Tonight, Troy Davis is scheduled to be executed by the state of Georgia.
He was convicted of the 1989 murder of a police officer. But twenty years later, seven of the nine “eye witnesses” have recanted their testimony, some citing police pressure. Even some death penalty advocates have declared that this case is too shaky to demand blood for blood. But after more than a million petitions for clemency, including a former FBI director, former President Jimmy Carter, and Pope Benedict XVI, the state pardons board has denied Davis’s request for clemency. He is slated to die at 7:00 tonight.
“But what then is capital punishment but the most premeditated of murders, to which no criminal’s deed, however calculated it may be, can be compared? For there to be equivalence, the death penalty would have to punish a criminal who had warned his victim of the date at which he would inflict a horrible death on him and who, from that moment onward, had confined him at his mercy for months. Such a monster is not encountered in private life.”
-Albert Camus, writer, philosopher, Nobel laureate (1913-1960)
AMEN!! I cried when heard it was done..
The alternative is swift justice but that, too, would be objectionable to Camus and to most capital defendants. Delay in the service of justice is not premeditation but mercy. Too often death penalty trials and the quality of defense counsel fall far short of the mark of “justice.” “Death” has also become politicized as chillingly demonstrated by audience reactions in recent GOP presidential debates. For those reason, and not because of the state’s premeditation, our current death penalty process is morally indefensible.