R.I.P. Troy Davis

Troy Davis was executed at 11:08 pm ET.

This execution was a grievous wrong. Rest in Peace, Troy Davis.

Let the dialogue continue. America needs to end state-sanctioned killings.[More...]

Tonight reminded me of the 2000 execution of Gary Graham in Texas. The crowds swelled at the prison, the celebrities showed up and CNN and other stations were fixated all night with live updates. And then in an instant, it was over, Graham was dead.
Graham's case has prompted the loudest protests since convicted pickax killer Karla Faye Tucker was executed in 1998, the first woman put to death in Texas since the Civil War era. Death penalty opponents have adopted Graham's claims of innocence and his contention that he was convicted unfairly, primarily because of testimony from a single eyewitness.

''The Gary Graham case is significant because if he is executed ... he will be the case that will be the most frail, the weakest evidence to justify any execution in the past 27 years,'' said Lawrence Marshall, legal director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law.

The New York Times wrote four editorials in four days on Graham's case.

6/23/2000...Irreversible Error in Texas...New York Times Editorial

If there is one area in the American legal system where even a single error cannot be tolerated, it is the administration of capital punishment. This page has long opposed the death penalty on the grounds that it is morally wrong and also unconstitutional as being cruel and unusual. But even on procedural grounds the penalty is hard to defend. The way it is meted out in this country is so grossly arbitrary, so racially unfair and so full of legal mistakes that there is no way to ensure that innocent people will be spared.
6/22/2000..Decision Time on Gary Graham...New York Times Editorial
We seldom comment two days in a row on the same subject, but the case of Gary Graham, who is scheduled to die by lethal injection at 6 p.m. today in Texas, merits concentrated attention....It is not asking too much to insist on a fair hearing, especially when a life is at risk. Perhaps at the 11th hour Governor Bush can demonstrate the leadership that has been missing so far in this case.
6/21/2000..Due Process, Texas Style...New York Times Editorial
Recent developments in the case of Gary Graham, a death row inmate in Texas who is scheduled to die by lethal injection tomorrow afternoon, reinforce qualms about his murder conviction -- and the duty of Gov. George W. Bush and the state pardons board to prevent injustice.
6/19/2000..Death Penalty Troubles in Texas...New York Times Editorial
...Nothing prevents Mr. Bush from exercising leadership by urging the state's board of pardons to slow things down and conduct the careful review of the evidence in Gary Graham's case that the courts failed to provide.
How depressing that 11 years later, we're still having the same discussions, and so little has changed.
< Troy Davis Continuing Updates: Supreme Court Denies Stay | Distinguishing the Innocent Not an Easy Task >
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    The death penalty (5.00 / 8) (#1)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 10:44:56 PM EST
    is an abomination.

    There clearly was enormous doubt about Davis guilt.

    But I also find the killing in Texas tonight abhorrent.

    State sanctioned murder as "punishment" is a disgrace.

    I agree completely (5.00 / 0) (#6)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 11:06:44 PM EST
    It is, even if he was guilty (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by ruffian on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 09:13:10 AM EST
    I don't even want to get inside the heads of anyone that would find peace or justice through such an action.

    Need to get rid of the death penalty (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by MO Blue on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 10:56:33 PM EST
    as soon as possible. In the mean time somehow something must be done to make it easier to override the death penalty verdict in situations like this where there is so much doubt.

    Not gonna happen (none / 0) (#17)
    by jbindc on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 08:33:18 AM EST
    Not when something like 60% of Americans still believe it's applied fairly.

    you can be a leader (1.00 / 1) (#35)
    by jondee on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 12:21:53 PM EST
    or can keep trying to tap into, tittilate, and ride to victory the base reactions of the less-well-informed.

    Miss Not Gonna Happen.


    The number is down (none / 0) (#18)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 09:01:37 AM EST
    from 61 % to 57% according to Gallup's 2009 study.

