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abolish the [expletive] death penalty

I am so gutted over Troy Davis I hardly know what to say. I only heard of his case late, and I have absolutely no personal connection to it, but it so perfectly encapsulates the medieval, racist, morally stunted blood circus that is the death penalty in the US. No, I don't think my country is better than this. No, I don't think we've betrayed our ideals. I think my country has been pulling this bullshit for going on a goddamned third century and I am not okay with that. I have always loathed the death penalty, but if it's possible to loathe it more, well, there you go.

The best thing that could come of this is a country-wide consciousness raising, where perhaps people finally meaningfully ask what moral logic allows them to murder another human being for anything less than immediate self-defense. Revenge is not a reason. Deterrence is laughable. It is a racist institution, a modern-day form of lynching that allows the ones who advocate it to feel morally superior even while indulging in the most immoral of actions.

This article is particularly relevant, discussing the racial aspects of how the death penalty is carried out in the United States (it's a decade old, but still damming).

This bit struck me as so bleakly relevant (Troy Davis was sentenced in '91; his Georgian prosecutor expressed embarrassment that the execution had taken so long):

University of Iowa law professor David Baldus found that during the 1980s prosecutors in Georgia sought the death penalty for 70 % of black defendants with white victims, but for only 15% of white defendants with black victims.

Prosecutors have unfettered discretion in deciding which cases become capital cases, seeking the death penalty in approximately 1 percent of all capital eligible cases. Notably among the 38 states that allow the death penalty, approximately 98% of the prosecutors are white.

But it's all about justice, right? It's just about the case, isn't it? Race and class have nothing to do with it, huh?

I want to curse a lot more than I have, but let me just say this once more, with profanity: abolish the fucking death penalty.

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