Las Vegas Sun

August 28, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

Davis should not have been executed

Before retiring, I guarded inmates for three decades. I am a proponent in most cases of the death penalty — when the inmate through all his appeals has been clearly shown to be guilty beyond “any shadow” of a doubt. I’m not talking about “beyond a reasonable doubt,” as is the case in reaching a conviction. The doubt factor has to be extremely intensified to justify execution. This was not the case with Georgia inmate Troy Davis.

In executing Davis, the American justice system has committed a fatal mistake. I’m certainly not saying that Davis was innocent. However, there existed sufficient doubt to this conviction. Therefore, this makes the American justice system guilty of executing a man who may have been innocent of his conviction.

I’ve seen witnesses tampered with and convictions brought forth from tribunals, juries and judges that were so unjust it made me ill to be an American. I’m a loyal and dedicated American who has served his country faithfully as a Marine and a Nevada state peace officer. However, with this execution of Davis, America should hang its head in complete shame.

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  1. That night we saw two state executions take place, one in Georgia, the other in Texas. The execution in Texas was that of Lawrence Brewer. The crime for which he was executed was so brutal it was part of the inspiration for hate-crime legislation.

    The other execution, that of Troy Davis in Georgia, has been surrounded by controversy. And in my mind, should be the inspiration for new laws that set very clear, definitive and absolute standards for seeking the death penalty.

    Davis was convicted on the sole basis of eye-witness testimony.

    We have heard many times how such testimony is unreliable. We have also heard many times how people have been released from prison (often on death row) after serving 10, 15 or even 20 years and more when new forensic evidence (such as DNA) proves them innocent.

    It is my belief that the death penalty should never be imposed without the presence of incontrovertible forensic evidence. It is better to let every prisoner go free than to kill an innocent person.

  2. http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/innocenc...

    I once believed in the death penalty. That was prior to learning of unscrupulous DA's, crooked cops, botched evidence, unreliable eye witness testimony, and the courts using cases to advance their political careers. I have zero doubts we've executed innocent people. What does that say of a supposed "humane" society?

  3. I believe with the letter writer and gulp...I believe with Vernos & Dipstick...gulp...

    I have no qualms with the moral aspect of the death penalty -- I would gladly push the goodbye button on a sadistic child killer with no remorse -- but to place those arbitrary & political decisions in the hands of our State governments is certainly immoral.

    Our society should completely ban capital punishment, as it serves no societal purpose -- neither safety nor deterrent -- and is much too often misapplied.

  4. I am guessing most of those put to death after they have committed crimes of unconscionable acts of violence against innocent victims were justifiable. Maybe there has been some friendly fire, but even those may have dark pasts of violence. here must be some deterring and death is the one. To avoid it simply be a good citizen and obey the law. This guy had many chances at repeal and could not make a case. I think the time frame to the chamber is way to long, speed it up! Maybe you would rather have your little daughter raped and hacked up and just let all of them go free. Of course we can raise the taxes on millionaires to pay for the room and board we have to provide these killers.

  5. It's really stunning how some of you disregard the link I inserted that proves there were innocent people on death row. I know not all right wingers are ignorant and stubborn; it's those few who applaud executions, shout out "let him die", and the chickehawk cowards who boo an active military man for being gay that make you look bad as a group. Isn't it about time you policed your "house" and threw out the clowns instead of riding the wave of their anger and rage for political gain? How can we take you seriously as a group until you do?

  6. Purgatory,
    How do you feel about Republicans cheering the death penalty? Does it bother you? Does it make you not want to be part of a group that insane?