Two men died today. One was black. One was white. One was in Texas. The other in Georgia. The one was convicted of a crime that most likely he did not commit. There is no doubt at all about the guilt of the other man. Despite all of their differences, these two men share one sad commonality. They were both murdered by the state.
There is a great outpouring of grief over the wrongful execution of Troy Davis. And rightly so. This entire situation is disgusting beyond measure.
The problem is that so long as we allow the state to hold the power to execute even so much as one single person we leave ourselves open to a never ending moral quagmire.
I understand how hard of a challenge this is. Unless you are superhuman, you are always going to hit serious challenges to your belief that the death penalty is wrong in every case. It is a very human thing to wish for exceptions. Just this once. Just this once, we say to ourselves, it's okay to cheer the state murdering another human being. Just this once, the person who was executed really and truly deserved it. Just. This. Once.
You know what? I'm not going to sit here and make an argument against executing someone like Lawrence Russell Brewer based on anything to do with him. I personally don't subscribe to the notion that we are all special little snowflakes. Some of us are simply pieces of shit wearing a human suit. And I won't argue from the notion of what his execution might do to his family. Because frankly I think that's just a weak argument.
Instead I'm going to simply ask anyone who might be for the death penalty in any conceivable situation to ask themselves one deceptively simple question. "What kind of society do I want to live in?"
Do you want to live in a society where people, prideful, imperfect, deceivable people reserve unto themselves the right to kill other people?
Because I guarantee you that so long as we think that people en masse under the guise of The State have the right to kill they are going to find ways to exercise that power. Now it would be a comforting fantasy to believe that they tend to more often than not be executing the Lawrence Brewers. But the facts don't bear that fantasy out.
The simple truth is that so long as we continue to permit the death penalty to exist anywhere in this country using Lawrence Brewer as our excuse we are going to continue to end up executing a lot of Troy Davis's.
I know it's not fair, and it's not right. But it is what it is.
It's time that we stand up and say No More Killing! No ifs. No ands. No buts. No Lawrence Russell Brewers. No Troy Davis's.
Keep The Faith My Brothers And Sisters!