Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Irreversible Justice

Tookie Williams is dead.

Forget about him. It was a mistake to make him a poster boy. I remember having nightmares about him as a kid, after reading about his trial for the murder of that Chinese family in their motel. His picture was terrifying to me as a child. He was guilty, and he wouldn't admit it. I opposed his execution because I think that the death penalty is deeply flawed, but his case was practically a primer in why we should execute people. His legacy lives on in the gang violence that still shatters the streets of my city. Good riddance to him. If is wasn't for his celebrity friends and outsize macho reputation as Crips shotcaller, no one would have really cared if he withered away in prison or not.

If on the other hand, you want a real poster boy against the death penalty, look at this case in, where else, Mississippi:

Cops mistakenly break down the door of a sleeping man, late at night, as part of drug raid. Turns out, the man wasn't named in the warrant, and wasn't a suspect. The man, frightened for himself and his 18-month old daughter, fires at an intruder who jumps into his bedroom after the door has been kicked in. Turns out that the man, who is black, has killed the white son of the town's police chief. He's later convicted and sentenced to death by a [majority] white jury. The man has no criminal record, and police rather tellingly changed their story about drugs (rather, traces of drugs) in his possession at the time of the raid.

The story gets more bizarre from there.

This is what appears to have happened to one Cory Maye. The man defended his home in the dark of night from intruders who banged down his door. He wasn't a drug dealer (he lived in a duplex and his next-door neighbor was the one named on the warrant) and he had no criminal record. He had no reason to believe that the men who barged into his house were not out for harm.

Yet today, Cory Maye sits on the Mississippi death row.

This is who we should care about.

The credit on this one goes to Libertrian blogger Radley Balko at the, gulp Cato Institute (don't say it three times in the mirror, or Ayn Rand will come to get you). Talk about bringing your Red and Blue together.


Blogger Walker said...

There is now a petition up for people express their dismay at Maye's sentencing, and their insistence on his unconditional pardon by the governor of Mississippi. LCBD, would you be willing to promote a link to the top of your blog or sidebar? Thanks to any and all for signing.

4:40 PM  

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