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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Troy Davis' Execution (Also, my first foray into political activism) (Page 3)

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Author Topic: Troy Davis' Execution (Also, my first foray into political activism)
Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
... but from what I can tell, there are several facts that are not in dispute.

Earlier that day, Troy Davis shot someone in the face.

I think you start running off the rails here.
Even this much is already in dispute.

quote:
In the hours before the shooting of Officer McPhail there was a party in the nearby neighbourhood of Cloverdale, Savannah. As Michael Cooper and a group of friends were leaving the party in their car, shots were fired, wounding Cooper. Troy Davis was convicted of aggravated assault for the shooting.

At the trial, Darrell Collins repudiated his initial statement to the police that Troy Davis had shot at the car. He testified that he had not seen Troy Davis with a gun on the night of the shooting. Michael Cooper testified that he had not seen who shot him. In a 2002 affidavit (below), he repudiates a statement he allegedly gave to police implicating Troy Davis. Benjamin Gordon testified that he had not seen who shot Cooper, contrary to a statement he gave to police after the crime. In a 2003 affidavit (below) he states that the statement he gave to police (when he was 15) had been coerced. Craig Young testified at trial that a statement he gave to police in which he stated that Troy Davis had threatened some guests at the Cloverdale party and that Davis had told him that he had fought with another guest were false and coerced by the police.

quote:
Michael Cooper was shot and wounded on leaving the Cloverdale party. Troy Davis was convicted of the shooting at his trial for the murder of Officer McPhail which happened later the same night. In his affidavit, Michael Cooper states that:
"I have had a chance to review a statement which I supposedly gave to police officers on June 25, 1991. I remember that they asked a lot of questions and typed up a statement which they told me to sign. I did not read the statement before I signed. In fact, I have not seen it before today. In that statement, the police said that I told them that Mark [Wilds] told me that Troy shot me. I never told the police that. Mark never said that to me. What is written in that statement is a lie. I do not know who shot me that night. I do not know it now, and I did not know it then."

http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/AMR51/023/2007/en/909e39f7-d3b6-11dd-a329-2f46302a8cc6/amr510232007en.html
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Rakeesh
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Mr. Squicky,

quote:
I'm ambivalent about the death penalty, but this is not striking me as a great one to argue on. Troy Davis was, by no stretch of the imagination, innocent. He may not have been guilty of pulling the trigger and was just instrumental in the killing, not the direct cause of it. He also was guilty of earlier trying to kill someone else.

If justice was technically violated, yes, that's a problem, but I don't find tears in me for Troy Davis. In the best case, he was an attempted murderer and an accessory to murder, who seems to never have accepted responsibility for his crimes.

I thought it went without saying (and I'm frankly a little irritated that it's being suggested otherwise), but I don't think Davis was a saint, nor would I have called him 'innocent', or anything else. From what I can tell, he seems pretty sleazy. To me, that's not the point. The point is the 'technicality' about there being reasonable doubt as to whether he actually committed the crime for which he was executed.

quote:
And, I gotta say, I'm amazed that you think your demonization of the victim's family is appropriate. Have you tried to see it from their point of view at all?

Yes, I have. I've said more than once that I understand why they've acted the way they have in this case. I think I've said so at least three times. I believe I even called it 'natural'.

quote:
With many cases where death penalty was overturned, there are instances where the convicted person was completely innocent and not at all involved with the killing and the family still was absolutely convinced that they did it. And this is not because they are monsters.

I'm struggling to remember where I said or even implied they were monsters.

quote:
But this wasn't even like that. What you are condemning them for is that, many years after the seemingly obvious conviction, some aspects of the situation changed and introduced reasonable doubt that Troy Davis didn't pull the trigger and they still wanted his execution to go through. Let's leave aside the fixation of the narrative. This isn't a case where we know that Davis was innocent, just that there was some doubt that he was the actual murder and not just an accessory. Somehow, to you, the family didn't change their desire for him to be put to death in response to this makes them bad people. I don't see the logic in that.