    Still, a majority of Americans -- 57% -- say they believe the death penalty is applied fairly in the country today..The "fairly" percentage is down slightly from the decade's high point of 61% in 2005.

    And 59% of those polled think an innocent person has been put to death in the past 5 years. What's remarkable, is they are willing to accept it.

    A third of all Americans, 34%, believe an innocent person has been executed and at the same time support the death penalty. This is higher than the 23% who believe an innocent person has been executed and simultaneously oppose the death penalty....57% of those who believe an innocent person has been executed also support the death penalty.

    As absurd as that view is, Al Gore is one who expressed it in 2000 (15 Minutes of Al, San Francisco Guardian, Feb. 2000, no longer online):

    BG: Are there people on death row elsewhere, or federal death row, who are innocent? Isn't that something we should be worried about?

    AG: I would hope not. But I'll tell you this: I think that any honest and candid supporter of the death penalty has to acknowledge that that support comes in spite of the fact that there will inevitably be some mistakes. And that's a harsh concession to make, but I think it's the only honest concession to make, and it should spur us to have appreciation for habeas corpus, for the procedural safeguards for the accused, and for the fairness that's a part of the American judicial system and to resist efforts to take away the procedural safeguards. " (emphasis supplied.) (my emphasis)

    Depends on if it's in the abstract or not (none / 0) (#50)
    by jbindc on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 03:49:55 PM EST
    And if you take out the "do you think it's applied fairly" - the number of death penatly supporters actually goes up from that outdated Gallup poll:

    H/t Mother Jones

    From PRRI:

    The question of innocence or guilt is, of course, one that is impossible to measure using public opinion data, but as Pew's data from 2010 and more recent data from PRRI shows, Americans are not ambivalent in their feelings about the death penalty in the case of convicted murderers: a strong majority (66%) of Americans currently favor capital punishment.*  Pew's longitudinal data shows that since the 1960's, public support for the death penalty for convicted murderers has never fallen below 50%.


    Analysis of respondents' demographic and political affiliation also showed that Americans' general support for the death penalty transcends ethnic, gender, racial and party lines. For example, majorities of African Americans (52%) and Hispanics (54%) favored or strongly favor capital punishment for convicted murderers, as do a whopping 71% of white Americans.

    Even among Democrats and other more liberal groups, majorities support the death penalty for convicted murders. Nearly 6-in-10 (57%) Democrats, 56% of self-identified liberals, and 55% of the highest-educated Americans - the holders of post-graduate degrees - favored or strongly favored the death penalty.

    There is also an important intensity gap. Three times as many Americans say they strongly favor the death penalty as say they strongly oppose it (33% vs. 11% respectively).


    Obviously, respondents were being asked about whether they supported the death penalty for a convicted murderer, so these numbers do not reflect cases where there are credible questions raised about the certainty of guilt, such as the Davis' case.

    Right. I don't have a problem with the DP (none / 0) (#20)
    by observed on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 09:12:44 AM EST
    in principle, but I don't support it.
    Not only is it not applied fairly, I don't see that society gets any value from executions.
    If people understood how unfair the capital punishment process is, there would be less support. This is why Perry and his ilk are so adamant that not a single case is dubious---they HAVE to maintain that.

    I might be willing to accept (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by andgarden on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 11:00:14 PM EST
    a utilitarian justification for the death penalty, but I have never heard a convincing one. Retribution alone cannot be enough.

    MLK and Gandhi (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 11:05:19 PM EST
    "The old law of an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind."

    There are tons of utilitarian (5.00 / 0) (#40)
    by jondee on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 12:33:52 PM EST
    arguments to be made, if you're out to get the crypto-klansman vote in the great state of Georgia.

    Well, there is the argument (1.00 / 1) (#52)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 05:49:25 PM EST
    that because (many?) more innocents are murdered by convicted murders than there are innocents executed, that, in a practical sense, fewer innocents overall are murdered with the DP.

