I used to be pretty set on how I thought about the death penalty. My world-view was never really simplistic enough to believe that “eye for an eye,” was morally right, but I always thought that if the crime was horrific enough then the person who committed it deserved to die if that was his or her sentence.
|Albert Camus . . . he love me,|
he loves me not . . .
So here’s my problem: in my heart I believe that the most vicious murders deserve to die, but I can’t help but feel that logically, and morally, it’s wrong to condemn them to death. Camus mentions that it’s pretty ridiculous that we flawed humans get to determine which other flawed humans get to live or die.
I mean if murder is premeditated and has some sort of passion behind it, then how is the death penalty not murder? There’s a date set, the method is predetermined, and the target is specific; and although the people actually doing it might not have any passion behind it, the family of the killer’s victim certainly feel pretty strongly. They might not be able to kill him themselves, but the state is doing it for them. Camus acknowledged that there are some people who probably just shouldn’t be alive; that they are beyond rehabilitation and are more like animals than humans. We all know, however, that that’s not the case for every guy on death row.
|About to get fragged.|
Take Troy Davis for example. This poor bastard has been sitting on death row since ’91, and even now that 7 out of the 9 people who witnessed against him have since recanted their testimonies, his stay of execution is being denied. What’s even better is that he was only convicted on those testimonies. There was no physical evidence—no DNA, no finger prints, no weapon—to convict him, so they went solely on eye-witness accounts.
And to make this even more fucked up, the Supreme Court has apparently shit their principles all over the floor. They overturned the appeal because Davis has not been able to provide enough evidence that proves his innocence. I’m no damn legal expert or anything, but in America aren’t we all innocent until proven guilty? Isn’t the burden of proof of guilt upon the state? In this case it looks like as a majority of the state’s evidence that originally convicted him is now in serious question. They said that only one of the recantations is really “meaningful,” but doesn’t this at least deserve a second look?
I’m not going to go as far as to say this is racially motivated, after all it is the liberal US Supreme Court that turned down the appeal. What if he didn’t do it? Should we really risk allowing a potentially innocent man to be put to death? Is that justice?
|The new Supreme Court. Currently awaiting confirmation|
from the Senate.
Please feel free to comment on this. I realized yesterday that I had anonymous commenting turned off. So if you want to comment but don’t want to set up a google account then go ahead. You can now post comments as anonymous, and just leave your name or whatever if you want your identity to be recognized.
Discussion is always encouraged here. Read my comment policy if you don’t believe me! =D