Like everyone else in this country, I am sure, I have been following the Troy Davis case for a few weeks now. I have been sent requests from organizations like Change.org and the NAACP, all asking me to sign a petition in hopes of getting clemency for Troy Davis (which I have done). CNN has conducted report after report, and other news outlets as well, showing that there is more than reasonable doubt in believing that Troy is guilty of murdering a cop in 1989. However all of the petitions and news reports and other forms of advocacy have proven to no avail as today Troy was denied his last plea for clemency and faces execution tomorrow evening.
I must admit that when I heard this report, I almost cried. Not because I believe Troy is innocent, honestly I do not know even though I hope that he is. However, I felt grieved in my spirit as I once again realized the deep injustice woven through our American fabric. More than this, I ached knowing that unless God intervenes another life was going to taken out of this world tomorrow.
I am not an expert in the matters of the law, and so I am not even going to pretend to know anything about those things. Yet there is something deeply disturbing to me about the way we as humans view life. Somehow we think that we have the right to dictate who gets to live and who gets to die, based on certain actions that they commit. We try to play God by casting our judgments, our decisions against those who are guilty, and for me, it does not matter if it is the person on the corner with a gun pulling the trigger or the soldier over in Afghanistan with a missile, life is life, each one just as valuable and precious as the next.
Two weeks ago, Gov. Rick Perry shared with a crowd of tea party activists that under his tenure, Texas had executed 234 death row inmates. As he said this, the audience cheered. I find this absolutely sickening. Where do we get off in saying anyone, regardless of the crime that they have committed is worthy of death? Don’t we realize that all of us, and I mean all of us, are hanging by a thread when it comes to the mercy of God? The Word says that all of us are sinners, all of us deserve everlasting death as a result of the crimes that we have committed against God. Yet God, in his ultimate act of mercy sent his one and only Son to take the sin of all humanity upon his shoulders, and die so that we would not have to be eternally separated from his side. Don’t we realize that if God could demonstrate this kind of mercy toward us, when our sin was at our peak, that we also need to demonstrate mercy?
Please do not misunderstand me, I am not saying that there should not be consequences for crimes that we commit. Sure there has to be consequences, otherwise what kind of society would we have? However, the death penalty should not be one of those consequences. As far as I am concerned, that is God’s territory. He is the one who calls the shots concerning life and death, none of that should we take into our hands.