    The number of innocents executed is estimated to be 23 over the past 100 years or so:

    The pioneering academic study of innocent prisoners convicted of capital crimes was an article in the November, 1987 Stanford Law Review by Professors Hugo Bedau and Michael Radelet. They found that 23 innocent prisoners, from the beginning of the century through the publication date of the study, had been executed. Bedau and Radelet later expanded and updated their research, notably in a book we highly recommend to J:D readers, In Spite Of Innocence.

    While I've found no actual tally of the number of innocents murdered by convicted and (obviously) unexecuted murderers, one can pretty safely assume that over the past century there have been more than 23.


    Collateral damage argument is a lousy argument (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by Edger on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 07:02:03 PM EST
    The same lousy statistical utilitarian argument has been attempted as a justification for wars.

    'Collateral Damage' as Euphemism for Mass Murder

    If we take this collectivist argument for "collateral damage" at face value, set aside the calculation problem with foreign central planning, and assume the U.S. government is honest in its intentions and able in its deeds, we would presumably agree that the U.S. government has a right to kill innocent people, so long as it is ousting a human monster that would kill more innocent people.

    In other words, the U.S. government, in overthrowing a foreign regime, can justifiably slaughter any number of innocents up to the number that regime would slaughter if left in place. Ousting Hitler in 1939 would have therefore justified the killing of millions of Jews, homosexuals, dissidents, Gypsies, and disabled people by the one doing the ousting - so long as the number killed was fewer than the number Hitler would have ultimately killed.

    Ousting Stalin, Pol Pot, or any other mega-murderer would justify committing any crime less serious than the crimes committed by the enemy.

    The statistical utilitarian argument for mass slaughter is no more than a defense of mass murder on a grand scale, so long as it is known that the enemy would murder even more. This is not an individualist, libertarian, or even humane argument. It looks upon innocent human lives as mere numbers.

    And, as was pointed out earlier, there is no way to gather accurate information on the costs and benefits even in sheer numbers of lives lost, in order to act upon the information with a feasible and successfully centrally-managed implementation of slaughter-minimizing coercive action.

    Furthermore, there is no reason to trust the U.S. government's numbers, even if it bothered to present any, on how many it has killed and how many it has saved.

    This argument for "collateral damage" is effectively no less than a blank check to the State to go to oppressed countries and murder large numbers of their populations, claiming all the while that it is saving lives.

    Your 'argument' looks upon human lives as mere numbers, completely apart from the fact that when you argue that you want anyone who kills to be killed you make yourself the target.


    one argument, you would then reject the other as well.

    "Estimated" - heh (none / 0) (#54)
    by Yman on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 07:53:13 PM EST
    That number isn't an "estimate" or a "tally" of the total number of people wrongfully executed in the past century.  Have you read the book?  ... because the authors suggest no such thing.  To the contrary, they detail the difficulty in proving the innocence of convicted murderers, particularly after they are executed.  Moreover, in addition to the wrongful execution cases, they document 25 cases where the wrongfully convicted prisoner was within hours or days of being executed, and 400 wrongful convictions in capital cases, most of whom spent years on death row before being released

    Re: the wrongful executions, Radelet and Bedau note that these numbers understate the actual number of wrongful capital executions because, once the execution has occurred, there is usually little motivation and resources to keep a case open.  At that point, the likelihood of a wrongful execution being discovered is almost nill.  For these and other reasons, they note:

    There is no reason to believe that somehow, magically, on the eve of publishing this book, we have managed to produce a complete list of all the relevant cases...it is quite possible that all we have done is trace the outline of the proverbial tip of the iceberg.

    I quoted the summary provided by (none / 0) (#56)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 11:22:38 PM EST
    www.justicedenied.org. If you have an issue with their summary feel free to contact them about it.

    No you didn't (none / 0) (#57)
    by Yman on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 07:55:23 AM EST
    You mischaracterized the summary, by suggesting it was an "estimate" or "tally" of the total number of wrongfully executed.

    The number of innocents executed is estimated to be 23 over the past 100 years or so ...

