My son turned 10 this week. And the sweetest thing about a child's birthday is, as a parent, being able to look back and reflect on the day your child entered this world. A child's birthday might be one of the only days you only remember the good times. It's like you're getting the gift of selective memory.
My beautiful, fearless, artistic, witty Wonder was given to me in an easy birth. And since his birthDATE has passed I can say: Raising this kid (who many say acts “JUST like his mother”) ain't easy! He has always had “his own mind”. He sees things a certain way and aims to bring his way to life – no matter what. As my friends (and Facebook friends) can tell you, I have way too many stories of about this kid. True stories that’ll make you reply LOL and/or SMH. Oh, the memories!
He and his big brother frustrate me at times but they tickle me even more – and I love them even more than that. Of course I do. And that’s some of what made this week so tough for me.
Less than an hour before my child’s birthday another woman’s son was killed by a justice (just us?) system for allegedly killing another woman’s son. I’m a journalist by training I understand you only use the word allegedly for those charged with but not convicted of a crime.
I understand Troy Anthony Davis was convicted of killing officer Mark MacPhail.
I understand everyone in jail claims innocence – but only a few are, in fact, not guilty.
I also understand since Davis’s original trial more than half of the witnesses who testified against him have recanted their testimony.
I understand the federal judge wrote after hearing an appeal “…while Mr. Davis’s new evidence casts some additional, minimal DOUBT on his conviction, it is largely smoke and mirrors”
OK I understand, legally, "beyond a shadow of a doubt" will set one free. But you’re telling me that “additional, minimum doubt” will still get you the death penalty?
I still don’t understand that.
I’m sad for the MacPhail family. I’m sad for the Davis family. And I am absolutely sad for my own sons. How many bad decisions does it take to end up on death row? Not as many as one might think - especially depending on your race, ethnicity, or social status. *(forget about trying to argue that point with me) So, yeah I'm sad. I am also prayerful that my children are paying attention to what their loved ones tell them and that they will act accordingly.
And please, I certainly do understand: Davis wasn’t an angel. He was only one of God’s children. And for the "Christians" who say “eye for an eye…" that was Old Testament. If you want to follow the one your religion's named for – he didn’t teach “eye for an eye”. In fact, the most poignant “eye” reference I recall reading is about pointing out the speck in your brother’s eye but not being able to see the plank in your own eye...
… and maybe that’s why the lawyers, 'judges', and 'justices' can’t see they made a bad decision by killing Troy Anthony Davis.