It’s been a while since I last posted but I’m not dead – yet. Then again, Maybe I am at as I can’t imagine hell being any worse then where I’ve been entombed (here on death row) the past 27 years. No matter as here I am throwing a few more words out into that great beyond you all call the real world. Like one of my favorite songs (“Dust in the wind”, by Kansas) says, that’s what my words are, just dust in the wind.
I’ve been silent for many months. Sometimes things just become so overwhelming that crawling up inside my shell is the only way to survive when the whole world around you is coming down. I don’t think anyone could fault me for needing to step back away from all that’s going on and at least for a while retreat within that sanctuary of ‘self’.
Besides, it’s not like a lot has been going on in my world. I’m still in this cage and the uncertainty of whether I might live or die remains like a wet blanket trying to suffocate what little hope might still exist. But I’m not interested in the whole “woe is me” self pity party as when it comes down to it, I’m certainly not the only person in the world who’s life pretty much sucks. There’s a lot of people suffering out there and no matter and no matter how hard it might get here in my cage, at the end of the day I still get three meals a day and a roof over my head. Many out there don’t even have that.
As I write this, last night the state of Georgia murdered Troy Davis despite worldwide protests calling for clemency. Once again a legitimate claim of innocence has been silenced by killing the victim of incomprehensible injustice. But you know what the real tragedy is? Of the millions of people around the world who signed petitions and were willing to lend their voice in the futile attempt to stop the execution of Troy Davis, the vast majority will now only too quickly move on with their lives and forget about it.
But what if instead of fading back into their lives, even a fraction of those people who stood up for Troy Davis would now be motivated to keep fighting the fight? What if each one of those people now felt motivated by the cause of this incomprehensible injustice and each of them talked to one other person, and got them to see the light, and then that other people talks to and motivates yet another, then another and then that fading voice grows stronger and stronger. Imagine instead of a million people around the world motivated by the single injustice inflicted upon Troy Davis, there were millions willing to commit to a continuous campaign protesting against the injustice that continues to be perpetuated against so many more. As each of these singular voices grow stronger with support of more and more, can they so easily be ignored?
Troy Davis is dead, the victim of a corrupt legal system that is only too willing to murder innocent people under the malicious pretense of administering “justice”. But his death does not have to be in vain and the true injustice would be to forget about him and what his execution meant. His death should be the rally cry for all of us to now stand together and force the world to recognize that Troy
Davis was only one of the too many innocent victims of a corrupt legal system.
If his death is to mean anything, it should be that we now know that the death penalty itself is what makes it possible to put innocent people to death. We all know that there are many who will argue that troy Davis was not innocent – as far as they care, nobody is ever innocent as our legal system is perfect. But no legal system is that perfect and innocent people will continue to be put to death. The only way to truly stop this madness is to stop the death penalty itself.
But we know that won’t happen. The vast majority of those stood up to support Troy Davis have already faded back into the shadows and moved on with their lives. The voice will become silent again, until perhaps another innocent person is facing execution. But riving up at that last moment won’t stop the machinery of death from methodically stalking its next innocent victim. If there’s any chance of winning the fight, we all must be willing to stand our ground and fight the fight. Troy Davis will quickly be forgotten if we all don’t stand our ground and let out voices be heard today, tomorrow and everyday until this intolerable injustice has been defeated.
I hope that some will be motivated to keep the fight going. Otherwise, many more innocent people will continue to be put to death. If the Troy Davis case proved anything, is that it’s not enough to rise up at the last moment and sign a petition as petitions are worthless. We must fight the fight.
Before I go, I also wanted to share a few recent articles written about the death penalty here in Florida. The first one was written by one of Florida’s most respected pro-death penalty judges, Judge O.H. Eaton, Jr (of Orange County Circuit Court, Orlando, Florida). Judge Eaton has sentenced numerous people to death since taking the bench – but is now calling out for the end of the death penalty in his article “Capital Punishment – A Failed Experiment”. What he says makes sense – but will anyone listen?
The next article was recently published in a Florida newspaper as an editorial addressing the indisputable disparity between who faces death and who does not. Again, in this article (Orlando Sentinel, September 7, 2011 by Mike Thomas) it points out why the death penalty is fundamentally unfair and calls for an end to Florida’s death penalty. Mike Thomas - When will state stop arbitrary death-penalty decisions?
For those who may have read this, I thank you for your time. Keep the faith,