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Troy Davis Vigil?

If it's news, but not politics, then it goes here.

Re: Troy Davis Vigil?

Postby Ned Flanders » Fri Sep 23, 2011 1:42 pm

eriedasch wrote:Why anyone is responding to Ned's feeble pleas for attention is beyond me.

Of course he doesn't really feel this way. At least he would not if it was someone he knew or cared about. But a poor black man down in GA? sure let the fucker fry. See how easy it is to type that, even though I did not mean one bit of it?


But, I 'm sure you're OK with this execution because he's a mean white guy right?

HUNTSVILLE, Texas—White supremacist gang member Lawrence Russell Brewer was executed Wednesday evening for the infamous dragging death slaying of James Byrd Jr., a black man from East Texas.

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/artic ... _dragging/
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Re: Troy Davis Vigil?

Postby eriedasch » Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:56 pm

Ned Flanders wrote:But, I 'm sure you're OK with this execution because he's a mean white guy right?

HUNTSVILLE, Texas—White supremacist gang member Lawrence Russell Brewer was executed Wednesday evening for the infamous dragging death slaying of James Byrd Jr., a black man from East Texas.

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/artic ... _dragging/


What a coincidence, I've only read that response 10 other places since yesterday. Here's one from right in Madison:

http://my.madison.com/forums/Topic4490457-2889-1.aspx

The last thing I found interesting was there was no fuss made about the execution in Texas of a white supremacist last night.
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Re: Troy Davis Vigil?

Postby Ned Flanders » Fri Sep 23, 2011 4:01 pm

They were both found guilty by a jury of their peers and were punished in accordance with the law.

Move on.
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Re: Troy Davis Vigil?

Postby DCB » Fri Sep 23, 2011 5:02 pm

Ned Flanders wrote:They were both found guilty by a jury of their peers and were punished in accordance with the law.

Move on.

There was no physical evidence for Troy Davis, who maintained his innocence. Byrd freely admitted that he committed his crime:
http://www.thenation.com/blog/163536/ot ... -his-death

If you're opposed to the death penalty, period,then you should oppose both executions. I do.

But many people, who are not opposed to the death penalty recognize the reasonable doubt in Davis's case. Unfortunately none of them are on the Supreme Court. The law failed us in this case.
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Re: Troy Davis Vigil?

Postby Lynne » Fri Sep 23, 2011 5:11 pm

Ned Flanders wrote:They were both found guilty by a jury of their peers and were punished in accordance with the law.

Move on.


Ned, what you're ignoring here is that, in our justice system, it is extremely difficult to reverse a finding by a jury, even if evidence comes to light after a trial that the evidence presented to a jury was tainted. That's what happened in this case. That's what happened in many cases.

Just as Americans know little about who is executed and why, they are unaware of the potential dangers of executing an innocent man. Our ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ burden of proof in criminal cases is intended to protect the innocent, but we know it is not foolproof. Various studies have shown that people whose innocence is later convincingly established are convicted and sentenced to death.

Proving one's innocence after a jury finding of guilt is almost impossible. While reviewing courts are willing to entertain all kinds of collateral attacks where a sentence of death is involved, they very rarely dispute the jury's interpretation of the evidence. This is, perhaps, as it should be. But, if an innocent man has been found guilty, he must then depend on the good faith of the prosecutor's office to help him establish his innocence. There is evidence, however, that prosecutors do not welcome the idea of having convictions, which they labored hard to secure, overturned, and that their cooperation is highly unlikely.
...
No matter how careful courts are, the possibility of perjured testimony, mistaken honest testimony, and human error remain all too real. We have no way of judging how many innocent persons have been executed but we can be certain that there were some. Whether there were many is an open question made difficult by the loss of those who were most knowledgeable about the crime for which they were convicted. Surely there will be more as long as capital punishment remains part of our penal law.

Justice Thurgood Marshall, Furman v. Georgia


(bolded by me).
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Re: Troy Davis Vigil?

Postby pjbogart » Fri Sep 23, 2011 8:36 pm

For the record, I do not think the execution of Brewer was any more just than the execution of Davis. But the cases are hardly similar. In one you have someone who freely admitted to chaining a fellow human being to the back of a pickup truck and dragging him down the road, ripping the skin from his body and leaving a three mile skid of human skin, bone and blood. In the other case you had a man who maintained his innocence to the very end. Add to that the fact that the MAJORITY of the eyewitnesses at his trial later recanted and some even claimed that the police cajoled them into providing false testimony.

Maybe Troy Davis was guilty. But there was at least enough doubt to revisit the case and if nothing else commute his sentence to life in prison for fear of executing an innocent man.

But guilt or innocence in both of these cases has nothing to do with my objection to the death penalty. What kind of strange and demented mind thinks that the way to teach people that murder is wrong is to murder murderers? Our justice system should serve two basic functions: protecting society and rehabilitating deviants. When our justice system metes out vengeance instead of protection we teach our people that rage, hatred and murderous feelings are acceptable as long as the target of your rage, hatred and murderous feelings deserves it. A better lesson seems to be that murderous feelings are never justified and the best way to demonstrate that Christian ideal is to refuse to stoop to the murderer's level. Lock him (or her) up to protect society and let them think about their crime for a few decades. If they are simply so untrustworthy that they can never be rehabilitated, then treat them as such and make their sentence indeterminate.

While I may feel more sympathy for Davis than Brewer, neither "state-sanctioned" murder is justified. In my view, you didn't punish Brewer by executing him, you punished the rest of society by giving them an inconsistent message.
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Re: Troy Davis Vigil?

Postby JohnWS » Mon Sep 26, 2011 3:04 pm

Sorry to see all this, I just wanted to to bear witness.

All of this is absurd. The only clear eyed defense of the death penalty is "I like it so much I'm okay with the occasional state-sponsored killed of an innocent man. I like it so much that I'm okay with its measurable racial and class bias. The benefits outweigh the costs."

We can debate how often occasional is. But to say that it never happens flies in the face of history and reason.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ex ... ow_inmates

Look at that page. Say every name aloud. and tell me you think there's no chance SCOTUS was wrong. And would I be wrong in predicting Ned would have been on the side of the convicting court in the majority of those cases?
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