering someone, and enough of those someones are either innocent or have questions surrounding their guilt to make it what it is: barbaric. The death penalty is barbaric. It’s the kind of thing you see Ned Stark do because Ned Stark would have existed 700 years ago were he real and if he lived on earth.

The death penalty must end. Republicans can laugh all they want about the state — federal or individual states — letting people die or actually murdering them, but this is a fight we’re going to win. A lot of people had their eyes opened last night about how unjust this antiquated and barbaric institution is; some of them might even be willing to fight. It’s insane that in 21st-century America, it’s a “left” thing to be against the death penalty.

Here’s what the ACLU has to say about the death penalty:

“The U.S.’s capital punishment process:
(1) is fraught with error;

(2) discriminates on the basis of socioeconomic status, race, and geography;

(3) is arbitrary and capricious, including its use against the mentally ill and defendants who did not kill anyone and did not intend that anyone be killed;

(4) costs taxpayers far more than life imprisonment without release;

(5) does nothing to protect people from crime;

(6) seriously harms the survivors of homicide victims;

(7) is plagued by cheap legal representation – the worst, not the best, of American lawyering; and

(8) greatly diminishes the worldwide stature of the United States and its ability to work to end human rights violations in other countries.”

This cannot continue a single day longer. No more Troy Davises.

The Campaign to End the Death Penalty is an excellent resource for this, but it comes down to being active and demanding that your state representatives end this travesty in your state. I don’t think the conservative Supreme Court will act on it any time soon, so it’s a state-by-state fight.

Cross-posted at

~ by Benji on September 22, 2011.

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