Yeah, I said it twice. And I'm being generous.
But a part of that article got me wondering:
The board released its decision just after 8 a.m., after spending an entire day hearing from Davis' supporters and then prosecutors and MacPhail's relatives.
Davis' supporters? What were they, activists? Experts? Defense attorneys? Friends? Family? Supporters are a group of folks I generally associate with individuals outside the proceedings, writing letters and holding vigils. The choice of words here is suspect, since prosecutors also got to talk. Which group has a more credible case, based on what they are called in the media?
And then, the victim's family gets to speak? I can only assume this is normal proceedure, and that the disconnect belongs to me. The defense has already failed to establish doubt in court and on appeal, and this proceeding is simply determining the severity of the punishment. Something gets to me, however, when emotional testimony can be entered into the record during the final proceeding to determine whether the state should end a human being's life. This isn't the convicted party begging for mercy, this is questioning the finality of the case against him.
And you have to wonder how much closure the victim's family will actually get with irreversible justice meted out by a system with straining credibility.
Again, I'm not as familiar with the court case as I ought be to make such pronouncements, but you'd think if there was more physical evidence required to get an execution punishment (as opposed to changing witness testimony and plea deals), the system might find itself with far fewer cases presenting so much doubt in the minds of the public. As a death penalty supporter, I am constantly shocked at the number of execution sentences meted out that are later open to so much question and reversal. While it doesn't shake my faith in irreversible justice being on the table, it makes me think it is employed too often as a punishment in inappropriate cases.
Because this is the death penalty we're talking about. There should be no reasonably raised questions regarding guilt, and the case should not hinge only on someone's malleable or self-interested testimony.