Troy-Davis-vs-Samuel-Crowe

This is one, of many, reasons I am against the death penalty.

I would love for someone to explain to me why the man on the left was executed while the man on the right had his sentenced changed to life in prison. There was all manner of reason for doubt about Troy Davis’ guilt and little to no doubt on Samuel Crowe’s, yet the black man was put to death and the white man will be living out his years behind bars. This makes no sense.

If I’m to be completely honest, I’d have little problem with the State of Georgia, or any other state, putting Samuel Crowe to death given both the nature of his crime and the fairly solid evidence that he’s guilty of it. It’s clear, however, that we cannot trust the government to apply capital punishment in a non-biased and logical fashion based on solid evidence. Capital punishment is disproportionately applied to minorities with blacks in particular being executed at a rate several times higher than whites for similar crimes. This is the ultimate punishment requiring the ultimate in both fairness and certainty before being applied to anyone. If that isn’t possible then it shouldn’t be used at all. There are other reasons not to use it as well, but this is definitely a big one.

15 comments

  1. Isn’t it a bit ironic that many of those in the “libertarian” and “government is evil” crowd seem to have little problem with the death penalty? Granting government the right to kill is the greatest act of “big government” that you can name.

    White guy in the White House: he should have nearly unlimited power. Black guy in the White House: he shouldn’t be allowed to do anything. White guy on death row: clemency. Black guy on death row: cheering and applause.

    Lets be honest, from the era of slavery and segregation to the present, “small federal government” usually means “right for states to screw with black people.” That doesn’t mean that there are no true libertarians, but the reason why libertarianism has so much support here and now is rather obvious.

  2. Hi Les, long time watcher first time caller.

    I think that the real kicker in this case is the fact that the supreme court refused clemency. I really want full disclosure on that decision but, as of yet, haven’t found anything like that.

    On the bright side though there is precedent for getting away with murder now that can be used by any white dude in Georgia.

  3. No, no, no, Les. The crime was NOT murder. The crime was being black. Obviously the lad on the left was guilty of being black. I lived in Miami, FL, for a year in 1949 – 1950, and found this sentiment very much alive and well. Pity.

    Peace.

  4. Agree with Les totally. Morally I have little problem with some shitbags being executed. There ARE things that people do that deserve that. But in practice, we haven’t seen a government/justice system get even close to get to an acceptable level of fairness in handing such calls down. As for the preventive effects: close to zero apparently, and the costs to the justice system: Abysmal figures of cash spent on lawyers for and against.

    The only reason democratic states still have the death penalty is that hateful little thing called REVENGE. Some people feel they have to have revenge on somebody they never met who did (may have done) something bad to someone else they never met.

    PS: How does the captcha thing WORK if it is just a simple addition? Displayed apparently “in clear”? Can’t spambots do simple math anymore?

  5. Ingolfson wrote:

    PS: How does the captcha thing WORK if it is just a simple addition? Displayed apparently “in clear”? Can’t spambots do simple math anymore?

    Apparently not. The only spam I see in the queue these days is from people who specifically typed it in so it would actually be on topic with the entry.

    Of course, if you have a registered account you won’t see the captcha or the name, email, and URL form elements.

  6. There are several differences between the two men. One, TD was convicted of killing a cop. Two, he refuses to plead guilty or confess despite the fact that seven witnesses testified they saw him do it. Three, there is no question he was voluntarily spending the evening with another person who took part in violence that evening. Four, there were no witnesses to SC’s crime.

    Eyewitness testimony is still regarded as a standard, probably because it is commended in the bible. Killing a cop in most states means you will have less presumption of innocence (however illogical that might be). Refusal to confess is a factor in not granting commutation of the sentence (again, not logical but still true). And while forensic evidence (or lack of it) is logically more compelling, it requires belief in science. So it isn’t just because he’s black. There are several other stupid reasons as well.

    Davis was almost certainly a thug, however, based on his association with Redd Coles. He may have shot the cop. Since there was reasonable doubt he was the shooter, it makes sense to withhold the death penalty in this case.

    Now on to all other death penalty cases. If you tied an innocent person down, told him you were about to kill him, then injected him with a drug to paralyze him, then another drug that would make him experience a heart attack while unable to move on account of the first drug, you would be widely regarded as a monster. Your crime would be notorious! Yet Rick Perry was cheered for precisely that recently. There is no question we have executed innocent people. Since miscarriages of justice are practically inevitable, all our punishments should be, in some measure, reversible.

  7. It’s really sad how America still utilizes the Death Penalty while most other civilized countries abolished it. Heck, one of the few countries along with America that also uses the Death Penalty is *Ironically* China.

  8. Abysmal figures of cash spent on lawyers for and against.

    Guess who makes the laws that require such actions? Perhaps a few of our legislators may be or have been lawyers? Just a few, mind you! Of course, that couldn’t be the reason for such laws being on the books, could it? Could it? WHAT??? It could! No, don’t tell me. Wait, am I protesting too much?

    ;-) :cry:

    Then there are the drug “laws” that make more lawyers rich, and their cohorts, the dealers. Oh, wait, that implies a conspiracy. Scratch that.

    ;-) :cry:

    Peace.

  9. In my opinion it was not that he was black, but because he plead not guilty and gave no confession. In many cases leniency is given to those who admit to their crimes. If I happen to be mistaken I am sorry.

    But the way I think about it is this, if a two men are convicted of the same crime, and one pleads guilty and gives a confession, while the other pleads not guilty and gives no confession but is found guilty then the one who wasted the courts time by lying, the man who pleaded not guilty, then he would be judged harsher than the man who plead guilty and was willing to accept punishment as given out by his peers.

    Yes I am sure that race did have some determining factor in it. Especially in a state such as Georgia. Prejudices die hard and Georgie has plenty.

    So I would first look at other cases where a white and black man gave the same pleas and received different punishments before making such an accusation.

  10. “So I would first look at other cases where a white and black man gave the same pleas and received different punishments before making such an accusation.”

    Hmm.. so you mean… Like every case EVER?

    It is rampant, documented, and beyond dispute that minorities get worse sentences.

  11. Of course I do not mean every case ever. For over 100 years in the United States black men, women, and children were discriminated against. Before that they were kept as slaves! To look at every case EVER would be ridiculous and a waste of time.

    If you really wanted to have a valid statement, you should look at cases where a minority man and white man had committed the same crime and gave the same plea and both had confessed, but the minority was punished harsher. That would be a case where blatant racism and discrimination took part in.

    Even then it wouldn’t be the fault of the court system because the jury must come with the death sentence. It doesn’t take much at that point either, one or two jurors who hate minorities could be enough to convince fellow jurors that the defendant deserves death.

    But we have been sidetracked from the point of this. The death penalty should be reserved for the most extreme cases: Serial killers, serial rapists, pedophiles who have acted out fantasies and killed, etc. etc.

  12. @ Eric, I was not saying literally that one should look at every case ever,
    I was engaging in slightly sarcastic hyperbole to make the point, that evidently was not understood

    What is with all the literality these days?

    Oh well.. Fuck ‘em if they can’t take a joke!

    (errr, I don’t mean YOU of course, my friend.. Just the proverbial ” em ” ) LOL
    :-D

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