I suppose . . . it’s easy to dismiss cries for justice amongst so many clamoring voices when you’re voiceless and it’s just us. After all, their problems are more immediate and there hasn’t been a North Carolina execution in a decade.
I suppose . . . the news has buried the 8 acquittals and 71% reversal rate from North Carolina’s death row in the last 17 years. After all, there are mass shooting and radical Islamic terrorists and civil wars and Arab springs and “immigrant-refugee” problems. Then there are trigger happy cops and rioting protestors and political approval ratings and the church of TMZ. Mustn’t forget that. Nor can we forget divided courts and voter ID laws and gerrymandered districts and HB2 and calls to “Make America Great Again” and “Stronger Together” and “Black Lives Matter”, but what about us?
You want social commentary?
I want people to wake up from the science fiction there are no Thought Police spoon-feeding us the minutes of their last meeting. It is not the evanescent “Media” or allknowingseeingpowerful THEY! It is all of us who get caught up in the amazement of a television dealing apathy-laced fantasy from a screen, blinding us from our desire to forget . . .
. . . forget your willingness to look the other way as we were strapped to gurneys and injected with lethal chemicals as our mothers watched us die.
. . . forget the State’s willingness to smuggle drugs from countries on the terrorist watch list and when they get caught, call it an “illegal import”, just so they can continue executing people.
. . . forget that when these chemical cocktails fail, and it takes over an hour for the condemned to stop convulsing in agony, executions are more premeditated and deliberated than the average first degree murder conviction – in any state.
Maybe it is easier to accept putting to death a human being who has been abandoned for decades if it is done under the cover of darkness and if he is only thought of as a murderer and not a man at all.
Maybe it is not cruel and unusual to punish a product of institutional classicism, racism, mental illness, addiction and ignorance; to ignore that “18” doesn’t mean sudden adult understanding or that the IQ scale has a significant margin of error.
Maybe it is okay to never hold prosecutors accountable for wrongful convictions lasting decades, or only punishing one because Nifong did what they all do—except the lacrosse players had money.
IT IS NOT OKAY!!!
It’s not okay to take a life for a life in some twisted misappropriation of the Old Testament.
It’s not better a few innocents get punished to make certain none of the guilty escape.
Retribution is not justice—it’s vengeance cloaked in mock righteousness for victims who want an end to their grief, who want their loved ones back--not more anguish and not more victims.
Take another look at those crime dramas we so glorify and idolize and forget . . .
. . . forget every person wrongfully sentenced to death is a victim of the State’s attempt at first degree murder.
. . . forget people like Henry McCollum and Leon Brown were victimized in prison for 31 years then kicked off death row and into the street without so much as an apology or help from the state reentering society.
. . . forget it was their appellate defenders who tried to get them to plead guilty and accept life in prison with full knowledge of their innocence.
. . . forget how much prosecutors hate the existence of the NC Actual Innocence Commission because every new exoneration is proof of corruption in a district attorney’s office, police department and the SBI.
. . . forget the Innocence Commission in a decade has exonerated over a dozen people, or that they helped establish a law compensating the wrongly convicted as crime victims. I would list their names, but you’d forget and then we’d just be another number.
We are MORE than a number in a concrete grave on State property.
MORE than exceptions to the prohibition against slavery and cruel and unusual punishment
MORE than monsters, murderers, bad guys and inmates.
MORE than the worst thing we’ve ever done.
MORE than the voiceless thousands imprisoned for decades then executed to punctuate that sentence!
I suppose . . you believe it’s easier to regain the public’s trust with tough-on-crime campaign ads about the integrity of the crime lab being repaired. After all, better that than explain it was the exoneration of Gregory Taylor that prompted the original SBI audit.
I suppose . . .you don’t think there’s a connection between ignoring State-sanctioned executions and those “justifiable homicides” of people who couldn’t get their hands up fast enough. After all, if nobody complains about the former, what makes you think protesting a slow genocide will work?
I suppose you assume justice will prevail.
Suppose you’re wrong?