In the final hours of September 21, 2011, the State of Georgia executed an innocent man. Troy Davis, born 1968, had been wrongfully convicted and subsequently murdered after spending nearly two decades in prison. In spite of cries of protest from former presidents, the director of the FBI, the pope and countless activists, Davis was killed for a crime he did not commit.
Such is our thirst for blood- and it is blood that we’re after.
Mel Gibson’s a racist lunatic, but this was a pretty dang cool movie…
We might dress it up as “justice” or a “deterrent” or any number of grotesque charades, but make no mistake, it is an emotional drive for vengeance that is overwhelmingly behind this. Christopher Hitchens, complicated man that he was, got it right when he called the death penalty “Human Sacrifice” in his 1997 debate on the subject.
We seem to have, as a society, a twisted sense of justice. We’re happy to serve up a person- any person- for slaughter to convince ourselves that justice as been done. Someone‘s got to pay when a crime is committed, whether or not that person actually did it seems of little consequence to us, as evidenced by the long and still-growing list of innocent men, women, and yes, even children who we’ve sacrificed for our appetites.
For this reason, today we’re going to be addressing the foundations of the arguments in favor of the death penalty. Continue reading
Posted in America, crime, government, history, morality, politics
Tagged America, arendt, capital punishment, christopher hitchens, crime, criminals, death penalty, debate, deter, detterant, eichmann, guilty, hang, hanging, horse thief, innocent, justice, lethal injection, parole, prison, society, solitary confinement, torture, Troy Davis
Last time I was in prison I remember thinking to myself, “This sure reminds me of high school.” This was mostly because of the way the prison was structured like a school: there were various buildings connected by paths and even nice little areas with a tree or two and a bench to sit on.
The visiting areas were set up a lot like a school cafeteria, but apparently all the tables had microphones in them to monitor conversation. I also had to go through some sort of metal detector to reach the visiting area and had to leave my keys at the front. For the most part it was easy to forget where you were, as long as you couldn’t see the razor-wire fence from where you were sitting.
I was the one visiting, in case you were starting to wonder where that introduction was going. Continue reading
Posted in Canada, crime, politics, Shame Day
Tagged abuse, Abuse of Power, ASD, Ashley Smith, autism, double-bunking, FASD, Fear, Foucault, Guards, incarceration, increases crime, Kingston P4W, Melissa Munn, OCD, pain, pepper spray, prison, prisoner rights, restorative justice, Sadistic, segregation, shame day, solitary confinement, Special Needs, Taser, the 5th Estate, the event at P4W, the Penal Press, therapy