Should the Government Have Power Over Life and Death?
That very question has been at the center of an ongoing political, spiritual and moral debate. Luckily our forefathers had enough sense to have left it to be answered by the individual states. But was that the best solution? Increasingly more and more people around the country and world seem to not think it was.
Last Wednesdays execution of Troy Davis, a Georgia man convicted of killing an off duty cop in 1989, stirred up such a passion that we haven’t seen in Americans since the 60’s. Folks rallied outside the prison, and the Supreme Court, begging that Davis be granted clemency for a crime thousands believe he did not commit. A crime that produced no murder weapon, and possessed no physical evidence to link him to the shooting.
At 7:00pm 9/21/2011, Troy Davis was scheduled to be killed via lethal injection by the state of Georgia. Troy Davis was declared dead at 11:08pm, not because the prison was lolly-gagging, but because the Supreme Court was meeting to rule on a last minute request for clemency. Though it was denied, it makes one wonder the true power there is in numbers.
Would there have been a last minute ruling if thousands hadn’t petitioned and prayed? Would it have been if the media had not made it frenzy and questioned the governments’ ethics? Most likely, it would have not.
A week later, the blogs have moved on to the next debate, the protesters have gone back to work, and the families of both Troy Davis and the officer killed are left to mourn. What’s next? The issue over if the death penalty is constitutional is still a pressing matter. Is it fair that two criminals who can commit the same heinous crime, have one spend their life in jail and the other be executed, solely because of where they committed the crime?
These are all questions that eventually someone with authority is going to have to answer. Most want the federal government to abolish the death penalty, yet it seems the Supreme Court would rather not get their fingers dirty. Either way its food for thought.