Thursday, September 22, 2011

Troy Davis has been executed

Who was Jack the Ripper?

What happened to the Lost Colony?

Those are two of the many great mysteries in our world today. And thanks to the Georgia court system we may end up with another.

Tonight Troy Davis was executed after being convicted of the murder of police officer Mark MacPhail. His execution took place despite there being evidence and recanting of multiple witnesses which somehow did not cast enough of a doubt to at least take the death penalty off the table, if not prove him innocent.

Who am I kidding this won't go down in history as a great mystery. There won't be documentaries made about this 50 years from now to air on the History Channel. Troy Davis had the triple whammy of intersections when it comes to treatment by court systems. He was black. He was of low socio-economic class. He was a man. If one of those three were different he might have been spared (my money is gender). But he wasn't.

The fact of the matter is there is doubt and when there is doubt there is a lack of certainty. Yes he might have killed MacPhail. But now it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter if he killed him not because no amount of apologizing (but I can imagine the "apology" being something to the effect of doubling down and declaring "to the best of my ability I was certain he was guilty at the time"), no amount of memorializing, no amount of restitution (which is pretty much "yes we did you wrong but since there's no true way to undo it take this money and stop embarrassing us so loudly"), nothing, absolutely nothing will bring Davis back. Even if its proven he was innocent and the killer is caught and brought to justice all that will do is leave the MacPhail family feeling bad for a few hours followed by trying to rub elbows with Davis family in order to save face after saying the "death penalty is the correct form of justice".

A man is dead. He might have been guilty. He might have been innocent. But to the Davis family does it even matter anymore?