    While I've found no actual tally of the number of innocents murdered by convicted and (obviously) unexecuted murderers, one can pretty safely assume that over the past century there have been more than 23

    What the summary says is;

    They found that 23 innocent prisoners, from the beginning of the century through the publication date of the study, had been executed.

    See the difference?

    BTW - As I pointed out, Bedau and Radelet themselves are emphatic in pointing out that, due to the many and great difficulties in establishing innocence after execution, the number of cases they've established should in no way be construed as a sum total of all wrongful executions.

    I have a copy I can send you if you'd like to read it.


    I cannot imagine what it (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 07:47:34 AM EST
    could be like going through what Troy Davis went through yesterday and last night before the powers that be felt confident enough to go ahead and kill him.  I would think his mother would have PTSD after going through that, his family can't be anything other than all broken inside.  But we will expect all of them to carry on and make us all proud Americans.

    Rituals & blood lust (5.00 / 2) (#47)
    by christinep on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 03:36:28 PM EST
    A long time ago, a group of family members sat on chairs & on the floor & milled around too as they watched a small, grainy TV in the 1950s. As a very little girl, I sat on the floor & watched too; and, the news said that that Julius & Ethel Rosenberg had been electrocuted. My relatives told me what that meant; and, the fuzzy TV kept showing pictures & making word pictures of what they suffered, how they died.

    Never forgot those images, never forgot feeling sick & afraid. Dreamt about it over the years. Then: a few years later in Denver, we woke to the news of a plane being bombed & heard that the man who would later be convicted was John Gilbert Graham...and, later he was executed & the local paper described in detail his every breath til there was none. Sick again.

    Many since then. I remember being in D.C. for the 1976 inauguration...and, in the midst of all the celebration, we heard about the resumption of the death penalty when an individual chose to be shot for his execution in Utah. As timelines move, it is gratifying to see that former President Jimmy Carter stated today that the Troy Davis execution and how it came about illustrates completely that the death peanalty in the US is outdated & wrong.

    The death penalty erodes us all. Tho history shows much, much brutality & far worse situations than this...the fact that we don't practice human sacrifice ala the Aztecs doesn't take away from the corrosive, horrific results of ritual killing that is the reality of the death penalty.  And, maybe more & more people have come to an innate realization of the diminishing effect on humanity that is the end product of the ritual.  No evidence of deterrence; no evidence of any personal nor societal benefit. Blood lust? Worse than that...it darkens souls, it makes us not want to look at each other. Ritual killing transforms us into ghouls.

    Well said, christine. (5.00 / 0) (#48)
    by Anne on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 03:40:11 PM EST
    Makes the cheering at the GOP debates all the more disturbing, doesn't it?

    And glad to hear Carter has spoken up; it's appalling that so few prominent Democrats have.


    Gasp (none / 0) (#51)
    by christinep on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 04:03:55 PM EST
    That was my reaction to the Repub debate crowd cheering for death. Then, that sickness in the stomach again.

    As for the "political" aspects of death penalty debates: I've learned not to expect anything from active (non-retired) politicians nor would-be officeholders. For example: Remembering how the press & people in 1988 used then-Dem candidate Dukakis' measured answer to a question about how he would feel if his wife had been raped brutally, etc....because he didn't react in anger, bragadoccio, threatening ways, he was relegated to the role of weakling & enabler for Willy Horton, be extension.  While I wish that active politicians would have the guts to counter prevailing attitudes in this area, I understand why they demur.  'Don't like it, but understand the "politics" of it.  Frankly, imo, the matter of the death penalty may never really be addressed by politicians; but rather we will all address it as we bit by bit move away from the late 1800s/early 1900s cowboy crowd mentality that gathered for lunch & to watch a hanging. Makes one shiver.


    Troy's last words... (4.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Edger on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 02:26:29 AM EST
    The Guardian
    by Ed Pilkington in Jackson

    Moments before he was put to death, Troy Davis lifted his head from the gurney to which he was strapped and looked the family of Mark MacPhail, the police officer for whose murder he was convicted, directly in the eyes.

