Via the wonderful blog Season of the Bitch, I became aware of the execution of Troy Davis scheduled for tomorrow in Georgia.
The Amnesty International site has the chilling story of a man railroaded for the killing of a police officer.
Troy Davis was sentenced to death for the murder of Police Officer Mark Allen MacPhail at a Burger King in Savannah, Georgia; a murder he maintains he did not commit. There was no physical evidence against him and the weapon used in the crime was never found. The case against him consisted entirely of witness testimony which contained inconsistencies even at the time of the trial. Since then, all but two of the state's non-police witnesses from the trial have recanted or contradicted their testimony.
Many of these witnesses have stated in sworn affidavits that they were pressured or coerced by police into testifying or signing statements against Troy Davis.
Did you ever notice how killing a policeman is considered worse than killing any other human person? I find something wrong with that. It reminds me of the sense of inherent privilege and entitlement people sometimes arrogate to themselves. Americans do it travelling abroad. Rich people do it whenever they have to rub elbows with the regular people. Young white males do it all the time. It especially bothers me when policemen do it though. It really comes out when one of them gets killed and the others get talking, using the word they invented for exactly this purpose: cop-killer.
The problem is that cop-killer has become so loaded a term that in places like Georgia, the judges and jurors are often blinded to the fact that justice is being subverted, even justice according to their definition.
The killing must stop. Capital punishment is wrong, not because tomorrow in Georgia they may execute another innocent man, but because it fails to meet the Prime Criterion for killing: defense of self or others. The State has other ways of protecting us from damaged and violent men.