Troy Davis: It Just Feels Right

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Troy Davis was executed for a crime he may have committed. Georgia governor Nathan Deal is fine with it. The Supreme Court of the United States has enough precedent to mechanically allow it. He was, after all, convicted with due processes.

The complex gears and cogs in the American criminal justice machine, once again performed their duties flawlessly, exactly as they were designed to function. Lots of Americans are irate today, blaming everyone involved, while continuing to tolerate the process itself. It is OK to decide to kill a man, they tell us, just not this man. Like every other human ever executed, his crime may have had extenuating circumstances. His are, that he may have been innocent.

The jury always has reasonable doubt, if they are reasonable. They are not trained in the profession in which they are temporarily assigned, which becomes psychology, forensics, biology and medicine, chemistry, advanced investigation and law.

They are pretenders. Perhaps out of cognitive dissonance and humankind’s incessant need to claim ownership of the truth, they announce to the court that they have it all figured out and pronounce their victims “guilty as charged, with no legitimate excuse.” As with every other case when people form an opinion based on whatever evidence is available, accepting it as adequate in fear of saying “I cannot know” or “I am not sure,” they don’t know what they are talking about.

And now someone is dead. I hope the jury continues to enjoy that “right” feeling. It would be a shame for Mr. Davis to have died in vain.

About Post Author

John Myste

John Myste is a proud agnostic liberal living in Texas with his loving wife, two loving dogs and a cat. He does not actively seek the truth, and has a firm opinion on nothing. He likes interesting discussions and unique perspectives; and he hopes and believes that if he indulges in these, the truth will follow.
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Bradley Scott
11 years ago

I watched a documentary once about a German couple on vacation on an island in the South Pacific. The husband murdered his wife, was convicted by the local legal authorities, and banished to another island for life, which is that country’s form of capital punishment. This punishment costs that government next to nothing other than court expenses and the gas for the boat-ride over. No prison, no guards, and above all, no executions. Inmates fish, forage, farm. They build huts and live off the land.
In the case of the German fellow, he had re-married and fathered two children. He is content to stay on the island, as returning to Germany would almost inevitably result in his being tried, convicted, and imprisoned for life, and not on a tropical island.
As John said, I don’t have the solution. But this is a solution that works quite well for at least one government, much better than our system is working for all concerned. Given the choice, I’d opt for their justice system over our American justice system in any capital case.

Reply to  Bradley Scott
11 years ago

I can see the counter argument to this being that exile to a rent free island is not a deterrent. Some mountain men would kill just for the side-benefits of punishment.

That said, I agree with the sentiment. Simply not executing anyone right now would be a decent temporary solution. Some states have tried this, and it worked flawlessly.

Barry West
11 years ago

You identify a problem but don’t propose a solution. Do you really think judges are the qualified to try cases? Are all doctors qualified to practice medicine? Not hardly. People are people and they do the best they can. The system may have its problems but for the most part it works and it worked this time except for the death penalty which is barbaric.

lazersedge
Reply to  Barry West
11 years ago

Barry, the problem is that we really don’t know if the system worked or not. Because of the finality of the punishment the state will never acknowledge that it was wrong even if it got it wrong. There is a fundamental problem with the system when prosecutors are no longer in the business to seek justice but to get convictions. There is another fundamental problem when you notice that most judges are former prosecutors. Yet another problem exists when those allegedly handing out justice are political animals first, and justice seekers second.
In the Davis case, as with most others, when it gets past the trial level the justices are now viewing the trial de novo, they reviewing the trial procedurally. In other words, if there were no blatant procedural errors committed by the trial court judge, and if there were no constitutional violations committed, the chances of getting even a new trial are virtually nil. The system has major problems when guilt or innocence may well rely upon the size of your bank account, your politics, your race, or simply on the luck of the draw of the jurors.

Reply to  lazersedge
11 years ago

Additionally, everything Lazer said in his comment, and even better, here. (click the word here. Not sure why links show funny on this site.

If we cannot make the system work due to flaws in the human condition, we can at least stop executing the innocent just to make sure we get the guilty in the crossfire.

Reply to  Barry West
11 years ago

Barry,

I do not claim to have the solution. I am pretty sure if I were a juror, I would not find the defendant guilty of murder beyond a reasonable doubt. Me saying it, doesn’t make it so. It is the jurors who are so willing to declare someone to be guilty without knowing that I indict. The system is bad and I don’t have an excellent solution.

However, to please you, I will propose a partial solution that would certainly help: STOP killing people just because you think they may be guilty of a crime!!!

Amend the constitution to deny a state the right to execute a human being in the name of justice.

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