    "I want to talk to the MacPhail family," he said. "I was not responsible for what happened that night. I did not have a gun. I was not the one who took the life of your father, son, brother."

    He then appealed to his own family and friends to "keep the faith", said to the medical personnel who were about to kill him "may God have mercy on your souls", and laid his head down again.

    He was administered with a triple lethal injection of pentobarbital, pancuronium bromide and potassium chloride, and at 11.08pm he was pronounced dead.


    Seriously, Jer (none / 0) (#2)
    by seabe on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 10:50:16 PM EST
    My stomach is in knots. I can't remember the last time I felt this sick over something like this. Maybe Katrina?

    10 more states to get rid of this wicked stain on America. Which ones would be the best to target: the more liberal, or the more bankrupt?

    my eyes are full of tears and my heart is breaking (none / 0) (#7)
    by loveed on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 11:31:25 PM EST
    The things we allow them to do in our name.
     I think everyone hear knows how I feel about our justice system.
     My prayers and love go out to the Davis family.

    Let's be honest (none / 0) (#8)
    by lawyerjim on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 11:40:42 PM EST

    He wasn't executed, he was murdered.

    As long as we're being honest, (none / 0) (#9)
    by NYShooter on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 12:06:36 AM EST
    "They" like killing.

    I'm sorry, Troy, (none / 0) (#11)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 12:42:30 AM EST
    and to your family. I wish we few here made a difference.

    I hope you are in a place without bars, where you are happy.

    Sponsored, not Sanctioned (none / 0) (#13)
    by pluege2 on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 04:42:51 AM EST
    America needs to end state-sanctioned killings.

    its state sponsored murder, not "sanctioned killing"....big difference.

    No, it's state-sanctioned (none / 0) (#15)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 08:27:03 AM EST
    Homicides may also be non-criminal when conducted with the sanction of the state. The most obvious examples are capital punishment, in which the state determines that a person should die.  Wikipedia, definition of homicide

    definition (none / 0) (#16)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 08:30:26 AM EST
    of sanctioned includes "To give official authorization or approval to:" It can have contradictory meanings, including  "to allow, encourage" and "to punish so as to deter."

    From the noun, a verb sanction was created in the 18th century meaning "to allow by law," but it wasn't until the second half of the 20th century that it began to mean "to punish (for breaking a law)."

    Scott Lemieux's post (none / 0) (#19)
    by bordenl on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 09:07:52 AM EST
    started with Blackmun and how he would "no longer tinker with the machinery of death".  Being hardened by tinkering with the machinery of death explains how everyone involved in this case was willing to condone what ordinary citizens knew to be a monstrous crime.

    Perhaps all the Troy Davis supporters didn't support him in vain. He knew that he was a great cause and that hundreds/thousands of people that he didn't know cared about him. That had to have helped him to face death with some spiritual resolve.

    I should also bring up EW's tweet that just being tied to the gurney for 3.5 hours, not knowing if you will live or die, is torture even according to Yoo.

    This is grotesque (none / 0) (#22)
    by sj on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 09:13:48 AM EST
    ...while the prisoner was being killed MacPhail family members sat in the front row looking intently at him. As they left the room after he was pronounced dead, some of them smiled.

    That the need for vengeance can be so strong that it must create yet another victim.

    I don't criticize the family (none / 0) (#23)
    by jbindc on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 09:45:09 AM EST
    Until someone you love is brutally and senselessly murdered (especially,a s in this case, where Officer MacPhail came to the aid of another person), you have absolutely no idea what they feel or what they've been through the last 20 years.

    I don't presume to know what it feels like (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Anne on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 11:11:06 AM EST
    to have someone I love be the victim of a brutal, violent and senseless crime, but just because a victim's loved ones can find or feel satisfaction or closure or that justice has been served in - or believe that those things will follow from -  the execution of the person convicted, is not enough reason for the state to allow it.

