Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Troy Davis Execution Stayed

CNN Reports that the Supreme Court decided to grant a stay of execution in the case of Troy Davis just two hours before it was scheduled to take place.

Troy Anthony Davis learned that his execution had been stayed when he saw it on television, he told CNN via telephone in his first interview after the stay was announced.

He said he was "thankful to God" for the news that came during an emergency session the U.S. Supreme Court convened.

It seems odd that the condemned man would have to learn this monumental news on television. But, at least it came.

Another thing I'm struck with is the attitude of the family of the victim. This always gets me, what's usually referred to as justice to me sounds like some bizarre bloodthirstiness.

"I am angry as can be. I'm disgusted. It should have been over by now," MacPhail's mother, Anneliese MacPhail, told CNN. "Nobody thinks about what the victims' family has gone through again and again.

"I was hoping it would be over today," she said.

With all due respect to the mother of the victim, I don't think it's true that nobody thinks about the victims' family. I do. Everyone I know does. It must seem that we don't due to the unimaginable grief, but we do. Another thing I don't think is true is that it'll be over with the execution. People often say this, but I'll bet it doesn't work like that. And in this case it's especially sad to hear such talk of vengeance. A number of witnesses recanted their testimony, no weapon was ever found. Just looking at the surface facts, it seems like there's some doubt. In capital cases don't we have to be extra scrupulous? What kind of mentality is this which demands blood atonement for a cop-killing even if they've convicted the wrong man?

The Witness L.A. site has a comprehensive article about the case.

This update from CNN highlights the bitterness of the the MacPhail family over the stay.

Chasinthenews has expressed my sentiments exactly. Although sincerely I feel for the victim's family, putting someone to death won't help especially if there's a chance it's the wrong guy.

The cfnews13 site has this fascinating quote from the 74-year-old mother.

"I don't think there will ever be closure. There's a hole in our heart that will never be healed," she said. "But we just want Mark to rest in peace. And we want to live now. We have just been existing all these years, waiting for the next shoe to drop.

"When it's over, justice has been done. That's the way we feel."


  1. Cops are just humans entrusted with enforcing agreed upon societal laws full time as a form of employ, as opposed to it being a smaller part of their life as the constitutional militia. They deserve NO special treatment nor do those accused of harming them deserve extra penalties.

    Unless cops wish to be reclassified as mercenaries, I shall stand by that statement and everything it implies.

  2. Mike,

    I don't know if you've read Jay G at the MArooned blog this morning but he has a great post about the justice system up.

    I would like to know what you think about the reformative power of the system after reading it.

  3. I really don't know where to come out on this. Of course, I don't know the facts of the case--aside from what CNN has in the story--so it's hard to make an intelligent assessment of this man's guilt.

    Even if he is guilty, I'm unsettled as to whether capital punishment will (1) provide justice and (2) closure to the victim's family.

  4. Bob, I can't tell which post of Jay's your referring to. He is quite the prolific blogger.

    Anonymous, Thanks for commenting. I like your use of the word "unsettled." Please come again.

  5. Sorry, it was the post Respect for the law.

  6. Bob, Here's a comment I just posted at Jay's place.
    Great post, Jay. I really enjoyed reading it. Bob S. sent me over from my blog (I don't know if you know him).

    Generally speaking the whole system needs an overhauling. Agreed. But what exactly do we do. Would you agree to releasing white collar criminals and making them pay huge fines and do community service? How about, drug possession? Can't we let them out too? I'd include even the low-level dealers. We could probably find other entire classes of people who should be in hospitals instead of prisons.

    Once that's done, we’ll have reduced the overcrowding. We can then stop releasing violent and dangerous people, especially the ones using guns (no offense).