The State of Georgia last night executed Troy Davis for the murder of off duty Police officer, Mark McPhail, in 1989. It gained international publicity due to the fact that seven of nine original witnesses have retracted or changed their testimony and even naming someone else as the real murderer and there was no physical evidence linking him to the scene. The family of the victim have always maintained that Davis was guilty and that his death brings them a sense of justice being done. Davis’s sentence had been postponed four previous times and was delayed for four hours for the Supreme Court to rule over the matter.
Also, Davis’s defence team pointed to the fact that as a white police officer was murdered the police rushed the process to ensure that someone, seemingly anyone, was convicted of the killing. They claim that the killing was racially motivated.
Meanwhile in Texas another man, Lawrence Russell Brewer, was also executed. Brewer was convicted of the brutal and racially motivated murder of James Byrd whom was beaten and dragged from the back of Brewer and his accomplices’ truck until he was decapitated. There is no question of Brewers guilt and even the night before he was due to die he expressed no remorse. Saying “As far as any regrets, no, I have no regrets…I’d do it all over again, to tell you the truth.” (http://www.rte.ie/news/2011/0922/davist.html)
It is easy to feel sympathy for the death of Troy Davis who died when all the available information should have at the least granted him a re-trail. It is also easy to sympathise and to empathise with the family of Mark McPhail who lost their loved one over twenty years ago. It is easy to feel sorry for James Byrd and to feel a sense of revulsion at the trauma he endured just for being black and in the wrong place. It is much, much harder to say that a man such as Brewer did not deserve his fate.
But can it really be justified? His death will not bring his victim back. He is just another body in the prison morgue in a country that executes a high number of people every year. What purpose does his death serve? Will it put money in the James Byrd foundation (set up to promote peace between the ethnic groups in the Southern States)? Does his death make him a Neo-Nazi martyr?
To oppose the death penalty as morally wrong is to oppose the death of evil men such as Brewer. It is not the States right to take a life such as his. I couldn’t find any information on Byrd’s family’s reaction but if I find any I will add it in.
Political bloggers in the UK are trying to get the Death Penalty reinstated in the UK for child killers and for “cop killers”. This, again, is wrong. The death of the guilty party only serves the need for revenge. It does not act as a deterrent nor does it save money (especially in the US where appeals and other such legal processes can take decades).
To oppose the death penalty means men such as Brewer are locked up and not killed. If this is price for no more innocent men being legally murdered then it is a price worth paying.
The site has been inactive for a while now and that is down to nothing more than my sheer laziness and being particularly busy. Planning a wedding and all. So, apologies for this. More content – hopefully focused on Literature and current events will come soon. Plus other things.
It is Arthur’s Day in Ireland. A day to celebrate the creator of Guinness (beautiful, beautiful Guinness) and a gimmick to get people in to the pubs to buy beer and drink Guinness. They are concerts and other such Youth minded events with proceeds going to the Arthur Guinness Foundation. But, charity aside, it is a gimmick created in 2009 to try and get people to buy beer. It is all a bit pointless as the following day isn’t a Bank Holiday. It should be. So, come on Enda make it one!