I have always thought of the United States as a land for which justice works. I have since become aware of how faulty this notion may be. As I stood vigil with young people from around the state of Florida waiting, hoping and praying that Troy Davis would be granted a reprieve as he had three times before, I reflected on the use of faith in our personal morality system and its conflict with the justice system. I am eternally mystified by those that claim the stance of pro-life, as Christianity calls, and vehemently support the death penalty. Death is irrevocable. The state of Georgia cannot decide in a few years with greater evidence (though there appears to be no greater evidence than that the testimony of their witnesses, the sole evidence they presented, has been recanted) and say that they were wrong. Troy Davis cannot be brought back to life. It is the judgment of God alone that may be leveled with this severity and permanence. Men are flawed; we are often wrong, and without the chance to redeem our actions through repentance we are doomed. Tonight, man took God’s judgment into his own hand and superseded His authority.
At the moment of his expected execution (7pm) I prayed a prayer like I never have before:
Lord, please save Troy Davis. Please speak to those who may stop this execution and show them that they can do what is right. There is still time. Save Troy Davis. But, if it is Your Will, please accept Troy into your loving arms. Please pardon his accusers, for they don’t know that they may be wrong; please pardon his executioners, they think they are doing what is right; but please be with us all, for even for a man we’ve probably never met, his death will change ours forever.
Tonight, a possibly innocent man was murdered by the state of Georgia, by the Supreme Court for not stepping in, and by his executioners who failed to see that their actions will lead to the immediate death of a man for which there is little to no proof of his guilt. Tonight, a possibly innocent man was murdered without justice and without dignity. Tonight was the end of America.