» A decline in the overall numbers: According to the Death Penalty Information Center, the death sentence number is the smallest since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976. And public support is starting to fade: According to stats from Gallup, support for the death penalty is at its lowest level in nearly 40 years. Opposition is at its highest level since 1972. Keep this in mind when Rick Perry leads a crowd to cheers during a discussion about the death penalty. Or when cases like Troy Davis’ widely-contested execution build support against the death penalty.
revolutiontrainee asks: In response to your post of my commentary on 'what happens tomorrow', I think you drastically misinterpreted my tone (common in textual form). I was hoping your response would respond to the sentiment that engagement, no matter how fleeting or brief, is engagement. We understand that not every citizen can spend a multitude of moments engaging, therefore some engagement is still better than none. This was my point, not aggravation. Additionally, Haiti is still much discussed, perhaps not on CNN..
» SFB says: First, regarding your point on Haiti: But that’s the thing — it should be discussed on CNN, which is probably showing a Jeannie Moos interview on the street right now. Anyway, I see your point, but … that’s the problem. Fleeting engagement is just that, fleeting. Little can be built from that. Sure, you can’t ask everyone to be engaged at all times, and we all have busy lives, but as a culture, we have a problem of not being able to focus on one thing for more than five minutes. Yes, we all have to start somewhere, but there’s something important about daring someone to be willing to stop thinking in such narrow terms — instead of getting people to focus on Troy Davis, let’s encourage them to look at the death penalty, to reach the bigger goal of getting them to prevent another Troy Davis. Let’s dare people to engage more! Not everything has to be fleeting! It creates a stronger society. And that’s what the goal should be. It’s not an insult to offer encouragement. (This is a response to her earlier post. Ultimately, we think Ari Kohen’s point stands.) — Ernie @ SFB
revolutiontrainee asks: i want to call attention to your repost of 'what happens tomorrow', in relation to the execution of Troy Davis. to post/repost this suggests that everyday there aren't armies of individuals fighting for justice. yes, there may be some who came to the fight because of Troy or will leave tomorrow, but everyone needs a starting point. who dares to insult any fight for justice, despite its duration. awareness and understanding should be what we promote, not condemnation for engagement.
» SFB says: That post wasn’t for you or your armies. It was for the passive person who grabbed onto the moment. I’ve been on the Internet, I know how it works. We get easily distracted, no matter how awful the travesty is. (How much are we talking about Haiti right now?) If you really wanted to seize the opportunity, instead of taking it as an insult, you’d take it as a call to arms. There’s another time for hurt feelings. That time isn’t now. — Ernie @ SFB
heshallfromtimetotime said: Understatement of the year.
» SFB says: We’ve gotten a lot of responses about this — with many of you feeling that it perhaps didn’t hit the mark — and ultimately, while a lot of you are understandably angry about the case, I admit that it makes me numb. It is a bummer. And I’m bummed. Bummed about the justice system, about the way that it doesn’t feel like it serves everyone the same way, and in the process, never feels like the right decisions get made; and ultimately, I’m bummed about the way it makes me feel powerless in my own country. For every case like James Byrd, Jr.’s dragging — an open-and-shut case if there ever was one, no matter how you personally feel about the death penalty — there are tons of cases like Troy Davis’. I’m bummed because I’m livid. I’m bummed because I feel powerless, as a citizen of this country. So yes, it is a bummer. And a lot of other things. — Ernie @ SFB
» A last gasp: The Supreme Court’s decision is Davis’ final option — today alone, he’s offered to take a polygraph, he’s tried to appeal to the Georgia pardons board, he’s gone to the Georgia Supreme Court … and the U.S. Supreme Court’s move was a hail-mary play which had no guarantee of working. The court likely knew it was coming, though. Davis has knocked on their door before, and they’ve answered at least once — back in 2008, they gave Davis an opportunity for a new trial, but a federal judge didn’t go for it.