Andy asks, "Do you remember the day you were able to really comprehend what the death penalty meant?"
I don't remember that, but I do remember when I realized that an innocent person could be put to death. I remember the dawning horror of realizing that the government, my government, the police and all the "good guys" could, not accidentally, but deliberately and with malice, make it happen, even when they knew the person was innocent.
I was in high school, and Clarence Brandley, who lived in my town, was on death row.
My brother was a young lawyer following the case. He told us about all the details that were coming to light -- the racism, the destroying evidence, how those in power conspired to bring this about.
I think it was the first time for me to really understand systemic evil.
Do you think the "collateral loss" of some innocent people being put to death is worth it? I mean, we know it happens.
Some think that's an acceptable loss.
I don't. I can't.
Clarence Brandley, no thanks to the system, yes thanks to many civil rights activists, was eventually exonerated and set free.
Troy Davis was not.
For further information, see The Innocence Project