Number 34

Well. At 7:00 pm EST this evening, Troy Davis was not executed.

Lawrence Russell Brewer, convicted murderer of James Byrd Jr. (Texas Department of Criminal Justice/AP Photo)

But this man was. I don’t see him on the list yet, but I’m assuming he is number 34 of those executed by the justice system in the United States this year.

Truly the crime he committed was despicable, horrific, and evil. As was the murder of Mark MacPhail, of which Troy Davis has been convicted.

But I stand by Gandalf’s words in my last post. Killing from hatred, from cruelty, from some evil passion, is wrong. But killing from a cold and calculated sense of justice, in my opinion, is also wrong.

James Byrd, Jr.’s son Ross Byrd agrees. In this article he said that “the execution of Brewer is simply another expression of the hate shown toward his father on that dark night in 1998. Everybody, he said, including the government, should choose not to continue that cycle.”

May Troy Davis live. And may the death penalty in every one of these United States finally die.

1 Comment

  1. Don’t have much to add, except that I agree with you about the death penalty. I have seen no evidence that it deters crime. And I fail to see how “justice is served” by executing someone, unless we subscribe to pre-modern concepts of justice. Of course I mean the “eye for an eye” thing out of Judeo-Christian-Muslim tradition, but many cultures sanctioned killing, I’m thinking of, say, the “blood-feuds” in tribal societies (Sicilian for example) or the old revenge cultures of northern Europe that used to honorably kill each other till entire families and clans were wiped out. We ought to be far beyond that. But we are not, as witnessed by the elated applause in the crowd at a recent Republican presidential debate when the moderator questioned Perry about his state’s horrific machine of death, Perry says something about criminals paying the ultimate price and the crowd erupts. Shocking! I felt like I needed a shower after witnessing that.

    I sometimes wonder what my attitude would be if a monstrous act was committed against someone I love. No one can really predict his or her own reaction to such a situation, of course. I would certainly endure rage and bitterness to the point of collapse and then…hopefully something else, whatever it is that we see in so many families of victims that take no joy in seeing the criminal executed.

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