Archive for Death Penalty

Troy Davis and the Death Penalty

Posted in Society with tags , , , on September 23, 2011 by rikki5

I haven’t written in this blog for quite some time. However, something has occurred that has made me more impassioned to speak out against the death penalty and start to communicate again via this blog.

On September 21, 2011 Troy Anthony Davis was killed by lethal injection by the State of Georgia. He passed away at 11:08 p.m., 4 hours after his original execution time of 7:00 p.m. after the United States Supreme Court refused to intervene in the execution. The Supreme Court gave no comment on their decision. I am extremely disappointed in the Supreme Court’s decision to not stay the execution and even more disappointed they would not give the citizens of this country an explanation for their decision.

I am not going to go over all of the legal doubts and factual inconsistencies of this case. If you want to learn more about those arguments, then simply do a search on google for Troy Davis. I do want to mention because it has widely been ignored that one of the main obstacles in granting Davis a new trial was the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, Pub. L. No. 104-132, 110 Stat. 1214, (also known as AEDPA). This law was an act of Congress signed into law on April 24, 1996. The bill was introduced by former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, passed with broad bipartisan support by Congress following the Oklahoma City bombing, and signed into law by President Bill Clinton. This law bars death row inmates from later presenting evidence they could have presented at trial. Members of the legal community have criticized the restricting effect of the 1996 Act on the ability of wrongfully convicted persons to prove their innocence.

The sad fact is that in America we still use the death penalty. In fact, we are one of the top five nations who put criminals to death. Our company on that list consists of communist China, Iraq, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. All of Europe, Russia, Australia, the UK, even parts of Africa have outlawed the use of the death penalty.

What makes a killer? In our society, we are bombarded each day with movies, music, and images of violence in the media. We give celebrity status to people who murder. Take for instance the recent case of Casey Anthony. While I am sure that some of the most horrible killers in the world have a genetic component, I think a lot of it has to do with a fundamental flaw in our society. We do not look out for our children. We must look to ourselves to discover the truths of why people kill and murder. We must start looking to parents to raise up children with love and attention. We have to look at teachers, schools, and communities faced with the difficulty of identifying potential future murderers, rapists, thieves, and gangsters. We need to stop living in the bubble we have created because it is easy. If we suspect abuse, we need to speak out. If we suspect neglect we need to get involved in some way. We cannot sit idly by and await someone else to take action. We need to hold parents responsible the children they bring into the world. We have to teach love and compassion to our children. We have to teach them to value diversity instead of teaching them hate towards those who are different. We have to start working on the issue of poverty in our communities and those individuals who struggle to properly feed, clothe, and house their children. We need to volunteer to be a big brother or sister, a CASA advocate, something. We need to quit being apathetic and help those who are less fortunate than us, especially our youth.

I do not believe that Troy Davis was a murderer. It was known that he wasn’t the best student and that he did have some problems in his youth. I wonder how different his outcome would have been had a concerned teacher or school counselor recognized that he had some issues. I wonder how it would have turned out differently for him if someone had stepped in and gave him some extra encouragement or attention that he needed as a youth. I wonder how different his life would have been had he not been a product of a divorce. We are so easy in this day and age to advocate for divorce, we have succumbed to the easy way out when we really should look at the ramifications for our children and society. We should not take the vow of marriage lightly.

If we want to prevent these injustices from occurring we must not only eradicate the death penalty, but we must look to ourselves and to each other to reach out to our troubled youth before they are beyond help, before they have crossed the line.


Save Troy Davis

Posted in Society, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on October 19, 2008 by rikki5

Troy Davis was convicted of capital murder and now is awaiting his death by lethal injection on October 27, 2008.  The US Supreme court stayed his execution “pending the disposition of [his] petition for a writ of certiorari.”  The other court (apparently the state court?) denied his petition and now it is up to the Georgia Board of Pardons & Parole.  I have been following this case from the start and there is absolutely no reason why this man should not be given a new trial.  7 of the 9 witnesses recanted (the other 2 were policemen) and there was no murder weapon found.  New evidence has come into play that actually implicates another person.  You can read about the case, how to take action, etc. here.

I am against the death penalty and abortion (except in cases of sexual assault or abuse or if the mother is endangered).  If a girl can do grown up activities and not take the necessary precautions then they should do the grown up thing and either become a mother or give it up to someone who wants desperately to have a child and cannot. If one innocent man dies because of a wrong verdict, the entire system is flawed.  In recent years, many people who were wrongly executed were found out to be innocent via DNA evidence. I’m still a bit mixed about stem cell research.  On one hand, it is definitely playing god and creating a form of life.  But on the other hand, the life that is being created is to save a life that already exists.  I guess that the problem I have with it is that some kind of mad scientist or unscrupulous doctor might try to create some kind of cloning factory.  It is crazy the kind of questions that society needs to ask itself these days.  These are some of the reasons that I think it would be much easier to live in the olden days.  I sometimes wish that I lived in more simpler times.