(It's 10:24 and the Supreme Court has denied Troy's stay of execution.)
Today will not end without at least one execution, however. Lawrence Russell Fisher, aged 44, was pronounced dead at 6:21 pm.in Huntsville, Texas. It took him ten minutes to die from lethal injection.
If you don't recognize his name, you will remember the circumstances under which he killed a Black man, James Byrd, Jr. Fisher and two other men dragged Byrd behind a pickup truck in 1998 until he was dead.
Fisher, a white supremacist, is scarcely a sympathetic person. It's said he expressed no remorse for his crime. The AP story about his last moments, as he declined to make a final statement, said that a tear hung in the corner of his right eye.
Deserve is an odd word, meaning "to merit, to qualify for." Did Fisher deserve the death penalty, while Davis does not? The word puts the focus on the object and away from ourselves as individuals and as collective members of society. What is truly best for us?
"You can't fight murder with murder," Ross Byrd, 32, told Reuters late Tuesday, the night before Wednesday's scheduled execution of Lawrence Russell Brewer for one of the most notorious hate crimes in modern times.
"Life in prison would have been fine. I know he can't hurt my daddy anymore. I wish the state would take in mind that this isn't what we want."
With every cell of my being, and with every fiber of my memory, I oppose the death penalty in all forms….I do not believe any civilized society should be at the service of death. I don’t think it’s human to become an Angel of Death.
Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor, Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1986
From this day forward, I no longer shall tinker with the machinery of death. For more than 20 years I have endeavored…to develop…rules that would lend more than the mere appearance of fairness to the death penalty endeavor…Rather than continue to coddle the court’s delusion that the desired level of fairness has been achieved…I feel…obligated simply to concede that the death penalty experiment has failed
Justice Blackmun, Supreme Court Justice quoted in1994