I didn't say they were 'bad people', either. Just that I feel we ought to be sure in death penalty cases, and that they (the family) couldn't be sure despite whatever they may have told themselves, and still spoke out in favor of executing him. I am critical of that behavior, yes. I don't think it's 'demonizing' them, nor do I think it makes them monsters. In fact, as stated, I find it understandable and natural.

quote:
One final thing. I'm pretty sure if, let's say, a bunch of guys attacked my wife and one of them ended up killing her with all the rest helping but not directly killing her, I would want them all to die. Were I in the McPhail's horrible situation, even if I knew that Troy Davis only helped in the killing and didn't do it himself, I'd want him to die. I don't think that makes me a bad person.
Well, yeah. Nor would I. Again, that's not the point.

And, since it seems everything must be spelled out clearly in this thread-I don't think she or her family was near the top of the list of people for whom this ought to be pinned on. The only reason I even started speaking about them was because they made public statements themselves.

quote:
They want justice to be done, but they are aware that people unrelated to this justice being carried out are going to suffer because of it and they want that suffering to be a little as possible. From what I can tell, for you to not seem them as hypocrites, they'd need to either forgo justice because it would cause others pain or to not care about the suffering of Troy Davis' family.
Again, I realize they are almost certainly not hypocrites in their own eyes. Who is? The problem is that...well, no, they didn't want justice to be done. What they wanted was Davis to be executed. That appears to have been unjust, for all that it was a 'technicality' (one wonders what the law is besides a bunch of technicalities). That's one reason there's a contradiction. The other reason is that praying for something to happen that isn't necessary-that need not happen-and then praying for the outcome of that thing to be mitigated strikes me as a contradiction, that's all. Trying to have one's cake and eat it too.

----------

Stone_Wolf,

quote:
Yes, Rakeesh, as has been repeatedly noted by myself and others...bla bla bla...did I say anything about her not being a hypocrite "in her own mind"? Nope. You guys asked, "What would this horrible ghoulish hypocrite's prayer possibly look like?" Asked and answered.

Dude, don't get snippy with me. You were suggesting that I thought it was impossible or something that she could've thought and prayed in ways that made her anything other than a hypocrite, when I've posted repeatedly on the subject.

quote:
She wasn't praying for him to be shanked in the exercise yard or gang raped in the shower. She wanted legal punishment for the man convicted of her son's murder. Again...not saying -I- think he should have been executed or not.

Well, no she didn't, it seems. I know she thought she did. But I can think the sky is green and the grass is blue, and really deep down believe it-but my belief is still wrong.

quote:
Her son was murdered, she wanted justice AND wanted the family of her son's (in her eyes) murderer to have comfort. Evil bitch! Jesh!

Yeah, because I totally suggested she was anything approaching an evil bitch. I can only imagine how snarky and upset you'd get if I started putting words in your mouth in this fashion, dude. Demands that I not speak to you. Suggestions of bullying and victimization. Etc. As for me, it just rankles and I ask that you read what I've actually written rather than what it feels like I've written.
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Stone_Wolf_
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Default Rakeesh response to anything I say:

"What I've and other have been saying that you don't understand is..."

"How dare you say that I said this, if I ever said something like that you would bla bla bla bla."

Get over it. Move on already. Your responses to me are getting so uniformly, boringly predictable that I don't have to actually read them to know what you are going to say.

I think you and Samp and others were too harsh on this women and her praying for the family wasn't an obvious, glaring contradiction...because no matter what else can be said of this execution, it was the legal punishment of a convicted murder. That he shouldn't have been convicted or executed may be a topic of legitimate discussion in itself but the idea that the mother of the victim is somehow morally contradictory for praying for that outcome AND for comfort to his family isn't true is MY point, one you simply haven't addressed, nor do I expect you to. It is much easier to wave your hands at heaven about how unfair I am to you and how I would react were you to treat me so poorly.

Bleh!

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Rakeesh
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quote:
Get over it. Move on already. Your responses to me are getting so uniformly, boringly predictable that I don't have to actually read them to know what you are going to say.
Yes, I know.

As for not addressing your point, I can tell that the above paragraph is true, because I have addressed it, at least three times now. It's clear, though, that when you see my name to the left of a post, your eyes aren't as involved anymore. Nice of you to admit it, I suppose.

