Because freedom can't protect itself
Prior to the execution of Warren McCleskey in 1987, my former wife (Anne Watkins) and I fasted for 51 days in support of judicial or executive intervention. Tony Amsterdam said it was the worst decision since the Dred Scott finding of the U.S. Supreme Court which allowed the return escaped slaves to the slave states they escaped from. McCleskey's case -- aside from a strong assertion of innocence of the actual shooting, and reliance on jailhouse snitches -- made an airtight argument of racism in the application of the death in Georgia (and other states). The standard of review in Title V employment or housing discrimination was evidence of a "pattern" of racial discrimination. The highest court in our land said that standard was inadequate in the context of a criminal case, and that a defendant must prove definitively that actors in his trial or jury acted with racial discriminating motives. In other words, in a case where human life was in the balance the defense had to prove discrimination in his individual case and could not rely on the "pattern" of discrimination. And how might one determine when racial discrimination is in the heart of a prosecutor, judge, or members of a jury? Well, jurors are asked if they can decide a case fairly, and they say reflexively, "Yes, sure." And that's it. Often all-white juries in Georgia, Texas, Florida, etc., send Black folks and Latinos to their death for the killing of a white person, but almost never when the victim is a minority.
Which says: White lives are more valuable than a Black or Latino life. That's not merely wrong, it's criminal. The good news is five states have repealed the death penalty in the last 5 years. People must "intensify the struggle" as Nelson Mandela said on the day he was released from Prison. Thank you at the CLU for the good work you're doing. Peace.
I just spent 45 minutes writing what I thought was a good comment on the significance of the McCleskey decision...and got a spam message from you. Perhaps that's why there are zero comments. Get your techno stuff together.
why are all comments identified as "spam"? get yoiur site together. thanks.
I do have deep concerns about the death penalty and how it is applied. When God instituted the death penalty as reported in the Old Testament of the Holy Bible, the authorities, the leaders, were people of deep faith depending on God for wisdom in administering the death penalty along with other penalties. Our leaders are not such people. So, I have difficulty supporting the death penalty in today's world, as it is so unequally applied.
However, I am not posting to comment on the death penalty. I just couldn't help but think of the other death penalty that is applied across with country. A penalty that has no protection of trials or appeals. As you stated in your commentary, there was a time when a crime against a black person was only considered a property crime. For all intents and purposes, a crime against an unborn baby is considered nothing more than a property crime. I would suggest that if you are opposed to the death penalty for born persons. Often people that have committed heinous crimes, then you would certainly also be opposed to the death penalty against unborn people. People that have committed no crime and are the essence of innocence.
Since this story is already Godwinned... pick a style and stick to it: Black and White or black and white but not Black and white.
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