Monday, June 24, 2013
Once again the insidious "politics of death" has cast a dark and ominous cloud over the entire death row community. And by that, I do not only mean the more than 400 men and women currently on Florida's death row, but also the many more truly innocent victims of the this politically motivated holocaust perpetuated for political gain by those elected to public office upon the exploitation of the misery of victims of crime.
In recent months the usual group of republican politicians in the Florida legislative pushed through new laws they dared to title "the Timely Justice Act" which are designed to "speed up executions". Under these new laws, the Florida governor will now be statutorily mandated to sign a death warrant on any and all death sentenced prisoner within 30 days of the Florida Supreme Court certifying that the prisoner has completed his or her initial round of both state and federal appeals and been provided the cursory "clemency review"
For those unfamiliar with how the process works this might not seem so unreasonable. But then, that's exactly where these merchants of death rely upon, the blissful ignorance of the obedient sheep who will blindly follow as they are led right over the cliff.. These politicians master the the art of manipulating the masses into their very own contemporary lynch mob, feeding them false information as they fan the frenzy of their blood lust. And make no mistake about it - today's death penalty, even for all it's pretense of civilized civility, truly is cut of the same cloth as those images of the blood lust intoxicated lynch mobs of the wild , wild west where the crowds would gather cheering on as the condemned soul would be strung up in the old town square. Although contemporary political correctness now makes it unappealing to so blatantly advocate the execution of another, that same inherent evil does continue to thrive within too many who today will rally around the politics of death as an excuse to kill another.
There can be no doubt that it was, and is, politics that brought
us to where we are. But why would these Florida politicians so aggressively push to pass new laws, intended to undermine the fairness of our process even more, than it already has been by demanding those sentenced to death those sentenced to death be expeditiously executed even if they may be innocent - and then dare call it the "Timely Justice Act"?
To answer that question, we must first recognize that here in Florida we are on the eye of yet another election year and when it comes down to it, the south will always be the south - just like in Texas Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, and the entire southeast (which without exception zealously embraces the death penalty), nothing wins more votes than a good old fashioned lynching. This new law is not really intended to speed up executions - in fact it may even slow the whole process down as lawyers file the anticipated legal challenges to this new law.
Obviously, those politicians know without doubt that by pushing through these substantial changes in Florida's laws intended to 9at least on paper) turn Florida in another Texas by "forcing" the executions of hundreds of Florida death row prisoners there would be equally substantial legal challenges which they knew would actually slow the process down while these legal challenges make their ways through the courts. But they don't care as they know Florida voters have a long established history of mass stupidity and will be easily manipulated into casting their vote for these rabid republicans simply upon the perception of a promise to put hundreds of condemned prisoners to a quick death.
As for now, this new law has now re-energized the debate about the death penalty and resulted in renewed campaigns to abolish the death penalty in Florida, again, these politicians know that by provoking these renewed debates, the brain dead sheep that blindly follow them will now also be as equally energized to pump countless amounts of money into the campaign coffers of these politicians, who portray themselves as the great guardian of the victims on the promise of fighting to keep Florida's death penalty.
Since Florida is part of the "Deep South" and will always be one with that "good ole boy" redneck mentality that that brought us such institutions as slavery, the Ku-Klux-Klan, the lynching of civil rights advocates and assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, these politicians know that the vast majority of voters will always blindly support the death penalty - and do so truly believing in their own embraced ignorance that it has been indoctrinated by the hand of their God ("an eye for an eye" as preachers in the South twist out of context to their flock ) and therefore it's morally justified to kill in the name of their God.
For that reason, these good-ole-boy politicians know that there will always be that group of voters who simply don't care if innocent people may be put to death by these state sanctioned executions. It really has nothing to do with truth or justice, but in reality it is about the need to feed their own sickness and feel morally justified while doing it. Like their fathers and grandfathers before them were morally justified in lynching the "Negroes" who stepped out of line, or put on their white robes and planted bombs at southern churches to terrorize and kill black congregations into obedient submission by brutally killing their women and children. yeah, when it comes down to it "southern tradition" is far more important than those values of the bleeding heart liberals who want to dare tell them killing is wrong.
Lets take a look at the indisputable facts - as it now stands, Florida has over 400 people on death row, second only to California ...but California also has twice as many citizens and relatively speaking, California doesn't push to execute too many. In the past 40 years, Florida has succeeded in killing less than 70 death sentenced prisoners, while during the same period of time a lot more death row prisoners have died of natural causes such as cancer. More importantly, of the approximately 800 men and women condemned to death in Florida since they rushed to reinstate the death penalty in 1974, the majority have had their sentences of death (or convictions) vacated by the courts due to legal errors or prosecutional misconduct. Some were subsequently re sentenced to death, but about 400 were permanently granted relief by sentence reduction, recognizing that they never should have been sentenced to death in the first place.
In the past 40 years, Florida has also accomplished another troubling record - there have been more men and women exonerated and released from Florida's death row than any other state in the country. Although other states such as Illinois and North Carolina, and even Texas, have empaneled commissions to investigate why innocent people were wrongly convicted and sentenced to death, the great state of Florida has adamantly refused to address this epidemic of injustice, instead pushing even harder to kill those wrongfully convicted all that much quicker before they can prove their innocence.
Let there be no mistake - as numerous high level judicial officers (such as former Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Gerald Kogan and United states Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor - and many others!) have now recognized there can be NO DOUBT that innocent people have been, and will continue to be , put to death by State sanctioned executions.
Perhaps that is by far the most troubling aspect of this new law designed to expedite Florida's executions - these pro death penalty politicians DO know these indisputable facts, although the general public remains blissfully ignorant. There can be absolutely no doubt whatsoever that each of these Florida politicians who cast their vote in support of this new law did so knowingly full well that as a result of their action innocent people will now die.
Think about this - why is it that the United States now remains the only country in the western world that continues to embrace the death penalty? Simple answer - because American politicians
know that killing wins elections. Whether it comes from feeding the frenzy of the lynch mob by advocating nothing less than death when someone is murdered, or throwing billions of dollars into morally justified wars where under the pretense of "avenging" 9/11 countless women and children are killed - it's all part of the same sick mentality that has now come to define what America has become in the eyes of the world.
These politicians do know that as the direct and undeniable consequences of their action innocent people will die - but they simply lack the mental character and integrity to car. Why should they care as it is not like it will be their children who are wrongfully convicted and condemned to death, or sent off to fight a war in a foreign land and coming home in a flag covered coffin. It's only too easy to condemn another to death when you believe you are so far removed from the consequences of your morally corrupt actions.
But I have learned nothing else in the now almost 30 years on Florida's death row, convicted and condemned to death for a crime I did not commit (see www.southerninjustice.net ). It seems for the most part America today has sold the very soul upon the alter of arrogance and ignorance - and like a cancer consuming all that was once good and moral in our society - apathy now prevails and even the most inconceivable injustice - the deliberate execution of innocent men and women - are now tolerated by the vast majority of Americans. Where once upon a time we prided ourselves as a beacon of hope, liberty and freedom for all the world to see, the Lady Liberty that is America today is nothing but a heartless whore who has abandoned her soul to the greater good of the politics of death. Florida's new rush to execute more people reflects the true nature of Florid today - scratch just a bit beneath that smiling face of Mickey Mouse and you will see the cold soul of the grim reaper as Florida moves towards a modern day holocaust and innocence be damned.