An Execution in Georgia

The State of Georgia has the death penalty, but uses it fairly rarely.  Of the 1,267 people executed by the United States since the restoration of the death penalty in 1976, only 51 have been from Georgia.

We've got one coming up next week that has gotten a great deal of attention.  One of the problems with protesting an execution is that all of them get protested by certain groups organized for the purpose, which makes it hard to generate interest when there may be genuine doubts about the guilt of the accused.  

Is it important, or telling, when a case is successful in generating broad interest in opposing the court's findings?  The New York Times seems to believe that the reason there is so much interest in this case is primarily the success of the media campaign, and only secondarily the questions the case raises.

The victim of the killing was a Savannah police officer.  His mother believes the verdict is just:
His mother, Anneliese MacPhail, called the widespread rallies "a circus," saying, "It makes me angry. They better learn that he is guilty." 
She believes the case is being used by death penalty opponents to futher their cause  regardless of the facts. 
"It's not being told in an honest way," said MacPhail, 77, of Columbus.
Unlike any of us, Ms. McPhail doubtlessly paid rapt attention to the trial and the presentation of evidence.  On the other hand, as a mother it may be difficult to endorse the idea that the court was wrong, the punishment set aside, and the death of your son unavenged.

If you feel qualified to express an opinion on the subject, you may reach the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles at the address provided here.  The United Church of Christ, like the Pope, is among those urging that the execution be set aside; indeed, UCC believes that the accused should be pardoned outright.

1 comment:

MikeD said...

As pointed out on the local talk radio station, even assuming Davis wasn't the triggerman, his own actions he admitted to in court would be sufficient to earn the death penalty. He admitted:
a) He and his accomplices were on a crime spree at the time of the murder.
b) He did nothing to prevent the murder nor to help the officer after he was shot.
c) He only came forward when he heard that police were seeking him.

So even if we take Davis at his word, he is an accomplice to murder during the commission of a crime, which itself punishable as capital murder.