Troy Anthony Davis and the inhumanity of the death penalty [Most commented]
As the clock ticks down to Troy Anthony Davis' scheduled Wednesday evening execution in Georgia, readers have been commenting on the board's editorial about the case:
We have no idea whether or not Davis is innocent; he is the only person who knows for sure whether he gunned down 27-year-old police officer and former Army Ranger Mark MacPhail in a Burger King parking lot in Savannah in 1989. But there have been so many doubts raised since his conviction that it's impossible to state with any certainty that he's guilty, either. This is why his sentence should have been commuted to life without parole, and it's why the death penalty should be abolished. Once the ultimate sanction has been enforced, it's impossible to take it back when further evidence of innocence emerges.
Response on our discussion board overwhelmingly agrees, which is a rare occasion indeed.
A better sentence
For once I can agree with the LA Times editorial board. Let's get rid of the death penalty -- life without parole combined with some sort of labor to help pay for that sentence would be appropriate.
The death penalty is barbaric
The death penalty is barbaric and unevenly applied. The LA Times is absolutely correct to urge that the practice of killing people be stopped as it has been done away with in many states and many many nations. I think there will never be another execution in California for example, thank God.
The risk of killing an innocent man is too great
Maybe he's guilty and maybe he's not, but if we put to death people convicted based only on eyewitness testimony with no corroborating evidence, sooner or later we're going to put an innocent person to death. The state of New Jersey recently recognized what criminologists have long known: eyewitness testimony is not nearly as reliable as most people assume.
Portrait of American fear
Unfortunately in American, the public would rather has a 100 innocent people executed than one guilty person receive a life sentence.
The rule of law in the United States has broken down. No one from Wall Street really has gone to jail for fraud and many were guilty of it as they knew they were peddling junk mortgages and making junk securities out of them that they extorted the ratings agencies into rating AAA.
There's only justice in America for those who can afford justice. For anyone else, my advice is to stay as far away from our justice system as possible or you're screwed.
We've become the new Rome with the same symptoms of decline; hiring mercenaries, starting wars for resources, denying the legitimacy of elected officials if they're from the opposition party, thinking we don't have to pay for government, the outright buying of politicians, the sense of entitlement that hangs over much of white society, the record level of greed and the list goes on. All are symptoms of America's decline that began with the Bush tax cuts and then the Iraq war and it's just gotten worse sense then.
Troy Davis makes us look at it all in the face and most cannot, they turn away. Too self-absorbed to think about the possibility that the state may be executing an innocent man so they rationalize it or ignore it. The hypocrisy of the silence from the "sanctity of life" folks is loud and clear...
Release this man
I do support the death penalty....but only if the evidence is unassailable. This is not the case here. Stay the execution and release this man. It has been said "better for the guilty to go free than the innocent die."
*Spelling errors in the above comments have been corrected.
Photo: Hundreds of people protested the scheduled execution of Troy Anthony Davis at the Georgia state Capitol in Atlanta on Sept. 20. Credit: Curtis Compton / Atlanta Journal-Constitution