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Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Columns

Death penalty is barbaric practice


Troy Davis was executed by lethal injection on Sept. 21 after being denied a stay by the US Supreme Court. People from as far away as Paris, France, gathered together in protest of his sentence in the days leading up to his execution. | Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Troy Davis was executed by lethal injection on Sept. 21 after being denied a stay by the US Supreme Court. People from as far away as Paris, France, gathered together in protest of his sentence in the days leading up to his execution. | Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Troy Davis was recently executed despite the fact that many of the eyewitnesses who testified against him at trial later admitted that they hadn’t seen Davis murder the police officer he was convicted of killing, and others admitted they had been bribed and coerced by law enforcement into testifying against Davis.

Although most of the evidence suggested Davis was innocent, he was still murdered by the state of Georgia.

Davis’ execution is the result of racism. Studies show that African-American men are at an increased risk of receiving the death penalty for committing the same crimes when compared to white men.

We may not be lynching black men anymore, but we are still murdering them for crimes they have not committed.

The execution of Davis brought about a lot of disappointment and disgust in the American judicial system.

But there is still hope. It is impossible to bring Davis back from the dead, but we can all honor his death by pressuring our legislators to get rid of the death penalty.

The death penalty is a hypocritical and barbaric practice, and an outdated means of punishment. There is no humane way to take away a human life. The word humane directly contradicts the act.

Moreover, murder implies intent, which is in itself inhumane.

Furthermore, what sense does it make to murder someone for murdering someone else?

Mahatma Gandhi, the pioneer in modern non-violent activism, once said, “an eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind,” and if we continue on this backwards path, a blind world this will be.

Apparently death penalty proponents believe that justice is being served, and that it is morally right to execute these people because they are bad people.

However, this country was founded on Christian moral law. It is ironic that many of the states that are dominated by religious conservatives still practice this cruel and unusual punishment — your state and Georgia included.

These same conservatives argue against abortion because of biblical prohibitions, yet they don’t apply this argument across the board. It seems as though these Christian proponents of the death penalty have forgotten that the Ten Commandments forbids them from killing.

Proponents of the death penalty need to ask themselves a few questions:

What makes the judge that approves this punishment any better than the criminal himself?

Why isn’t the person who administers the injection committing the same crime the criminal committed?

What makes him less guilty, and does having the law back you up prevent you from being a murderer?

Lindsay Gary is a senior history major and may be reached at [email protected]

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