This post comes completely from my soul. It will be short, sweet, and to the point the Love within me wants to make.
I shed tears tonight at the death of Troy Davis. While it seems his guilt was a far cry from certain, a State in our Union decided it was just to kill him. Regardless of my very human emotions, any death of another human being at the hands of my brothers and sisters saddens me. I don’t seek to be a murderer or condone killing of any kind let alone for some feeling of “justice” the weak among us have decided makes things “right”. Even if Mr. Davis was guilty as charged, the act of killing him is not done by innocent hands but rather by a heart lustful for anger’s retribution. This lust pushes all compassion and sense of justice to the side.
Yes, I do feel the same sadness for the man who Davis was convicted of killing. Yet capital punishment is not, to me, about the victim. It is more about acting like the perpetrator. I cannot in good conscious condemn a man for doing something and then, in turn, do it to him. This contradiction goes against the sense of direction given to me at birth.
An executioner is nothing more than a murderer in fancy clothes with a piece of paper that makes his crime “just”. Those who condone the deaths of others are complicit in that death. There is violence in condoning violence, and there is violence in doing nothing to stop it. Those who live by the sword will die by the sword regardless of whether that sword takes the form of a hangman’s noose, an electric chair, or some mixture of chemicals designed to make the murderer feel better about his actions.
Finally, I leave this thought with a simple premise. We have an individual decision to make. We can be more like Jesus or more like Romans. We can be the man who forgives others as they drive spikes through his flesh or we can be the man who wields the hammer. We can feed the hungry or watch them starve from our feast. We can be our brother’s keeper or hide our selves in shame knowing what we have done. The choice is ours, but just as any stone that hits the calm seas the ripples will surely be known. Tonight, we have again lost a little bit of our Selves as our society kills one of its own in some fancy flight of “justice”.
I have made my choice and as I stretch my arms wide to accept my fate I look out to see yours.
My friend and fellow elephant journal writer Sunita Pillay wrote a tremendous follow up to the enormous power of forgiveness Troy Davis showed at the end of his human existence. It’s an inspiring piece written about a perspective few of us could exhibit in any resembling a similar circumstance, and I hope you read it.