Wednesday night, the US Supreme Court heard and denied an appeal for stay of execution of Troy Davis, a man convicted of killing a police officer, despite substantial evidence that he was innocent of the crime:
The Georgia Bureau of Investigations has conceded that the ballistics evidence used against Davis was unreliable, and one of the Jurors who sat on the case said that if she had known about that she would not have voted to give Davis the death penalty. Seven of the nine witnesses who identified him as the shooter have recanted their testimony. One of the two witnesses who maintain that Davis was the shooter is thought by many to be the real perpetrator and has made admissions to others that he committed the crime. The other remaining eyewitness had been up for twenty-four hours straight at the time he observed the shooting and reported on the night of the crime that he “wouldn’t recognize [the shooter] again.” Yet two years later, this witness identified Troy Davis in an in-court identification that required him to simply identify the only African-American sitting at the defense table.
And yet all the outrage in the world would not stay the State’s hand in killing this man, because the Criminal Justice System is supposed to work this way.
How does one prevent future injustice of this magnitude? For one thing, stop killing criminals as a matter of course. There were other executions on September 22nd, 2011. These executions were carried out against criminals who almost definitely committed the crimes of which they were accused. None of these executions raised the hue and cry from the populace of the United States, nor of the rest of the world… well, with a few exceptions.
I’d like to hear from the Libertarians like Daniel Maldonado, the ones who think that those of us that believe the government actually has some role in this world actually think the government can do no wrong. I’d like to hear whether they oppose or support the death penalty in general, knowing as I know that government is made up of fallible humans, and that government is therefore capable of making mistakes. And some of these mistakes, where lives are contingent on them, should be either made with the best evidence available, or not made at all.
Where government providing a path to health care for all is socialism (or “rationing” or “death panels”), why is government directly deciding who lives and who dies acceptable?