Olympia, WA @ TESC (4-9-14) — The event kicked off with a faculty adviser addressing the audience like they were junior high school developmentally challenged remedial education students, warning them a member of press was there and how they were not required to speak/interview with a reporter. This has been the typical opening (or worse) made at each ACAP sponsored public event on the Evergreen campus this month. It might be appropriate for a grade school class, but is curiously paternalistic for a group of young adult college students at the much ballyhooed liberal arts campus, The Evergreen State College, home to the Northwest’s very own community of lifestyle (A)narchists.
Once Troy’s Sister, Kimberly Davis, and Jen Marlowe began to speak, the event took on a more polished professional nuanced tone. The women were easily able to overcome a forum known for its knee-jerk liberal propensities and present a compelling case for abolishing the death penalty…a commitment Troy sought from them as his last request before his light was snuffed out with the drugs Georgia had purchased on the black market.
Kimberly revealed, as a result, it took Troy’s heart 8 hours to stop beating during the execution. At one point, despite having been on the lecture circuit for a while, she began to tear up as she recounted the impact the capital punishment had on her family. She astutely distanced herself from insisting on having the listeners agree on her brother’s innocence, only that her family was convinced of it and most analysts agreed there was reasonable doubt as to his guilt. In fact, others later denied their trial testimony implicating Troy and at least one individual, despite confessing to the crime, was never held accountable for the murder of a police officer (the victim in Troy’s case), nor was it enough to bring Troy a new trial while he waited on Georgia’s death row.
Troy’s family put together a professionally polished documentary calling into question the eye witness testimony identifying the shooter. The video clearly revealed how the distance between the witness and where the witness placed the shooter was too great to be recognizable. Troy’s trial attorney did not adequately investigate the alleged facts surrounding the case and the appellate attorney set back the condemned man’s mother over $200,000, requiring her to mortgage her home a 2nd time–a debt that still has not been discharged. As always, the poor die sooner, both inside court venues and outside hospitals. Troy’s mother had to pay his attorney extortionist amounts to get the lawyer to even visit her son while he was on death row.
Kimberly focused, instead, on the human impact of an archaic barbaric form of retribution and incredible suffering. This suffering is so intense a great many condemned prisoners actually become clinically insane before they are executed. Even so, some find the actual mode of execution (lethal injection) too tame for their taste. All manner of more shocking colorful methods of torture have been proposed as alternatives by these would be merchants of death.
For the actual executioner who pulls the switch or depresses the plunger unleashing the poisons intended to course through the veins of the condemned, they are typically paid all of about $150 per person they send to meet their Maker. Their identities are a closely guarded secret, a paradox in itself for an act the state so vigorously defends as legitimate/just. If the execution is just, why doesn’t the executioner pose for pictures with the condemned? The fact is, people intuitively understand the premeditated taking of human life when the perpetrator can as easily be kept from ever harming anyone again, is morally wrong. Moreover, many grasp the punishment we visit on others is more about us than them.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, while we can release the innocent unjustly sentenced to prison, we cannot free the innocent from the grave after being executed. The numbers of unjustly condemned men released from death row in the U.S. ranges in the hundreds while the numbers of actually innocent defendants sent to prison numbers in the ten’s of thousands.
The following videos lay out a compelling case of a miscarriage of justice all too common in America’s system of jurisprudence. Benjamin Franklin once opined, “The monarchists would hide in the judiciary.” Today, as then, the idea of sovereign immunity (The king can do no wrong) prevails. Those of us not protected under the aegis of divine right continue to suffer the fate of serfs and peasants…we get about as much justice as we can afford.