It doesn’t take much for me to be ashamed of my country; if there ever was a pinko bleeding-heart Blame-Old-Glory-First freakshow progressive, I’m happy to dress up and be a caricature of permissive, limp-wristed liberalism. But nothing makes me want to actually vomit like seeing us execute one of our own citizens. There’s just no joke ironic enough to staunch the sickness I get when the Supreme Court fills a fellow human being with potassium chloride.
Troy Davis was killed by the state of Georgia on Wednesday for the alleged murder of an off-duty policeman in 1989 – despite seven of the nine original witnesses recanting their testimony (some claiming police coercion), evidence pointing to another man, terrible lawyers, and a law that made appeals for new evidence almost impossible. My own disgust for the execution, however, has nothing to do with the facts surrounding the incident. I just think that a country that kills its own people is fuckin’ barbaric, especially when it doesn’t work.
The death penalty is racist, prone to prosecution error, and sickeningly cruel. And Georgia’s refusal to hear new evidence is truly Orwellian. Andrew Cohen said it best in a barnburning article in The Atlantic:
Whether the trial witnesses against [Troy Davis] were lying then or are lying now, by fighting against his requested relief Georgia is saying that its interest in the finality of its capital judgments is more important than the accuracy of its capital verdicts.
To those who would say “yes, but what if it was your daughter who was attacked?” I would respond, “What if it was your son spending twenty-two years on Death Row, lying before you, strapped to an IV full of poison, about to be executed for something he didn’t do?”
And yet, an astonishing 64% of Americans favor the death penalty. I’m with Dahlia Lithwick: I hope the Troy Davis case acts as a tipping point to bring America back into civilization.
yay, look at our ideological buddies! China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Chad…