The View from the Hudson
24 Settembre Set 2011 1531 24 settembre 2011

Two Wrongs? Two Rights?

The liberal world mourned on Wednesday night, when the state of Georgia proceeded with its plans to execute Troy Davis. Davis was accused of shooting and killing and off-duty police officer, Mark MacPhail, Sr. in 1989. Many believe there was not enough evidence to convict Davis, much less take his life.

But few seemed to notice that on the same night, the state of Texas dispatched the white supremacist Lawrence Russell Brewer. Brewer was one of the three monsters who dragged James Byrd, Jr. behind a pickup truck for three miles. A forensic expert later found that Byrd had been alive and conscious for roughly half of this nightmare.

So, where does that leave us?

I am against the death penalty. But I have a strange take on the topic ... It’s analogous to my views on abortion: Do we have free, flawless birth control available everywhere? No? Come back to me when we do and then we can have it out on choice vs. no choice.

Same thing with the death penalty. Is there a chance that we will never kill an innocent man or woman even once? No? Let’s have the debate when you have a flawless system. Until then (which will be never), the government shouldn’t have the right to kill.

Don’t get me wrong. If I was actually standing in front of Brewer, I’d love to strangle him with my own two hands. I was going to say that I would like to do what he and his pals did to Byrd, but very few people on this planet are that sick.

I’m sure the family and friends of Mark MacPhail, Sr. felt the same about Troy Davis and rejoiced when he took his last breaths.

I don’t know. Can’t we do better than this? There was even a third execution this past week, that time in Alabama. All in climate where Rick Perry draws applause at the Tea Party debate for the amount of deaths that he presided over. What are the chances that not one of those 234 people were innocent? Slim odds indeed.

One thing is clear – these executions will do nothing to prevent future deaths and lat least one of them had enough doubt to inspire protests from Amnesty International and the French foreign ministry.

So let’s call the whole thing off until we can ensure that no more innocent people are killed by the government.

The only good thing that came from this past week's executions is Texas has eliminated the infamous "last meal request" after Brewer gave the state the final middle finger as he sent prison officials on a wild goodchase of farflung culinary requests and didn't swallow a bite.

At least Texas can't pretend that they have some level of compassion before they kill yet another human being.

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