Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The joy of killing.

There nothing uglier than turning killing into a virtue. It degrades everything about our country and its legal system, and the strengthening and "streamlining" of the process after years of right wing bluster reveald the true basis of a practice that is based on little more than anger and blood lust. Justice delayed may be justice denied, but the risk of killing an innocent man outweighs the expense and lack of patience, or at least you'd think it would in a place like Georgia with all it's Christian family values pretensions.

Although Troy Davis now has a 90 day reprieve during which his attempt to have his conviction reexamined based on new testimony and recanted testimony, the rhetoric coming from prosecutors and family of the murder police officer does a great deal to lessen my sympathy for them. From what I read, it seems they simply want to kill someone as a way to ease their pain and they don't want to be bothered with details like the reasonable doubt that the right man will be anesthetized and suffocated.
"I believe they are setting a precedent for all criminals that it is perfectly fine to kill a cop and get away with it," said the wife of the slain Savannah police officer. "By making us wait, it's another sock in the stomach. It's tearing us up."
I'm sure she's torn up but I can't excuse her grossly illogical and grotesquely untrue statements because of a now 18 year old grief. I can't have any sympathy for disregarding a reasonable doubt because you think you'll feel better if someone dies. Anger is not the Basis of law and the relief of anger through violence is not justice otherwise the jungle would be a just and orderly place.

Testimony received in the hearing included the murdered man's son telling how it was to grow up without a father. Very sad, but that has nothing to do with the question of guilt or innocence. Does he really not care who dies as long as someone feels the needle and the sooner the better? Perhaps so and as I said, justice is not about how angry you are or how much you want someone to die. The urge to kill is no more noble in an offended party than in anyone else.

If you feel as I do, that participating in the death of an innocent man is murder, whether sanctefied by faith or law or anger or political expedience, then perhaps you will agree that the only way to avoid being a murderer by proxy is to halt executions entirely. I think it's simply idiotic to assert that somehow this would grant license to kill cops as it is to officially smile on the good feelings some aggrieved person might have in watching someone die. In fact saying it's legitimate for the state to kill someone out of anger, it weakens the concept that it's not legitimate for an individual to kill someone out of anger.

But that's just my opinion - you might be an idiot.


d.K. said...

I read this story in the paper today. I think that congressman John Lewis' comment pretty much sized up the issue. He said something like, "I don't know whether or not Mr. Davis killed the policeman or not, but I do know that the current evidence does not support the state's taking his life."

It's irresponsible of the prosecution and the media to highlight the remarks of the widow, and especially the murder victim's son, who was 2 months old when his father was killed, to make their case. They naturally are not going to be objective, and their views on the evidence or lack thereof are irrelevant, though heartbreaking.

It is a sad commentary on our lust for blood that even something as serious as the death penalty carried out by our government could be argued over based on emotions and not purely the facts or indisputable evidence.

Capt. Fogg said...

Very well said - thanks.

d nova said...

aaaaaa, we're all a bunch o goddamn bleeding hearts!

but, guilt or innocence aside, i bet if the sentence had been life instead o death, the family wd've accepted reality by now. waiting n hoping 4 smbdy 2 die mus take a tremendous emotional investment that warps gud judgment n distorts one's life in many ways.

Intellectual Insurgent said...

Good point d nova.

expatbrian said...

I've read the story too and of course it IS a story because of the doubt of this man's guilt. To me, that doubt makes it a no brainer that his execution has to be stayed. Regardless of the fine points of Georgia law (and after living there for a year I think that is an oxymoron)a new investigation must take place.
I do support the death penalty and after living in Singapore for 4 years I can assure you that, administered properly, it is an effective deterrent.

Reign of Reason said...

Then why do states without a death penalty have better homicide rates?