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An English Abolitionist Looks at Troy Davis

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Although I cannot agree with CNN's geographer that England (together with France and Germany) constitutes the entire world, the English are our forebearers and largely gave us our law.

This weekend, an astute English writer  --  and a death penalty abolitionist, no less  --  took an unvarnished look at the Troy Davis protest crowd.  What he saw was not pretty:

There are few subjects that provoke as much smug condescension and shallow anti-Americanism as the death penalty in the United States. And the "debate" over the execution in Georgia last Wednesday of Troy Davis, 42, convicted of the 1989 murder of Mark MacPhail, an off-duty police officer, marked a new low.

The sheer emotionalism and partisanship of much of the coverage of the case in Britain was an embarrassment. On virtually no other subject could you find facts presented so selectively, conclusions so sweeping and reasoning so simplistic.

He decided to present some of the facts selectively swept under the rug:

Unfortunately, little about the Davis case fits this [the protesters'] picture. A jury of seven blacks and five whites found that Davis, who had a street name of "Rah", standing for "Rough As Hell", had been pistol-whipping a homeless man in a Burger King car park and had shot MacPhail dead when he intervened.

Again and again, courts confirmed the Davis conviction as being on legally solid ground. Lynchings [the word used by the protesters] were carried out by racist mobs rushing to judgement, dragging their quarry out to string them up from a tree. To describe a two-decade legal process that twice went to the highest court in the land as a "lynching" is to try to strip the word of all meaning.

With very, very few exceptions, I have yet to read in the American press anything remotely as honest at this British piece.

Hat tip to TarlsQtr.

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Bully, savvy Brits!
Maybe they've been swotting-up of late: haven't been back since '05.

A 2009 BBC Channel 4 survey showed that
* 70% “favoured reinstating the death penalty”; an August 2011 public opinion pole revealed “that
* 65 per cent of Britons support reinstating the death penalty for murder” (Angus Reid).

The ethos of Churchill and Thatcher yet lives! {just not amongst the pillock MPs}.

--cheers to Tar & Bill Otis

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