As some have noticed, Chamblee54 runs stories about the death penalty. These features generate tons of traffic, which most bloggers enjoy. This page will try to collect the links in one place, and give an overview. This story will be written in first person.
Yesterday, PG went to Jackson GA to witness the scene outside the prison during an execution. The people opposed to the death penalty were having a vigil. Two that I talked to were rude. The exception was a gray haired lady who arrived with an armload of signs, and cold drinks. (This was July in Georgia. Cold drinks are a sacrament.) The lady thanked me for coming, and asked if I was opposed to the death penalty. There was no sound bite answer.
The short answer is that we should have the death penalty, but use it very, very seldom. I don’t think it is a deterrent. It is more expensive than life imprisonment. (With all those appeals, it is a jobs program for the legal industry.) It is the ultimate in pre meditation. The death penalty is taking a human life.
On the other hand, there are some crimes that make you mad. The recently departed Andrew Grant DeYoung stabbed his fourteen year old sister so many times, the number of knife wounds could not be counted. Many of the wounds had hilt marks. While compiling a big picture look at The Death Penalty In Georgia , I read a few more stories that make you want to get your pitchfork. Perhaps this ultimate penalty is appropriate in some cases.
One problem is telling the difference. I have been writing about executions for roughly three years. I have written about eight executions (I may have missed one or two.) A couple have been horrendous, and some have been “ordinary”murders. In two cases, the executed did not do the killing, but was guilty because of a legal technicality. One wonders what effect an aggressive District Attorney has in deciding who gets executed, and who gets life in prison.
Capital punishment is strong stuff. It is taking a human life. Our criminal justice system has numerous issues with corruption, political showboating, and overall fairness. One has to wonder whether this institution is smart enough to use a powerful tool like capital punishment.
Capital punishment is similar to two other “life issues“, abortion and war. I suppose there is someone who is opposed to all three, in all cases, but I have never met this person. All three issues involve a human being, or group of human beings, taking the life of another human being. One answer is to say that ending a life is G-d’s job, and that you should leave it up to her.
If you build a facility for something, you are making it’s use almost certain. (Oversimplified rhetoric alert.) If you have an army, you are going to look for ways to use it. If you have an abortion clinic, then ladies are going to kill their babies. If you have capital punishment, some glory addicted district attorney is going to try to put a notch on his belt.
There are two controversial death penalty cases in Georgia now. This would be Troy Davis and Carlton Gary. At first, I was convinced of the innocence of Mr. Davis. Four posts later, I am not so sure. There is little doubt Mr. Davis was in the Burger King parking lot the morning of the shooting. The lack of physical evidence is troubling, and the police have not been well behaved.
As for Carlton Gary, there is a good bit of evidence that he was not the silk stocking strangler. However, he is not a nice man. There is dna evidence linking him to a murder in upstate New York. This was a high profile case, and the police were eager to “solve” the crimes. There is a possibility that the real killer is at large.
The method of execution in Georgia is antiseptically called “lethal injection”. I prefer to say poisoned. The state got in trouble recently for importing execution supplies from a dodgy foreign source. The legitimate makers of these drugs are opposed to their use in executions.
Here are the links to features at chamblee 54 on capital punishment.
The Death Penalty In Georgia (This story has a gallery of the men, and woman, under death sentence. It was current in 2009.) Execution Van , Is life sacred?, Execution night in Jackson, Enjoy it too much, bone yard , Military Money, Is The Death Penalty In Georgia Racist?
The execution facility in Georgia has a drug problem. The have obtained substances illegally. They have been busted. Maybe the gurney should be tested. As of February 2013, it is not resolved. .
Timothy Woodrow Pruitt and Leeland Mark Braley committed suicide while under death sentence.
Chamblee54 has written about Troy Davis one, two , three, four, five, six times. There is only one feature, so far, on Carlton Gary.
Chamblee54 has covered these executions. William Earl Lynd, Curtis Osborne, William Mark Mize, Mark McCain, Brandon Rhode,, Emmanuel Hammond, Roy Blankenship, Andrew Grant DeYoung, Troy Davis, Andrew Cook, Marcus Wellons, Robert Wayne Holsey, Andrew Brannan, Warren Hill, Kelly Gissendaner, Brian Keith Terrell, Brandon Astor Jones, Travis Hittson, Joshua Bishop, Kenneth Fults, Daniel Lucas, John Wayne Conner, Gregory Lawler, Steven Spears, William Sallie.