    Waiting the years it often takes for an execution to be carried out could, it seems to me, become its own kind of soul-destroying cancer, with those who believe the death penalty solves anything, that it evens the "score," that it represents justice, having to hold so tightly to those beliefs - and to the grief and anger they think they will be freed from once the condemned person is finally dead - that it ends up consuming their lives.  

    For me, I think the McPhail family's ability to smile, in the face of so much doubt that Troy Davis killed their family member, is emblematic of how the death penalty contributes to and perpetuates the unquestionable damage that affects so many lives when a brutal crime is committed.


    I do. (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Edger on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 11:28:55 AM EST
    And I am unreservedly opposed to to death penalty in all cases.

    All I'm saying is (none / 0) (#38)
    by jbindc on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 12:31:18 PM EST
    For those who condemn the reaction of the MacPhail family, they should take a step back and give them a break.  It's not just 20 years that have gone by, and oh, by the way, they woke up one morning and now it's time to execute Troy Davis.  It's been 20 years of ups and downs, court appearances, appeals, re-living that horrible experience (or, in the case of Officer MacPhail's children, living it over and over as if they really experienced it the first time).

    You may be right - maybe this won't help them heal.  But I think everyone should just save their judgment of the family since they are truly innocent players in all of this.


    There is no justice in executing someone (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by Anne on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 01:49:17 PM EST
    who may be innocent of the crime, and given the high level of doubt about Davis' guilt, those who have had someone taken from them - as the MacPhails did - ought to understand more than anyone the injustice of killing an innocent person.

    So, no...while my heart goes out to them for their loss, I won't give them a break for putting their own need for justice over the unjust taking of someone else's innocent life in payment.


    that Old Testament mileau (none / 0) (#43)
    by jondee on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 12:51:51 PM EST
    that's constantly being stoked for all it's worth, isn't "innocent" however..

    Imo, it's at least in part, both an attempt to romantically hearken back, and a passive-aggressive slap in the face to all 'em liberal agitators who made trouble down there in the sixties.  


    It's not (none / 0) (#58)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Sep 24, 2011 at 07:39:04 AM EST
    one bit about what happened in the 60's. It is entirely about vengeance and the fact that not not killing Davis would be admitting that there are huge flaws in the GA Justice System.

    I criticize the environment (none / 0) (#24)
    by sj on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 09:50:51 AM EST
    that creates this.  A society that values vengeance and retribution more than compassion.  It's true that I don't know what they went through.  But I will criticize inflicting pain simply because I am in pain.  All it does is make more pain.  It doesn't ease a darn thing.

    Maybe not (none / 0) (#25)
    by jbindc on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 10:00:59 AM EST
    But that's a pretty broad brush to paint, as everyone is different.  I hope the MacPhail family can finally find peace.  I hope the Davis family can find some peace too someday.

    But I will criticize inflicting pain simply because I am in pain.

    You are probably a very strong person and would be able to overcome those feelings, but I daresay you have no earthly idea how you'd react if you were in the same situation.  No one can know unless and until we are in this kind of situation.

    Maybe Davis' death was for a purpose - to re-ignite the conversation on the death penalty in this country.  I don't know.


    As do I (5.00 / 0) (#30)
    by sj on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 10:26:00 AM EST
    I hope the Davis family can find some peace too someday.
    But there is no peace to be found in the infliction of pain.  Peace is the letting go of pain.  This I can tell you from experience.  It doesn't mean pain won't come back.  It will.  But it does mean that one doesn't choose to live in that space.  And yes, it is a choice (excluding brain chemistry issues, of course).  

    Creating more pain just ... creates more pain.  It eases nothing.  It brings no peace.  

    It's true that I have no idea how I would react.  But one doesn't "react" for 20 years. At some point it is no longer a reaction but a life choice.

    And I do know what I would strive for over a period of 20 years.  What I would strive for wouldn't bring a smile to my lips at the death of another.


    anyone (none / 0) (#26)
    by CST on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 10:08:40 AM EST
    who smiles in the face of murder has lost part of their soul.