Anyway, look. You're putting words into my mouth, words I've actually said the *opposite* of, and your claim that I'm not addressing some point you've made is flat-out wrong as well. I know this because I *just* addressed them, and *just* looked over the thread to see if I'd said something like you suggested. It's a short thread. Either actually *read* what I've posted, or don't. But it'll be obvious either way.

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sarcasticmuppet
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I think everyone needs to chill out a little bit.

It's perhaps a little off-topic, but I keep being reminded of this woman as a counterpoint to some of the behavior of the MacPhail family members:

quote:
when Zacharias Moussaoui was indited on six counts of conspiracy to commit terrorism, and the U.S. government called for a death penalty for him, if convicted, my husband and I spoke out in opposition to that, publicly. Through that and through human rights groups, we were brought together with several other victims' families.

When I saw Aicha in the media, coming over when her son was indited, and I thought, "What a brave woman. Someday I want to meet that woman when I'm stronger." I was still in deep grief; I knew I didn't have the strength. I knew I would find her someday, or we would find each other.

Because, when people heard that my son was a victim, I got immediate sympathy. But when people learned what her son was accused of, she didn't get that sympathy. But her suffering is equal to mine.


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Stone_Wolf_
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Huh...I missed the word "have" as in, "I don't -have- to read them"...although even with that missing word the meaning is clear.

This may come as a huge shock to your ego, but I don't only write things for your benefit. It was Samp who said most of the stuff I was referencing.

As to what you haven't addressed...where is the contradiction in praying for justice for your son and praying for comfort to the family of the executed?

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kmbboots
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Stone_Wolf, the contradiction (and bear in mind that the human mind and heart are capable of contradiction) is rather like saying, "I am going to encourage these people to punch you in the gut but I hope that it doesn't hurt you." What ever her reasons for advocating the punching.

Also, You keep saying legally convicted. That is not the same as rightly or justly convicted so I am not sure why you keep saying it.

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Lyrhawn
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While we're on the subject of executions:

TIME's history of the Willingham case.

It's actually pretty fascinating and really, really makes me question Perry's qualifications for being president. Despite being presented with evidence based on new science that completely contradicted earlier findings in the case, he totally dismissed the new science and said it changed nothing. An innocent man appears to have been executed.

The sequence of events appears to be a pretty damning example of the problem with the judicial system when it comes to capital punishment, and it's cases like this that make me anti-capital punishment.

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Stone_Wolf_
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Boots, the reason I say legally is in response to Rakeesh saying
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
She advocated, hard, for the death of someone she didn't know was guilty...

(emphasis mine). Morally it -should- be enough for the victim's family for the person to be convicted. People have been criticizing the mother of the victim for calling for a legal punishment and I say it's bull hokey. Lay off the lady, her son got shot to death for heaven's sake! That she has room in her heart for compassion for the family of the man she believes murdered her son is something that shouldn't be something that people criticize her for.
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Stone_Wolf_
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Hey, wait a tick tock, I did include the word "have to"...Rocket punch!
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Geraine
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:

quote:
In the hours before the shooting of Officer McPhail there was a party in the nearby neighbourhood of Cloverdale, Savannah. As Michael Cooper and a group of friends were leaving the party in their car, shots were fired, wounding Cooper. Troy Davis was convicted of aggravated assault for the shooting.

At the trial, Darrell Collins repudiated his initial statement to the police that Troy Davis had shot at the car. He testified that he had not seen Troy Davis with a gun on the night of the shooting. Michael Cooper testified that he had not seen who shot him. In a 2002 affidavit (below), he repudiates a statement he allegedly gave to police implicating Troy Davis. Benjamin Gordon testified that he had not seen who shot Cooper, contrary to a statement he gave to police after the crime. In a 2003 affidavit (below) he states that the statement he gave to police (when he was 15) had been coerced. Craig Young testified at trial that a statement he gave to police in which he stated that Troy Davis had threatened some guests at the Cloverdale party and that Davis had told him that he had fought with another guest were false and coerced by the police.


Wait a second.... Troy Davis didn't shoot the guy in the car, yet the same bullet casings were found at the McPhail crime scene. Was the gun like the evil version of the Sword of Gryffindor or something?
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:

This may come as a huge shock to your ego, but I don't only write things for your benefit. It was Samp who said most of the stuff I was referencing.

