Thursday 22 September 2011

Death in Georgia

I have been feeling enormously sad at the execution of Troy Davis in Georgia last night. This man was on Death Row for 20 years, and had already had three stays of execution. After all that, his execution was delayed for four hours. Is that enough punishment for a man who has maintained his inncence throghout, and whose last words were a plea to the victim's family to find the real killer? Seven of the people who testified against him at his trial have since withrawn their testimony, and another man has confessed to the murder. But no matter. Revenge has been exacted, and so that's all right then, isn't it?

On a happier note, my own Death Row prisoner (the one I correspond with) has had his sentence commuted to life without parole. I only found this out by chance, and am delighted for him. Apparently:

"during a June 23 hearing, it was revealed that the lone juror at
the murder trial who held out to sentence **** to death and refused to
join with other jurors who preferred a sentence of life in prison was never
questioned by defense attorneys during jury selection."

Astounding, isn't it? One juror was in favour of the death penalty in this case. Just one. And if he had been questioned by the defense, presumably D would still be on Death Row.

It beggars belief.


  1. There simply is no such thing as justice where humans are involved, I'm afraid.
    I remember having read years ago that, while he was still governor, George W. Bush kept meticulous records of what he did when, and how long it took him. He took, apparently, exactly 15 minutes to decide over death sentences.

  2. It's an awful, awful story and yet there remain hold-outs who insist that the death penalty and justice are not mutually exclusive.
    Not only should no one have the right to take the life of another, but there are far too many wrongful convictions for there to be any justification for capital punishment.
    I'm glad for your correspondent that he's been spared such a barbaric punishment. Can't imagine living under such a threat.

  3. I fail to understand a system that allows a man to be on death row for over twenty years.

    I must say that I had not read or heard that another man has confessed to the murder which makes the whole affair even more awful.

    If indeed Troy Davis was guilty of the crime of murder - he has paid a long price. If not - his death only serves to placate those who believe him so - and he has become a murder victim himself.

    Anna :o]

  4. I felt sad all day yesterday at the death of Troy Davis. It was worrying to hear that, following the execution, the mother of the murder victim feels she has now managed to find peace.

    Since nothing can return her son to her, how can the death of a man who may have been innocent and has suffered twenty years of Hell already, bring a sense of relief?

  5. The death penalty is barbaric and outdated. I've never understood how a person can find "peace" through the death of another. Our legal system used to be based on innocent until proven guilty beyond any reasonable doubt. I'm not proud to live in a country grouped with the likes of Saudia Arabia, Iran, and China. And what's with Texas? What do they do...execute one a week? God loves Texas and now we have Rick Perry emerging from that wreck of a state calling Social Security a ponzi scheme. He wants to turn it over to individual states. He wants to turn us over to the prophets and apostles of the religious right he's aligned himself with, those who would have dominion over all aspects of public life. Those who love the death penalty.

  6. That's why I've never agreed with the death penalty. How can we ever be sure the right person is found guilty? A sad day indeed.

  7. Thanks for all those comments, everyone. It seems we're all agreed! (Although not, sadly, in the majority.)

    I have always been passionately against the death penalty; ever since, as a small child, I was chilled at the hanging of murderers in this country. Even then, it used to sicken me. And you are not just punishing the perpetrator. He too has a family (usually). As for the people carrying out the execution, if they are happy to do it, there must be something very wrong with them, and if they aren't, no-one should ask them to do it. With the lethal injection, trained mdeical personnel aren't allowed to administer the drugs for ethical reasons, so it's left to people without the necessary experience. In one famous case, they tried for two hours to get the needle into the prisoner, and in the end, had to give up. A "cruel and unusual punishment" indeed.