A young woman tells the story of her unnamed older brother who returns home after a two-week trip from a place called "Candletop." The brother meets his best friend, Andy Wolloe, at Webb's Bar ("Andy Wolloe said hello, and he said, 'Hi, what's doing, Wo?'"), and Andy informs the brother that his young wife (who is later described as "cheatin'") has been seeing another man in town, Seth Amos. Andy then reveals that he, too, has been sleeping with his friend's wife. The brother is understandably upset, which scares Andy, who leaves and walks home. The brother assumes his wife has left town, gets his gun, and heads out to the back woods to sneak up on Andy and confront him. When the brother arrives at Andy's house, he finds tracks outside ("tracks that were too small for Andy to make") and discovers that someone has already killed Andy. The brother, in a moment of panic ("he started to shake"), fires his gun in the air to summon a passing sheriff. When the sheriff approaches the scene, the brother is immediately accused of murder. A "backwoods Southern lawyer" doesn't keep the sheriff and a judge from convicting the brother in a kangaroo court ("the judge said 'guilty' in a make-believe trial / slapped the sheriff on the back with a smile"), and hang him that same night, effectively lynching him. This was apparently the same night of a statewide electrical blackout, although the phrase "the night the lights went out in Georgia" could refer to the fact that the "light" of justice went out that night as an innocent man was killed by the law.
The "light" of justice went out for real last night as Troy Davis was killed by the law. What is the difference between killing your own people and the death penalty? Isn't that the excuse, I mean justification, our country used for regime change in Iraq and Libya?
The decision of the United States Supreme Court to deny a stay of execution for Troy Davis will join The Dred Scott Decision, Bush v. Gore and Citizens United in infamy as one of the stupidest decisions ever. How could the voices of millions of people be ignored?. I guess they showed us who was Boss.
Huge numbers of people all over the world are begging them to reconsider but it seems to be falling on callously deaf ears. This is a travesty.
The execution of Troy Davis illustrates all the flaws in the death penalty, and why it should be abolished. H/T Booman
The debate about Troy Davis should have been about whether he had been wrongly imprisoned for two decades, not over whether he could prove his innocence beyond a reasonable doubt.
How did we arrive at a system where so much discretion is stripped away from the decision makers?
This case highlights every flaw with the death penalty. Even from the point of view of advocates of the death penalty, it took 20 years to get 'justice.' Whether we abolish the death penalty or not, this case proves that it is in need of an overhaul. Georgia might have killed an innocent man last night simply because the system didn't allow people to save him, despite the obvious doubts about his guilt.
It's time for America to stop condoning cruel and unusual punishment.
According to Amnesty International, 137 countries have abolished the death penalty. Argentina, Chile, and Uzbekistan outlawed the death penalty in 2008. During 2007, 24 countries, 88% in China, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United States alone, executed 1,252 people compared to 1,591 in 2006. Nearly 3,350 people were sentenced to death in 51 countries. More than 20,000 prisoners are on death row across the world.
Ask yourself the following, "What kind of society do I want to live in?". What kind of society do I want future generations to live in? What if Troy Davis were my son/brother/father/uncle/cousin/friend?
Do you want to live in a society where people, prideful, imperfect, deceivable people reserve unto themselves the right to kill other people?
Because I guarantee you that so long as we think that people en masse under the guise of The State have the right to kill they are going to find ways to exercise that power.
We must not let the lights of Justice be extinguished.
Defiant until the end, Troy Davis was executed Wednesday night for the murder of an off-duty police officer. He convinced hundreds of thousands of people around the world, but not a single court, that he was innocent.
As he lay strapped to a gurney in the death chamber, the 42-year-old told relatives of Mark MacPhail that he was not responsible for his 1989 slaying.
"I am innocent. The incident that happened that night is not my fault. I did not have a gun," he insisted.
"All I can ask ... is that you look deeper into this case so that you really can finally see the truth," he said.
Davis was declared dead at 11:08 p.m. The lethal injection began about 15 minutes earlier, after the Supreme Court rejected an 11th-hour request for a stay.
Let us march on until victory is won. The movement continues.
This movement couldn’t stop Davis’ execution — but it’s a movement that won’t die with Troy Davis. There’s no better way to honor Troy’s memory than to keep fighting for justice.
You know my friends, there comes a time when people get tired of being trampled by the iron feet of oppression... If we are wrong, the Supreme Court of this nation is wrong. If we are wrong, the Constitution of the United States is wrong. And if we are wrong, God Almighty is wrong. If we are wrong, Jesus of Nazareth was merely a utopian dreamer that never came down to Earth. If we are wrong, justice is a lie, love has no meaning. And we are determined here in Montgomery to work and fight until "justice runs down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream." Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.