Death Penalty: Emotions or Facts?

Troy Davis

Yesterday on Facebook a friend posted a video by T-V judge Greg Mathis with comments about Wednesday night’s execution of convicted killer Troy Davis in Georgia.  With the video the person who posted it directed a question specifically to me, and to me only asking my opinion.  I was curious and asked, “why me?”  Their reply was: I always like to hear [your] point of view whether I agree with it or not. I think [your] smart and intelligent.  Well… what can I say to that?  Never afraid to express my political opinions on Facebook, and always looking for a writing challenge (those warm subjects) I responded as follows:

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To fully address your question would take a lot more words than offered here to do it justice. I don’t intend to get in some ongoing debate about this case with those who all they know is what they read in the newspapers and see on T-V. I can tell you — as a former broadcast news reporter — news reporting is often totally unreliable for a clear picture on complicated matters like murder cases and appeals. Often one needs to dig beyond the reporting. Most aren’t willing to do that. Mix in the notables and cause-celebs who sometimes come out of the woodwork, with questionable motives; add the personal biases and opinions of the reporters themselves, who shape those stories and further cloud the facts and all you have is something worthy of lining the bottom of a birdcage with.

Judge Mathis’ 2 1/2 minute emotionally charged video appeal (which he couldn’t even do without 8 or 9 edits), while appealing to the emotions, runs quite contrary to the real facts (those dirty little facts) that were the Troy Davis case. Mathis’ first point is that Davis “maintained his innocence to the very end.” How many convicted murderers are we aware of that say the same thing? Don’t you know our prisons are full of innocent people? Continue reading

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Tomorrow

I’ve never seen the stage play but I loved the movie “Annie”.  I’m not much “into” musicals, but a few stand out.  A few I could watch again and again.  In Annie I especially enjoyed Carol Burnett’s portrayal of Agatha Hannigan, the drunk, cruel, caretaker at Annie’s orphanage who all the girls feared.  I love Carole Burnett.

Annie’s story is based on the popular comic strip character Little Orphan Annie from a bygone era and articulates an optimistic view of life through the theme just hang on, until tomorrow.  Times weren’t easy in those days for Annie.

Anyway, how can any of us forget Annie’s rendition of that classic song Tomorrow?  To my way of thinking, despite the setting and the uncertain future Annie faced, the song evokes the spirit of optimism.  Sing the first few lines along with me … Continue reading

9-11: Ten Years After

The Tribute in Light in remembrance of the September 11 Attacks

Well here goes, just one of a million essays written on the pivotal event of our lifetime.  What’s come to be known as simply Nine-elevenHow can what I have to say make any difference… stand out among the crowd?  I guess I’ll just share my memories of that day and some of the things that followed.  Things I would share with friends.

The events of that September day ten years ago were one of those “where were you” moments in time.  Although I was at work that morning I saw most of those early events live on television.  I was nearly speechless.  It simply boggled the mind and tried the emotions, what we saw that day.  So much had occurred and so much seen that my senses were overwhelmed, beyond comprehension.  It was a day that saw the country close-in on itself.  We learned once again we were vulnerable. The days immediately after were exhausting.  They became a blur as I watched on television and listened to the radio following the ever-changing story.  As the story developed — even days later — it seemed nearly every hour brought new and dramatic revelations.

The impact of 9-11 on me personally was far greater than that felt after the assassination of President Kennedy.  I vividly remember the events of that weekend which had an enormous effect on me as a young impressionable boy.  But with 9-11, in human suffering, and in emotional terms, I don’t believe there is any other single one-day event, in the history of this country, that has it’s match.  Even Pearl Harbor pales in comparison.  I heard it said shortly after 9-11 you’d have to go back to the Civil War to find any event that comes even close in comparison. Continue reading