Random Thoughts Regarding the Murder of Troy Davis:
1. In Slate, Dahlia Lithwick asks, "Will the Troy Davis case be the one that finally turns America against the death penalty?" and she concludes with the "faint hope" that it might. Here's the actual answer: oh, fuck no. See, we are a bloodthirsty nation that actually prides itself in being bloodthirsty. America exists now in a perpetual state of arrested development, stuck in a savage teenagehood: narcissistic, emotional, easily roused to uncontrollable bursts of violence, and filled with hate towards anyone who thinks differently. Just as we can be at war (do you remember that? We're at war still. Surprising, no?) with few visible consequences to the vast majority of Americans, we just don't give a fuck if a couple of innocent dudes are offed, as long as it's not our innocent family members and as long as we can keep offing the presumptively guilty ones, and don't even bother with trying to say that offing people is fucked up. That's the talk of pussies and losers. We're in the savage end days of empire, motherfuckers. Compassion is what gets you beaten down for the pennies in your pockets.
2. Let us not discuss the morality of the death penalty for a moment here. Let us talk about Troy Davis, executed last night despite witnesses recanting their testimony (which was the primary evidence against him), without asserting his innocence. Let us merely discuss doubt. Let us assume that it is primarily conservatives who support capital punishment. Let us narrow it even further and say that if you don't believe in climate change or evolution, you are probably someone who believes that government has a right to execute a convicted murderer. Now, let us address that presumptive person (who we might name "Rick Perry," but let's not get that specific).
Despite the fact that nearly every scientist on earth sees evolution as a fact and despite the fact that nearly every scientist on earth believes that climate change is occurring, you cling to the tiniest shards of doubt, believing that disproved studies are actually the pins that puncture what you think is the easily popped balloon of big science. Yet chances are that you don't give a goddamn about the multiple, actual doubts that exist in a case like Troy Davis's. No, you are content to allow a man to die because where you see strength in your doubt when it comes to some things, you see doubt as weakness and ill-resolve here.
And, you know, you're kind of a dick, too. Probably racist. That helps.
3. So, yeah, we're not getting rid of the death penalty. We're a killy nation. We like it. We get off on it, jacking it to the countdown of doom clocks, fingering ourselves as we hear the executions announced. Oh, shit, why can't they be televised so it can become our motherfuckin' porn? It's better than Asian paraplegic nipple torture and ball stomping.
Not to attempt to civilize something that is, by its nature, completely uncivilized, but we live in a scientifically advanced time. If we're going to do this totally devolved, barbaric act, could we at least have a rule or two? Like howzabout no one can be offed unless there's proof on video? Or that DNA tests have been done to redundancy? And that there's a confession? And that the trial wasn't tainted by racism or incompetent lawyers? Can we at least smack down our snuff hard-ons long enough to only do it if we are so abso-fucking-lutely sure that the only arguments left are that capital punishment is the violent vestige of a cruel earlier time we are too arrogant to leave behind and accomplishes nothing and costs a shitload? Can we at least, at the very least, only kill people in our name if it's such a slamdunk that even the person being murdered by the state could say, "Well, fuck me, at least you dotted all the i's"?
4. By the way, if you oppose the death penalty, that means you opposed the execution of Lawrence Russell Brewer, who dragged James Byrd to death in a 1998 hate crime. Yeah, it's hard to actually have beliefs that aren't convenient to the moment. The Rude Pundit is completely opposed to capital punishment. That makes him more Christian than any slavering yahoo calling on an eye for an eye. And he's an atheist.
5. Officer Mark MacPhail's mother believes that Davis's execution was justice for her son's murder. She had no doubt, despite there being no DNA or video evidence. In Mississippi, the family of James Anderson, a black man who was randomly beaten by white teenagers and then run over by a truck belonging to one of them in June, opposes the death penalty for Anderson's murderers, despite the crime being filmed by a surveillance camera.
Make of it all what you will.
6. This is who we are right now, America: the country that doesn't care about guilt or innocence. We fight wars based on lies, we imprison people without charges, we torture and murder the innocent. How's it feel to be that country?