Wednesday, September 21, 2011
"FOR THOSE ABOUT TO TAKE MY LIFE, GOD HAVE MERCY OF YOUR SOULS" - TROY DAVIS.
Icheoku knows that Georgia would execute Troy Davis irrespective of the many protesters proclaiming his innocence on the streets of Atlanta and not withstanding the several witnesses that later recanted their incriminating testimony that led to his conviction in the first place. The fact of the matter is that the executed convict was tried and convicted for the 1989 murder of off-duty Savannah Georgia police officer Mark MacPhail by a jury of his peers and the state can only apply the sentence as prescribed by law. However it would appear that the beyond reasonable doubt threshold of any criminal conviction was not "met" based on subsequent developments post conviction. But like the saying goes, it is all now history as the convict was put to death by lethal injection today notwithstanding several last minute effort to starve it off.
Throwing on the lawyer's hat for a moment, it appears that Troy's conviction was based on his role as an accomplice and not necessarily as the principal who pulled the trigger that dropped police officer MacPhail. Legally both parties are equally responsible for their conduct in the commission of a crime and in this case the guilty verdict on Troy appears to be in order irrespective of the probability that he may not have been the one that actually pulled the trigger. It suffices that he participated in the crime or process that led to the killing of the victim and failed to do something to stop it. Even Troy himself admitted this much when in his final words, he said "I'm not the one who personally killed your son, your father, your brother. The incident that happened that night is not my fault. I did not have a gun." A careful read of this his statement puts him squarely at the scene of the crime and his saying it was "not my fault" or that he "did not have a gun" does not make him any less responsible for the resulted crime which in the state of Georgia is punishable by death. So legally speaking, there was neither a miscarriage of justice nor the execution of the wrong person as accomplice liability, assuming he was not the trigger man, still made him culpable for the resulting crime of murder.
Icheoku says his protestation of innocence stemmed from a layman's understanding or lack of it of criminal liability as his position of not being the shooter does not in anyway excuse his criminality in this case. So sentiments and emotions aside, Icheoku states that those who in Troy's understanding "took his life" only did their job which was to carry out a valid subsisting sentence handed down by a jury of Troy's peers and legally their hands are washed clean just like Pilate did with Jesus. So instead of Troy saying "For those about to take my life, may God have mercy on your souls;" he should have been humble enough to pray for his own soul to find mercy before God and for closure for the victim's family. Admitted evidence "abound" that he did not personally kill MacPhil, at least his legal obligation to prevent the commission of a crime was not met since a person can be either guilty of commission or omission in criminal matters - he was present and possibly cheered on as whoever it was pumped some hot led into the police officer.
Icheoku asks, but when would all these southern states that like to prove their macho by putting people to death become more urbane to understand that just like their protected fetal lives, lives of criminals are also worthy of protection. That it is not only when it involves a woman's right to choose that live matters but that any live is worthy of protection since they did not create it and therefore not in a good position to be selective as to the lives to save and those to destroy. Just be fair across the board on the issue of live - if you must take, take all and if you must protect, protect all. Today, Texas which parades itself as God's bible belt state have executed more people than all the states in the union combined and now Georgia is racing to join it in that gory blood-letting pedestal. Needless to suggest that the drought ravaging parts of the Lone Star state might be a divine way of telling Texans enough of these blood-shedding.
Icheoku says the best way out of this dilemma of what to do with heinous criminals may be just to lock them up and throw away the keys, instead of the current barbarians-behavior of love for the macabre, watching as we put people down like disused animals. To the family of the victim, Troy's death will not bring back your lost loved one nor would any real closure result therefrom sincerely speaking and at best it is a mere vengeance. To the executed convicts family, take solace that Troy feels no pain anymore thinking about such day as today when he would be strapped down like an animal and forced to breathe no more. There is certainly a fork on the road as to the best way to punish heinous crimes in our society since these death sentences and executions of criminals have not deterred criminals from committing heinous crimes as anticipated. It has so far proved to be rather a useless way of punishing criminals but since society says it has to stay, so it stays until a more effective and less uncivilized manner is devised.