    That doesn't mean it can't be found again, or that they didn't have one to begin with, or that what got them to that point wasn't an aweful horrible thing.  But it does mean they no longer have whole souls.

    I don't mean this to judge them as people per say, horrible things tend to beget more horrible things.  It actually reminds me a lot of terrorists.


    Or (none / 0) (#27)
    by jbindc on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 10:17:03 AM EST
    They just don't know how to react.

    To claim this family has no soul is breathtakingly wrong in so many ways, since you have no idea what they've been through. Maybe it wouldn't be the way you or many people would react, maybe it was inappropriate, but the judgment against this family is also widly inappropriate.


    i didn't say (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by CST on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 10:22:34 AM EST
    they have no soul.  I said they lost a part of it.

    But it is exactly the terrorist mentality.  You, or someone associated with you, killed my family so I want to see you dead.

    Honestly, I don't mean this as a judgement.  If anything, this is why I oppose agression from our government in the middleast - because it naturally causes reactions like that.  If anything, I'm bringing it up so that next time we're talking about some Somali or Afghani kid who grew up in hell, maybe you'll remember this and not judge them so harshly.


    Yes - too bad the world we are creating will (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by ruffian on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 02:45:47 PM EST
    only create more bereaved and damaged families, not fewer.

    I'd reserve much more (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by jondee on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 12:16:29 PM EST
    judgement for soul-on-hold, grandstanding, tough-on-time careerists in the D.As office and the police department. Thier job isn't just to skate along on the surface of an eye-for-an-eye mentality that's predominated for decades in the land of "black body swingin' in the breeze".  

    Emotionally traumatized people deserve our understanding, forgiveness, and guidance. Men and women in 2k suits, with thier fingers held to the breeze, who got that extra education so they would know better, not so much.


    tough-on-crime.. (none / 0) (#34)
    by jondee on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 12:17:35 PM EST
    You think (none / 0) (#36)
    by jbindc on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 12:23:36 PM EST
    People who work in the DA's offices across the country are wearing $2000 suits?  Hilarious.  You're more likely to find those outfits among the high priced criminal defense attorneys, along the lines of Johnnie Cochran and F. Lee Bailey.  Those are the people that can afford expensive clothing.

    Thanks for brining a laugh to this otherwise very sad and serious topic.


    that's it:: keep the focus (none / 0) (#37)
    by jondee on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 12:26:48 PM EST
    on the relevant aspects of the discussion.

    Sorry Davis wasn't Obama, but hey, there's still time..


    Quite a strawman (none / 0) (#39)
    by jbindc on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 12:32:54 PM EST
    Corrupt DAs and police argument - soooo 2007.  right up there with a Sarah Palin diversion.

    Nice try.


    sooo 2007 (none / 0) (#41)
    by jondee on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 12:36:06 PM EST
    are we talking about this years Fall line, or people's lives here?

    Or do you have trouble sometimes telling the difference?


    Tell ya this... (none / 0) (#29)
    by kdog on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 10:25:27 AM EST
    I can understand bloodlust and the need for vengeance...I think I'd feel the same way if somebody murdered or raped somebody I love, and if I was convinced I knew who did it I'd be hardpressed not to go eye for an eye on their arse.

    But I would not ask or expect (or hope I would not ask or expect)our justice system to be my hired gun and drag the entire system down into the eye for an eye gutter...I'd like to think I'd have the decency to get my revenge myself if I coudln't live without revenge, and face the consequences, not sully the entire justice system.  The whole point of having a justice system in lieu of anarchy is to be better than that, no?


    I agree with BTD (none / 0) (#42)
    by samsguy18 on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 12:45:13 PM EST
    The death Penalty is an abomination.Twenty-two years is a long time. Getting to the truth I'm sure becomes more difficult with each passing year. Personally I cannot find any justification for Pre-maturely Terminating any life! However I have never walked the road the McPhail family endured. Very Sad for all concerned.