no third solution

Blogging about liberty, anarchy, economics and politics

Who Killed Troy Davis?

September 22nd, 2011

I don’t know why I was holding out for some last-minute miracle, but I was…

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has previously said: “People who are well represented at trial do not get the death penalty.” Well there you have it. If you don’t want to be sentenced to death, stop being poor and black.

Davis at trial, c. 1991

Although we may never know with certainty whether Davis was responsible for the 1989 murder for which he was executed, there are many people who are responsible, for ending Davis’ life at 11:08pm on September 21, 2011. This list starts with every prosecutor who was more concerned with getting a “win” in court than serving justice, depending on whether you believe the coercion angle it may also include the police, and every judge or magistrate presiding over the case/appeals, as well as the parole board, which consists of:

Gale Buckner, a former Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent . . . . Robert Keller, the ex-chair of a Georgia prosecutors group . . . James Donald, the former head of the Georgia Department of Corrections, Albert Murray, who led the state’s juvenile justice program, and Terry Barnard, a former Republican state lawmaker…

As well as the nominally private firms to whom the State of Georgia outsourced the execution, the executioner (or whatever they call that macabre profession these days) in their employ, the Supreme Court of the United States, and last but certainly not least, my man the President, Barack Obama who could have prevented it, but didn’t think it would be “appropriate”.

Jay Carney, White House press secretary, issued a statement at about 10 minutes before the scheduled execution, saying “it is not appropriate for the President of the United States to weigh in on specific cases like this one, which is a state prosecution.”

Rationalization, the hallmark of a sociopath. In other words, “I don’t have to make the difficult or unpopular decision to do what’s right, because of some arbitrary rule.” In other words, “I am just doing my job.” But I guess this is not particularly alarming, as Barry has the distinction of “most murders among all Nobel Peace Prize recipients”.

POTUS was just doing his job. SCOTUS were just doing their job. The appeals courts, the parole board, the prosecutors — just doing their jobs. Whoever pressed the button or pulled the trigger or depressed the plunger or however it is that they deliver the lethal chemical injection: just doing his job.

These men were also “just doing their jobs”.

The defendants at Nuremburg trials await verdict


Some tangentially related thoughts:

The death penalty is a form of “justice” that has been all-but-abandoned by every other first- and second-world country. Yet this barbaric practice is one that the United States shares with such esteemed nations as North Korea, China, Somalia, and Iran. Look on the map. Practically every country you would want to live in does not use capital punishment for any crime.  Then look at the countries colored red…

One of these things is not like the other...

Albert Camus: “But what then is capital punishment but the most premeditated of murders, to which no criminal’s deed, however calculated it may be, can be compared? For there to be equivalence, the death penalty would have to punish a criminal who had warned his victim of the date at which he would inflict a horrible death on him and who, from that moment onward, had confined him at his mercy for months. Such a monster is not encountered in private life.”

Osama’s Death: Symbolism & Significance

May 2nd, 2011

Let me preface this by saying that I am not crying over bin Laden’s death (if it’s true this time). However, aside from quenching your thirst for retribution, in the grand scheme of things there is almost zero significance. Hell, for the better part of the past decade nobody even knew if he was still alive.

Symbolism? Yes. His death is symbolic in that it stirs up the sort of religious fervor, flag-waving, circle jerking blind nationalism that despots and tyrants have always used to their advantage. And for those who were personally affected by his actions, I suppose that symbolically they can feel that “justice” has been done.

undated photo of Osama bin Laden, via Agence France Press

But significant? No.

You are not going to be any safer. Al-Qaeda presents basically the same threat level that they presented yesterday, last week, or last year which is to say: virtually none. The “organization” has been essentially impotent since 9/11. Killing bin Laden neither strengthened nor weakened the organization.

Al-Qaeda is not going to disappear. The loose, networked organization known as Al-Qaeda is still out there. And although fear-mongers are already suggesting this event might incite some retaliatory action, I do not believe Al-Qaeda poses a significant threat.

America will not become more free.  The Empire will not shut down military bases in over 100 countries, withdraw troops from far-away lands, lower your taxes, repeal the PATRIOT Act, change its belligerent foreign policy, cease funding death squads and overthrowing popularly-elected officials in third world countries so that giant corporations have easier and cheaper access to their abundant natural resources, etc.

So… Let’s all hail the savior Obama, who has succeeded in banishing the great Devil, Osama bin Laden! And then, go pour another cup of the “America! Fuck Yeah!” Kool-Aid and get good and drunk on that stuff. You’re gonna need it to deal with the fact that, on this great day in American history, nothing at all has changed.

Back to your regularly scheduled distractions: Royal Weddings, singing contests on TV, sporting events, and iPads.



no third solution

Blogging about liberty, anarchy, economics and politics