Oh my god, quit simpering at rakeesh. I don't know what caused you to be so uniformly immature in response to him in particular discussing things with you, but I suppose it's worth noting that I could have much the same problems with your reference.
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Mucus
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Geraine: Two things
a) The ballistics evidence was already part of the appeals process which yielded this
quote:

Prosecutors said Davis first fired shots at a pool party in Savannah's Cloverdale neighborhood, hitting a man in the face, and then later shot and killed MacPhail. But forensics experts have now shown that the ballistics testimony is no longer reliable, the filing said.
...
The order signed by Judge Wilson today said that claims being pursued by Davis had previously been raised and rejected. As for the ballistics evidence, the order said, a federal court judge had previously found that there was never a definitive contention at trial that the bullets matched and that the munitions evidence was not relevant to Davis' guilt of the MacPhail murder.

http://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta/troy-davis-from-gurney-1185593.html

b) I was mainly responding to the statement "there are several facts that are not in dispute" in order to clarify what is actually in dispute. If we can't agree even on what is under dispute in the beginning, then any reasoning we're doing is often pretty inapplicable.

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
Boots, the reason I say legally is in response to Rakeesh saying
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
She advocated, hard, for the death of someone she didn't know was guilty...

(emphasis mine). Morally it -should- be enough for the victim's family for the person to be convicted. People have been criticizing the mother of the victim for calling for a legal punishment and I say it's bull hokey. Lay off the lady, her son got shot to death for heaven's sake! That she has room in her heart for compassion for the family of the man she believes murdered her son is something that shouldn't be something that people criticize her for.
No. A legal conviction should absolutely not be enough for the victim's family to be assured of guilt much less morally call for execution. Convictions are not infrequently overturned. See: http://www.law.northwestern.edu/wrongfulconvictions/exonerations/

And those are just the ones one small center are sure about.

Not that this makes her evil, but there wasn't enough compassion for the Davis family in her heart to crowd out the desire for vengeance that was taking up most of the room.

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Stone_Wolf_
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For the record:

quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
"What would this horrible ghoulish hypocrite's prayer possibly look like?"

= 100% fair.

quote:
Evil bitch!
Over the top, apologies.
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Stone_Wolf_
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Not that this makes her evil, but there wasn't enough compassion for the Davis family in her heart to crowd out the desire for vengeance that was taking up most of the room.

So, if she had wanted him locked up for life, then her heart would have been filled with justice?

My point here is that losing your child is insanely devastating and this lady should be cut major slack...save your condemnations for our legal system, and your energy for trying to change it so that it better reflects your morals instead of harshly judging the mother of a murdered son who, despite whatever blood lust you feel filled her heart, still had enough compassion to give thought and prayer to the family of the man she believes ended the life of her child.

Because if it's my son, and I believe that this guy is the cause, I'm not waiting for the needle, I'm gunna spring him outa jail and build me an ice boat and grabbing the ol' dissolvable paper suit and rubber gloves!

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Rakeesh
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More and more evidence you're not listening. Judging her harshly? I've said near a half dozen times now that her reaction is natural and completely understandable. But hey, it's got those few letters to the left of the post, and that means you get to turn your brain off and decide what I was actually saying. It's especially amusing because of how angry you've gotten in the past when you *thought* people were doing it to you.

Oh, and as has been mentioned *also* many times: I wasn't aware that I was blaming her solely, or that because I wasn't mentioning the justice system (which I DID, btw, very early on), that I'm somehow remiss.

There ain't anyone here who doesn't understand, and empathize, with why she has spoken and reacted this way. That doesn't magically mean it cannot be said she acted wrongly.

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kmbboots
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Stone_Wolf, You can cut someone slack - and most everyone here has done that - without saying that their actions are right or good. Your hypothetical response is understandable but that hardly makes it commendable.
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Stone_Wolf_
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Rakeesh: You are as boring as you are predictably off topic and personalizing (and then complaining about) comments not made to you. It was wrong of you to call her a hypocrite, in my opinion. There is not a contradiction nor is it hypocritical to wish for justice (which can be harsh and still be justice, considering the crime) and also wish comfort for others who have lost a son, by my estimation. For once try and stay on topic and not open each of your posts dismissing me and close them telling me what I would do.

