Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Georgia On My Mind

I wrote a letter. I signed petitions. I voiced my opinion wherever I could. I prayed. And I was not alone.

The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles did not hear. Did not listen. Did not want to listen. Could not accept even the simplest argument against putting Troy Davis to death: it is hypocritical. Hypocritical for a "Christian" nation to stand by the Biblical and moral admonition against the taking of another person's life, and yet have no trouble with allowing the State the power to do what we ourselves have stated we will not, as if the creation of the State imbues it with some form of shield against moral ambiguity, or worse, proclaims it to have some authority capable of overriding even the highest admonition in human society. Apparently, when handed to the State, a soul no longer has any meaning to anyone.

There is nothing of justice in this decision, only the need to quench a thirst for vengeance. One hesitates to pin ulterior motives on those who are left with the weighty responsibility of determining who shall live and who shall die, but even an iota of doubt should be sufficient for anyone to see it reasonable to choose life over death, for the system must always err to the side of conservation and justice. To beat a hasty path to the executioner's chamber in the face of reasonable doubts is the mark of those who would see their power unchallenged and their prejudices confirmed.

One would hope the merest hint of this execution would stick in the craw of a decent person, but if it were to do so only after the fact of a man's death, this would not say much for those who claim aegis over clemency or those who claim to revere life. Execution is a tool of emotion, a hearkening back to the Middle Ages, to the triumph of fear and prejudice over reason and humanity. It is a tool that is best relegated to the shed, abandoned like so many other ancestral barbarisms: stoning, crucifixion, inquisition, etc. A modern society such as ours should not hold on to the egregious behaviors of our past.

One can only hope that there is yet a bolt from the blue, that some reasonable, sensible member of the State moves to terminate this reprehensible act before its culmination. If not, the death of Troy Davis will be another stain upon our American society, heaped upon the many others we have yet to fully wipe away.

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