Georgia death-row inmate Troy Davis has lost his final appeal and will face the death sentence on Wednesday, human rights groups said Tuesday morning.
Davis was convicted of murdering Georgia police officer Mark MacPhail in 1989. Since his conviction, seven of the nine people who testified against him have recanted or changed their testimonies.
The office of the Republican Governor of the State of Georgia, Nathan Deal, claimed on Friday that the Governor’s office had no authority over stays of execution. Calls were sent to the parole board’s automated phone system with no apparent way to leave a message, let alone speak to a human.
I don’t know why the telephone runaround was a surprise. The default policy among Republican circles is death before life, unless of course, you are wealthy, white or a fetus.
The last two Republican debates have been especially gruesome. A couple of weeks ago, the crowd cheered the fact that Rick Perry had put 234 inmates to death, the most of any governor in history. Perry was unfazed when asked if he ever struggles with the fact that he might be putting innocent people to death.
“I’ve never struggled with that at all. The state of Texas has a very thoughtful, a very clear process in place,” Perry said. “When someone commits the most heinous of crimes against our citizens, they get a fair hearing, they go through an appellate process, they go up to the Supreme Court of the United States if that’s required.”
“In the state of Texas, if you come into our state and you kill one of our children, you kill a police officer, you’re involved with another crime and you kill one of our citizens, you will face the ultimate justice in the state of Texas, and that is you will be executed.”
In the next week’s debate, people cheered the idea that a 30 year old man would die without having health insurance.
Bloodlust is nothing new to human nature. It’s instinctive to most carnivores and omnivores. Equally instinctive is human socialization. The survival of our species is not based on individuality. It is based on our tribes literally having our backs.
Even dogs are known for bloodlust. However, it’s extremely rare, although, admittedly, not unheard of, for a dog to turn on its own pack. In fact, it’s rare for a dog to kill another dog. Like humans, dogs are social animals. They instinctively understand their part in the survival of their species. However, like humans, they are prone to pack mentality. When some members of the pack begin to turn violent, there’s a good chance that the others will follow.
Humans, however, claim to put morality over instinct. Whether religious or not, most humans profess to adhering to a moral code. Morality is arguably instinctive. Where would humans be if we killed our children or our neighbors? Where would we be if we let them starve or go homeless? Where would we be if we let contagious diseases go unchecked? Where would be if we let contaminated food or water or poisonous toys enter our children’s mouths? Where would we be if we sent all our young people to die in unjust wars? We would cease to be a society…a species. Yet, those that call themselves Christian and especially Protestant, fight and vote for those very “rights.”
More than 2/3 of Republicans identify as Protestant. Nearly a quarter identify Catholic, which means that less than 10% of Republicans don’t identify as Christian. You would think that people who call Jesus their savior would live up to the pro-life name they have given themselves. After all, Jesus loved the living. He healed the sick. He despised the money changers. He fed the poor. On abortion, the one issue that the “Christian” right uses to define themselves as pro-life, Jesus was silent.
So why are “Christian” Republicans the Party of Death? As neither a Christian or a Republican, I can only guess, but I do have theories.
Conservative “Christians” don’t believe in evolution – As long as there isn’t a belief that humankind will advance as a species, we might as well give in to our baser instincts. After all, it’s how God made us.
Conservative “Christians” believe that humans have only been around for a few thousand years. – It’s pretty easy to ignore the fact that prehistoric man needed their fellow man to survive, when you don’t believe in prehistoric man.
Conservative “Protestants” believe that their belief in God is the only criteria for getting into heaven. – For many (but certainly not all) “Christians”, their behavior on earth is irrelevant, as long as they believe. They might as well live for the moment, steal from those less fortunate and let others suffer because in their minds, they’re covered. An innocent life lost is just another moment to cheer.