Wednesday, June 21, 2006

"This is some nasty" - Another execution in Texas

It is so ho-hum, another execution in Texas, that it barely merits mention in the news anymore. Lamont Reese was the latest person to walk through the Texas death chamber (although he actually refused to walk - he had to be carried in saying that he wasn't going to walk into his own murder).

He proclaimed he was innocent. Who knows if he was, I don't really know anything about his case and whether he was wrongfully convicted. I can assure you that his mother (who went wild at the execution, screaming and kicking holes in the wall while crying for her son) will insist to her dying day that he was innocent (as he did). I can also assure you that the family of the victim, as well as the police and prosecution will also insist to their dying day that he was guilty as sin, and is an inveterate liar.

But, death has become so routine in this country (especially in Texas, but clearly not as routine as many would like it to be), that this will go away without another thought. There will be no Innocence Project looking into this case. There will be no DNA testing of evidence (there was probably none in the first place). Years from now, no one is going to even think about this case, except those most intimately involved in it.

What is most interesting is that this case is probably like most other cases in which someone goes to death proclaiming in their innocence. Very little press attention is given, both sides insist they are right, the jury convicted the person, so he must be guilty, right? The case was probably predicated on the usual basis for conviction - eyewitness identificaction testimony (we know how unreliable that can be, don't we?), probably some statement he may or may not have given to the police, probably some corroborating evidence. In other words, just the kind of case that convict people everyday, both the guilty and the innocent (those were almost always present in the cases that have been reversed due to actual innocence proven from DNA over the last decade).

The reality is, that while the Innocence Project has freed well over a hundred murder convicts from death row, there are hundreds of thousands more sitting in our prisons, or thousands more sitting on our death rows, many of whom are guilty, but some of whom are innocent. They sit doing their time or awaiting their appointment with the death chamber, and frankly, no one even cares anymore. That is how mundane death has become. Innocent, guilty? Whatever, kill them and let God sort them out.


Anonymous said...

Let god sort them out... God. Well, seems like there also is serious doubt about the existence of such a... capacity, isn't there? We are stuck.

PD Dude said...

I guess that would somewhat be my point.....