Boots: I take your meaning...but when I say "cut her slack" I mean "don't criticize" not "heap compliments on her". Calling her a "hypocrite" (Rakeesh) or "ugly about it" and "vindictively ghoulish" (Samp) or "heart filled with vengeance" (You) is not in my book "cutting her some slack".

Did she respond in the most possibly empathetic, kind, understanding, Christian, loving, forgiving way? Obviously not. But until the day (which I hope beyond hope never happens) that I have to lay flowers on my son's grave and someone asks me my opinion of what they should do to the man convicted of his murder, I choose not to point at this unfortunate woman and say "She could have done better.".

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Rakeesh
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Samprimary and I were making *the same points*. Suggesting you weren't talking to me is ridiculous, and transparently disingenuous.

If you can't see *any* contradiction in praying for something to happen and then praying that the effects are mitigated...well. You're simply not being reasonable. You're operating from the assumption that I'm suggesting she's awful, or a total hypocrite, or something. You continually put words in people's mouths and then whine about their not being fair when speaking words they didn't say.

You're welcome to point, *specifically*, to where I've said or suggested the things you've claimed. Until then, I would prefer if you'd stop lying, which is what you're doing at this point, and suggest I 'stay on topic'. But I have no real expectation you will. As you've said, you don't even have to read what I post to know what I'm saying. (Please, by all means reconcile that with your insistence you're responding to what I'm actually saying.)

Just because she called it justice to herself doesn't make it justice. It is *unjust* to execute someone when you cannot be sure they committed the crime. She didn't know. That she claimed to, and was sure she did, isn't the same thing. She wasn't praying for justice, she was praying for something she thought was justice but wasn't.

Which, to head off your insistence otherwise, I don't think makes her a monster or an evil bitch or hateful or ununderstandable or villainous or or or.

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kmbboots
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But she could have done better and many do. And perhaps they would not have if they hadn't been shown that certain actions are wrong. You can be sympathetic without agreeing or condoning. Our desire for vengeance is at least contributory to our acceptance of capital punishment - including the execution of those who have been wrongfully convicted. Pointing out the wrongness of vengeance is necessary to getting rid of it.
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vegimo
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I'd like to show you all what it looks like to have the desire for vengeance turn to forgiveness. [url= http://www.willsworld.com/~mvfhr/walt's.htm]Here[/url] is the story about my Father's twin brother, my Uncle Walt, and what happened to his son, my cousin, Scott. This is a Christian. I still can't fathom being able to make the decision he did, but I respect him for it.

The HUGE difference between the two cases? This guy had remorse, asked for forgiveness, and tried to follow through on the course of life that would progress from being truthful in those actions.

It does not directly correlate to the Davis case, but it does show some of the feelings that the victim's family goes through.

edited: for some reason I can't get the tag to work...tried again down here and it is putting an extra space in that I can't seem to get rid of.

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Stone_Wolf_
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Rakeesh: I find myself loosing my calm trying to deal with your continual character assassination...so I'll just skip to what I feel are your relevant points.
quote:
If you can't see *any* contradiction in praying for something to happen and then praying that the effects are mitigated...well. You're simply not being reasonable.
I can see how you would feel that way, but I don't agree that her position is inherently contradictory nor that she is a hypocrite.
quote:
You're operating from the assumption that I'm suggesting she's awful, or a total hypocrite, or something. You continually put words in people's mouths and then whine about their not being fair when speaking words they didn't say.
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
No one really gets to 'pray for the family' *after* they've spent a lot of time praying (and working) for the thing the family needs prayers *for*, and be taken as much besides a hypocrite.

