September 22, 2011

Despite a near-worldwide call for a stay amid a legal case with an “enormous cloud of doubt,” Troy Davis was executed last night in Georgia, once again showing how the US will kill — Texas also put a guy to death at near the same time.

In a country which supposedly puts a great value on a human life, the US kills with an official near-glee — a lot of political hacks call the procedure a kind of  justice.
GOPers love it.
And apparently so do rank-and-file US peoples — 44 years ago only 40 percent of people supported the death penalty, but in recent poll on the subject (October 2010), that number’s up to 64 percent.

(Illustration found here).

Although most of the free world (some 139 countries) have done away with the death sentence, 34 US states still perform the ritual, and since 1976, 1,267 people have been put to death in the US — three already in Georgia this year prior to last night, and Davis was the 35th nationwide this year.
Not only is state-sanctioned murder ineffective as a crime tool, but also expensive: The DPIC (Death Penalty Information Center ) reports that, in Texas, “a death penalty case costs an average of $2.3 million, about three times the cost of imprisoning someone in a single cell at the highest security level for 40 years.”
Don’t seem to defer them, though — China executed the most with estimates  into the thousands,  followed by Iran with 380, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, then the US.
Good company there, huh?

There is a sliver of light in the killing.
In another 2010 poll, this one conducted by Lake Research Partners revealed growing support for alternatives to the death penalty compared with previous polls. A clear majority of voters (61 percent) would choose a punishment other than the death penalty for murder, including life with no possibility of parole and with restitution to the victim’s family (39 percent), life with no possibility of parole (13 percent), or life with the possibility of parole (9 percent).
To kill, or not to kill.

On the right side of the noodle wagon, however, the death penalty is a rightful death.
Despite passionate pleas from people from the likes of South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Jimmy Carter, even the pope, along with Amnesty International calling the Davis execution a “catastrophic failure of the justice system,” the kill-emotion displayed in the recent Republican debates is still alive and kicking.
From Think Progress:

But Fox News didn’t seem too concerned.
Throughout the day (Wednesday), the network has overwhelmingly presented the prosecutions’ view, giving little airtime to the other side.
Fox and Friends host Gretchen Carlson said Davis “murdered a police officer 22 years ago” and will soon “pay the ultimate price,” while host Bill Hemmer called Davis a “cop killer.”
The network then interviewed the daughter of the victim, who is convinced of Davis’ guilt.
The first time Fox interviewed anybody with an alternative view, it was a “short segment” debate in which host Megyn Kelly repeatedly interrupted Amnesty International’s Laura Moye, and echoed former prosecutor Jeffrey Steinberger’s argument to such a degree that he said, “that’s exactly what I said!”

And from one of the most nasty-faced and foul-mouthed right-wingers around, Ann Coulter, also put in her hardcore feelings on the subject:

For decades, liberals tried persuading Americans to abolish the death penalty, using their usual argument: hysterical sobbing.
Only when the media began lying about innocent people being executed did support for the death penalty begin to waver, falling from 80 percent to about 60 percent in a little more than a decade. (Silver lining: That’s still more Americans than believe in man-made global warming.) […]
Davis is the media’s current baby seal of death row.

Cute as only ugly can be.

Remove that bloody GOP logic, executions don’t work.
The death penalty doesn’t defer people from killing each other: Criminologists who belong to the American Society of Criminology, the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, and the Law and Society Association were polled. Over 80 percent believe that our current knowledge does not indicate a deterrent effect. 75 percent felt that increasing the numbers of executions or decreasing time spent on death row would not result in a deterrence.

Another reason the US is slowly/quickly going down the toilet.

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