Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Death of Innocence

Good evening, fellow travelers.

Sorry it took me so long to get this posted. Been trying to turn this one over in my head for a bit.

So, unless you've been living under a rock, you've likely heard about the story of Troy Davis. Davis was convicted in 1991 for the slaying of a Georgia police officer, and was put to death yesterday by lethal injection. Despite a change in testimony of many of the original key witnesses against Davis, an international attempt at gaining attention on the case in hopes of gaining a stay of execution has failed. Last night, around 11:08 PM, Davis was pronounced dead.

Regardless of whether or not you are a supporter of the death penalty, this particular case is important because there was a large amount of doubt surrounding Davis' guilt. Davis himself, throughout his 20 years of imprisonment, repeatedly asserted that he was innocent of these crimes, right up to the moment he was pierced by the needle. In his last words, Davis said "For those about to take my life, may God have mercy on your souls, may God bless your souls." There was no rage in his words, only resignation. And a sincere desire that those guilty for the crime he was being held accountable for be found in the name of justice.

OK, so admittedly, I don't know all the facts of this case. I know that from what I have read, it would certainly appear that Davis had at least a shadow of a reasonable doubt surrounding the possibility of his guilt, but I wasn't in the court room. I haven't seen the case files. I only know what is being fed to me through the media. But one thing this case has taught me is the gross lengths a company will go to to turn a profit in our capitalist society.

Have you ever heard of a company called Correct Health? Yeah, me neither, until last night. Apparently, Rainbow Medical Associates, a subsidiary of Correct Health, was contracted for the lethal drugs used in Davis' execution. A contract ringing in to the tune of $18,000. Yes, that's right. Your tax dollars hard at work. Even more outrageous, if you dig a little deeper you'll find that until somewhat recently, the cost for outsourced murder contracts ran just a hair under a thousand dollars a pop. The inflated cost is due to legal fees involved in procuring liability insurance for the doctors administering the lethal injections, afraid that their medical license may be revoked for such a flagrant abandonment of the Hippocratic Oath.

So, what have you learned in school today, dear psychonaut friends of mine? I'm not here to tell you the lesson. It's not my job to tell you what to think. I'll tell you what I think though. I think it's long past time this country takes a long hard look at itself in the mirror. I think it's past time we stopped getting out panties in a twist every time Facebook makes a few changes to its interface and start paying attention to the important stuff. We're talking about a man who was in prison over a decade and a half before Facebook was released, yet a quick look at your News Feed from the last 24 hours will show you where the heart of this nation really lies.

Rest in Peace, Troy Davis. May you serve as an example of the dark side of our court system. Hopefully, somewhere down the line, something good will come out of this travesty of justice.

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