You said it...Samp said she was "ugly about it" and "vindictively ghoulish"...and show me where I even mentioned (let alone whined about) anyone putting words in my mouth. You are continually dragging past arguments in the current, flippantly and offhandedly dismissing and misrepresenting what I have to say. And calling me a liar. Stay on topic! (Hint, the topic is not Stone_Wolf_) Take a hint from Boots, she manages to disagree with me without getting dragged into these little melodramas.
quote:
Just because she called it justice to herself doesn't make it justice. It is *unjust* to execute someone when you cannot be sure they committed the crime. She didn't know. That she claimed to, and was sure she did, isn't the same thing. She wasn't praying for justice, she was praying for something she thought was justice but wasn't.
If there is a god who listens to our prayers and hears a mother call out in anguish for justice for her dead son, I doubt very highly that a southern state killed the wrong man (possibly) without giving him a fair trial and pretty much railroading him etc has anything to do with her prayers! That's the point you keep missing...her prayers for justice were either answered or not but utterly and completely irrelevant to the execution. She asked for justice, to God, and asked for comfort for Davis' family, to God...they are unrelated. She did not pray for the death of Troy Davis (as far as I've seen), she prayed for justice. Get me?

As to "evil bitch"...I apologized...and the only thing I've ever said -you- called her was a hypocrite, which you did! The only one here whining about having words put in their mouth is you! Stay on topic!

Boots: If you were a family friend of this lady, and took her aside and gently laid out why vengeance is wrong and hurts the seeker of vengeance as much as the recipient, I could go for the improvement argument. We are strangers discussing the topic on an internet chat board, and being intolerant of a woman in her situation doesn't stomp out vengeance, it's just classless and harsh in my opinion.

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scholarette
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I had views of how I would respond with regard to loved one being killed and turns out I was wrong. When my aunt was killed by a drunk driver, I cried for my aunt and I cried for the driver and his family. I could not write the letter my cousins wanted me to write- one calling for the man to rot in jail for the maximum time. Honestly, all I want is to somehow magically know that he will never drive drunk again and I would be fine freeing him from jail and letting him live his life. His life being destroyed does nothing to improve mine, to give me back a loved aunt. I want him to be a productive member of society, to receive the help he needs to be clean, to get a job and support his family. Overall, I think my tax dollars would be better spent on that goal than on getting vengeance. We would all be better off in the long run.
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kmbboots
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In my opinion, taking her aside and telling her she is wrong is far more harmful than, from a distance, talking about her actions. I don't need to improve her so much as society in general.

If all she had done was pray for justice that would be one thing. But that is not all that she did. She publicly called for the death of another person. Those public statements play a part in sentencing. She contributed to the death of a person.

Edit: To be more clear, I am not criticizing her personal thoughts or prayers; they are none of my business. I am critical of her public actions and statements.

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Stone_Wolf_
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That makes a lot of sense...and while I don't personally agree in this case I much more sympathize with your position as it appears that the state/police handled the execution and trial extremely poorly.
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kmbboots
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Do you realize that the state/police often handle these things poorly? Did you check out the link I included above?

Former Governor Ryan will have to answer for some awful things on earth and in heaven, but to his credit, he did stop executions in Illinois.

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Stone_Wolf_
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I glanced, but I can accept the idea that it is relatively common. But I'm for sweeping legal reforms and against the death penalty (thank you Hatrack) in general so...
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Parkour
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
Rakeesh: I find myself loosing my calm trying to deal with your continual character assassination... Stay on topic! (Hint, the topic is not Stone_Wolf_) Take a hint from Boots, she manages to disagree with me without getting dragged into these little melodramas.

I can see why you hate rolleyes so much. You must inspire them constantly.
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kmbboots
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Also diminishing the case for this being about justice is the possibility that the actual murderer of Officer McPhail is unpunished. With the execution of Troy Davis we no longer are motivated to investigate, this is more likely to remain the case. If this were really about justice, no stone would go unturned, no doubt unexamined in searching for the truth.
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Stone_Wolf_
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Parkour: [Wink]

Boots: I don't think what happened to Davis -is- justice...which is a separate and different issue then the victim's mother's prayers for justice. Her efforts to get him executed likely did not serve her true purpose of getting justice for her son, which is tragic (especially for Davis) but also for her as well.

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Rakeesh
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Prayed for justice, but the thing she was praying for wasn't actually justice.

Hm.

Isn't there a word for that sort of thing, aside from the seamless consistency of praying for someone to be executed, and then praying for comfort for his family?

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