By Natasha L. Foreman, MBA
Last night the state of Georgia executed, killed, did away with, murdered, took the life of a man who (although) was also charged with murder in 1989 and convicted for this crime in 1991, professed his innocence until he took his last breath. Although several witnesses recanted their statements as early as 2000, some claiming coercion and intimidation by law enforcement, it was not enough in the eyes of our government. Although more evidence shedding even more doubt in his case surfaced in 2010, no one with the autonomy to right this wrong changed their mind. The state of Georgia and the U.S. Supreme Court were presented with evidence that could have exonerated Troy Davis of the murder of police officer, Mark MacPhail; but the stay of execution was denied.
What breeds inside the person who can turn a blind eye to justice, and still okay the killing of another human being? How many people have been killed in the name of “justice” just for our ‘judges and officials of justice’ to later see they were wrong…even though they will never admit it? Instead they say something to the effect of, “…newly uncovered evidence…exonerating the inmate…” or they say something like “…misplaced evidence…now proves that…did not commit the crime of…” but they never accept responsibility for taking that person’s life, instead they hide behind, “we made our decision based on the evidence we had before us…”. They stand behind this cowardly message even when new evidence or recent proof of tainted evidence brings to light enough reasonable doubt or solid justification to not impose a death sentence.
What about the families involved on all sides of this equation? The victim’s family. The accused’s family. The family of the jury. The family of the judge. The families of the warden, prison guards, governor, pardons and parole board, Supreme Court Justices, etc. There are so many people affected by the decision to end someone’s life. Who truly in the end feels “better” at the thought that they took part in taking another person’s life? Who truly sleeps “better and more sound” knowing that they were okay with another human being dying?
The day after the execution does breakfast taste better? Does the sun shine brighter? Do the birds chirp more beautifully? Does traffic dissipate smoothly? Do the bills stop coming in and the bill collectors stop calling? Does all doubt cease to exist? Does the aching pain simply go away? Does the victim of the crime resurrect and return home to their loving family?
I’m not trying to make light of the fact that a victim lost their life, I’m stressing the point that how does taking someone else’s life (not even with our own hands) make us feel any better? How does it help with our healing process? How can we really ask God, our Creator, our Maker, for forgiveness and mercy when we can’t even forgive and be merciful?
Is it really justice?
In that case, why don’t we amend our voting ballots to give voters the option to select who they think would do a better job enforcing the death penalty? Not just merely vote for the candidate who claims to support it, but let’s get down to the nitty gritty and find out how passionate and committed they truly are about taking another person’s life. Why don’t politicians say, “vote for me because I will make sure that the person accused of harming your loved one gets executed switfly”? Or “vote for me because I believe that if they kill someone you love they should fry until they smoke”. Or how about, “vote for me because I believe that as soon as the accused is convicted we should execute them immediately. Why wait years listening to appeals when we know they did it?”
Why must we spend so much money on lethal injections, electrocutions, etc? Why don’t we amend our laws to allow immediate execution upon conviction? Why don’t we just take the inmate outside with the victim’s family and witnesses seated nearby and we have the ‘executioner’ walk out and put a few rounds from a .45 automatic in the person’s head and chest? Then the medical examiner can walk over, check for vitals and declare the man or woman deceased; the cleaning crew can come wheel the dead inmate away and sanitize the area; and everyone can go back to their daily routine? Isn’t that swift justice? Or is it that society gets a kick out of the slow agony of our most used execution practices?
Yes, I’m being sarcastic and facetious. Did I prove my point?
Why are we okay with the death penalty? This isn’t even Old Testament “eye for an eye” and it’s definitely not the New Testamant form of justice. Can someone show me other religious text that declares this is the right form of justice, done the correct way?
With so many cases over the years and recently of, ‘oops we executed the wrong person’ when is it NOT okay to execute an inmate? When does pride, arrogance, revenge, and the deep sadistic nature within get put aside for rational, compassionate, forgiving, critical-thinking-type logic?
Another man, son, brother, grandson, uncle, nephew, cousin murdered in the name of justice. God have mercy on us!
Copyright 2011. Natasha L. Foreman. Paradigm Life. All Rights Reserved.