It’s bizarre to me that in 2011 the death penalty still exists. I am thankful we abolished it in the UK a long time ago. For me, there have been too many mistakes – and when someone has to pay for that mistake with their life, well something isn’t right.
The oddest thing to me, as a Christian, is seeing so many of my fellow Christians be pro-death penalty. But perhaps that is just another difference between ‘liberal’ protestants like me and the evangelical Christians so well-known in the States. The Ten Commandments are sacred law for Christians and they’re very easy to follow. Plain, simple instructions. And one of them says “Thou shalt not kill”. Pretty straightforward. I shall not kill. You shall not kill. No one should be killing anyone. I will never be pro-death penalty because my Father has told me that it is a terrible sin to do so and it is against the law and will of God. We should never call the shots on who does and who doesn’t deserve to die. God is the ultimate authority on this and His justice overrides all.
Controversial issues such as the death penalty tend to bring out the best and worst of social media outlets. Twitter, as per usual, is being used to bring awareness to the specific case of Troy Davis, and to express the disdain and anger felt by many around the world who felt his execution should not have gone ahead. Facebook, however, brings out both sides of the tale. I saw on one of my friend’s profiles this morning that she too was disgusted by what was taking place in Georgia. One of her friends then proceeded to ask, “So you wouldn’t want Osama Bin Laden dead then?”. I find this line of thought infuriating and frustrating. How can you even compare the two? Bin Laden was a terrorist, a ‘man’ who took great pleasure in coordinating the murder of 3,000 innocent lives and confessing to this crime. Davis has been executed for a crime that links no physical or DNA evidence to him as perpetrator. 7 out of 9 original witnesses have retracted their statements confirming he was the killer. Since his conviction, jurors have claimed that if he was tried again, they would not have found him guilty.
No one is saying that Troy Davis is innocent. Clearly this a complex case. But there is serious doubt hanging over his guilt. How can you execute a man when such doubts exist? How can a man be executed when there is so little evidence to convict him? How many more people will pay with their lives?