Tonight (as of this writing) one more deserving character walks the last mile at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Center. His name is Troy Davis, and he's to die for the murder of a Savannah policeman.
I remember the case, because, in 1989, I was living near Savannah. I grew up in southeast Georgia, and Savannah is where we got most of the news. The Savannah Morning News was the daily paper. When we watched local TV, the closest was Savannah television. And, when we listened to the radio, outside of the local stations (in the same county), almost every other station was a Savannah station.
So, when Troy Davis shot and killed Mark MacPhail, I heard about it. And, when he was tried and convicted in the summer of 1991, I heard about it.
Seems simple, doesn't it. Young man, high school dropout (did get his GED, though), poor job attendance record, with a criminal record shoots and kills an off-duty policeman who was working security at a fast-food restaurant.
Here's where it gets ... interesting. Davis is black. MacPhail was white.
So, now you have the NAACP, Al Sharpton, and others protesting the upcoming execution. You have PBS talking about the case in a discussion on how race plays a role in death penalty cases. You have the Christian Science Monitor talking about "the impact of race on a jury in the Deep South."
None of these geniuses bother to consider that, of the 12 members of the jury that convicted Davis, 7 were black. That's right, a jury that's 58% black from a city that's 57% black convicted a black man. And the usual suspects are screaming race discrimination.
Why? Because MacPhail was white. Had be been black, like the other man Davis shot that night (but who survived) you wouldn't hear about any of this.
So, yes, it's racial. Only not like they're making it out to be.
Assuming all goes well, and the state carries out the execution tonight, should we be happy?
But not to celebrate a man's death, though Davis certainly deserves to die. No, we should celebrate that, despite people using race as a battering ram, justice was done. It will have taken entirely too long, but that's because certain people like to promote their cause, even when it's without cause.