In case you didn't hear, there were two executions in the U.S. last night. The execution that got the most press was Troy Davis, in Georgia. He maintained his innocence even on his deathbed:
"It's not my fault; I did not have a gun," he said while strapped to a gurney, according to witness Rhonda Cook of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "I did not personally kill your son, father, brother," he said, Cook reported.
Read the entire MSNBC.com article here.
And, listen, let me clear this up right now: I'm not anti-execution; I'm anti-executing-the-wrong-person.
Was Davis guilty? I don't know.
Does he have the right to have his guilt proven beyond a reasonable doubt? I thought so. Apparently, though, once you're snagged by the system, however faulty, good fucking luck getting free, or even getting heard.
Last night, Davis was supposed to be killed at 7 p.m., but wasn't until after 11 p.m., following the U.S. Supreme Court's unanimous decision to not to stay his execution. Oh, and, by the way, this was Davis' fourth time on the gurney.
As the world waited, many of its citizens begging the system to listen to the inmate and give him a chance to prove his innocence, I couldn't help but wonder what was going through his mind during that time. I couldn't help but think that such behavior — on the system's part — amounted to cruel and unusual punishment, which I thought was unconstitutional according to the Eight Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Of course, Davis isn't the only imprisoned person screaming innocence. Take Darryl Hunt, for example. He spent 19 and a half years in prison, serving a life sentence for rape and murder in North Carolina, only to be exonerated. (There are many more stories like theirs here: The Darryl Hunt Project)
This is why so many people are against the death penalty: The system is flawed, and innocent people are sometimes imprisoned and even killed, effectively murdered by their government. That we know for sure.
While the government can release a confined man, and even offer him some sort of settlement — as if any settlement could ever give him that lost time back — death is forever. There are no take backs with execution.
And now Troy Davis is dead, screaming innocence until his last breath.
Way to be, America — capital of moral dogma.