Alan, I should start this by saying that I don’t agree with the death penalty. Sure, there are some people who I sometimes think that (if it were a moral form of punishment) it would be appropriate as a punishment for them. But I don’t really think that it is an appropriate punishment, since it does not deter crime, costs taxpayers more (in the long-run) than life imprisonment, is more likely to be used as punishment against minorities and the poor, punishes more than just the criminal, there are deeper reasons for many crimes, and since there are innocent people who could be put to death for crimes that they didn’t commit.
In this case, though, I am especially upset by the use of this penalty because so much of the case was based upon the testimony of 7 individuals and not on anything that actually proves his guilt. These witnesses amended and/or recanted their testimony, which means that the basis for the conviction was no longer as steady. Some of these witness even implicated another proseuction witness. No physical evidence from the crime was retrieved, apart from the bullets and shell casings. The next day, the witness who was later implicated by other witnesses, told police that Davis had a gun matching the one used in the shooting and that he’d assaulted the homeless man that Officer MacPhail was called over. Many judges (including ones on the Supreme Court) have expressed their concern throughout the whole appeals process that this man may not have been guilty or that there wasn’t enough to prove that he was, in fact, the shooter. Many religious and political leaders have also expressed concern, and the former head of the FBI even expressed his opinion that he shouldn’t be killed. There has been so much doubt in this case that it seems like a grave injustice that he was executed.
Now, as for the whole, let’s execute cop killers sentiment, I have to ask one thing: What makes a cop different than any other human being? There aren’t automatic calls en masse for executions when bank tellers get killed. There aren’t any for convenience store clerks or others in retail who are killed and they have dangerous jobs, too. There aren’t ones for paramedics or for social workers, who all can be placed in dangerous situations by the very nature of their jobs. What makes a police officer’s life worth more vengeance than that of someone else? They know they work in a dangerous job and that their life could be ended because of their job, and, unlike the other jobs I listed, they get to carry a weapon to protect themselves while on duty. So, why is it that their life gets the respect?
Oh, and so you know, the original status that I posted was made because late last night, I got the wonderful opportunity to see others from this area start accusing the black community of being more prone to violent behavior, calling for actual lynchings, and promoting absolutely abhorrent behavior.
my long ass response to a friend who said, “Cop Killers should die….” in response to my FB/Twitter status about my frustration with the Troy Davis execution