Posted on | September 22, 2011 | 26 Comments
I haven’t blogged about last night’s execution of convicted Georgia cop-killer Troy Davis, in part because Ann Coulter and Ace of Spades already said pretty much what needed to be said. There isn’t really any need for me to dogpile the story except to observe that, even if you have doubts about the death penalty in general, executing cop-killers seems necessary to a civil society.
When a violent criminal is confronted by police, do we want the criminal to surrender peacefully? Or do we want every arrest to turn into a violent struggle in which the police officer’s life is at risk? If the policeman’s safety is not worth defending by the strongest possible penalties, no one’s life is safe — not even the criminals the policeman pursues.
Think about it: If the cop knows a rapist or armed robber is likely to shoot him, why shouldn’t the cop just shoot first, claim self-defense and be done with it?
Imposing the death penalty on cop-killers sends a very important message to criminals: When you see a policeman’s badge and uniform, don’t even think about trying to escape by shooting the cop.
If Officer Mark MacPhail had simply opened fire — instead of yelling “stop” — when he saw Troy Davis pistol-whipping a homeless man, then Officer MacPhail might today be looking forward to retirement and fishing with his grandchildren, while Davis would have been just a dead criminal, instead of a liberal cause célèbre.
Ginned-up arguments asserting that Davis was wrongly convicted do not hold up under critical scrutiny, and arguments in favor of mercy for cop-killers . . . Well, go tell it to the Pope. Don’t try that argument in Georgia. (CNN headline: “World Shocked by U.S. Execution of Troy Davis.” To which Georgia may reply, “F–k the world.”)
So the moral of the story is, don’t kill a cop in Georgia.
But I didn’t plan to write about the Troy Davis execution. Then I saw Mike Elk’s bizarre column in the progressive journal In These Times:
Last night at 11:08, Troy Anthony Davis was executed in the State of Georgia for the 1989 murder of a police officer. . . .
Last year on April 5, 29 miners died in a methane explosion caused by poor ventilation at the Upper Big Branch Mine in Raleigh County, W.Va. . . .
Despite this evidence of the willful violation of safety laws that could have prevented the miners’ deaths at Upper Big Branch, and despite evidence of widespread lying to federal investigators by Massey officials, CEO Don Blankenship is a free man allowed to enjoy the splendorous life of a multi-millionaire. . . .
Power and influence have clearly distorted the scales of the justice system when men like Troy Davis are executed in the face of questionable evidence of their guilt, while corporate CEOs like Don Blankenship, who evidence shows clearly and willfully disobeyed safety laws, causing the deaths of 29 workers, are allowed to go about sailing on their yachts.
I only wonder what would have been the Supreme Court’s reaction to a request for stay of execution, had the petitioner been a rich white man named Don Blankenship instead of a poor black man named Troy Davis.
Perhaps you need to fine-tune your analogy there, Mr. Elk, because I’m having a hard time seeing the equivalence. Don Blankenship might be culpable in this terrible accident, but it was still an accident, unlike the cold-blooded murder of Officer MacPhail.
Liberals want mercy for the criminal who pistol-whipped a homeless man in a Burger King parking lot and killed the cop who tried to stop him. But corporate executives? DEATH TO THE CAPITALIST PIGS!
Meanwhile, Alec Baldwin goes nuts on Michelle Malkin.
Is Baldwin another “rich white man” deserving of death?