Many Obama supporters, both black and white, don’t want to bring up the subject of race right before an extremely important Presidential election. Innocent people have been executed before, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were executed for giving the Atomic Bomb to Russia, even though George Koval a Soviet spy had long since escaped back to the USSR. But Koval’s acquaintances, who were grilled by the FBI, were sworn to secrecy so few of the American public were part of the conspiracy to convict the Rosenburg’s.

America is a country of precedents and the precedent of so many Americans ignoring what they know is wrong has ominous implications. Please note that Julius Rosenberg at Wikipedia doesn’t refer over to the George Koval page,

Sept 23 the Supreme Court stayed the execution then on Oct 23 lifted the stay without explanation. Amazingly short timing by Supreme Court standards, and “No Explanation” is not the usual practice. This is the same court that decided that Bush not Gore was President.

For Death Penalty supporters, the precedent was already set that you don’t have to be a triggerman in a robbery to be executed. Many of them would just like to imagine that the law in Georgia, would have allowed for the maximum punishment of all three, the 19-year-old man and the 16 and 15-year-old kids who were robbing a homeless man when a Burger King guard and off duty policy officer intervened, Of course this is stretching the definition of armed robbery. Some are pushing for, ‘No Probation and Parole,” “3 Strikes & You’re Out,” Death for Child Molesters when the little victim is left bleeding and bruised, and for big time drug dealers, and now a charade a little like the Saddam trial in Iraq, for the entire world to watch. China wants more executions, Zimbabwe wants to execute political opponents, some in Afghanistan wants to execute new Christians, and Magen’s law type vigilantes in Sudan wanted to execute a teacher who allowed a child to name his teddy bear that of a Prophet. Why can’t the US stand with Europe instead of joining the downward plunge?

I once was a neighbor to an old lady, Gene Francis, who back who in 1952 was a garment worker, and proud of the radical union she belonged. She was upset that all her other progressive friends were ignoring the arrest of Julius Rosenberg, and saw in her eyes that the vague evidence the government was presenting could convict any of them. We now know that Stalin ordered the US Communist party to ignore the arrests of unimportant Communists, and the Communist Party back then was in the leadership of the progressive movement more than many of today’s radicals admit. Progressive Americans were ignoring the trial until Gene Francis stepped in. Of course adding Julius’s wife Ethel to the list facing the death penalty got other progressives involved as well. Fear kept them silent; today, ironically hope for a better tomorrow under Obama, is keeping far more people silent this time.

In 1989, 16-year-old Silverter Cole and his lawyer came to the police station the next day after Marc McPhail who was too nice to shoot a drunk who was pointing a gun in his direction because he didn’t really believe his life was in danger, lost his life. Everyone should take a moment to honor a really decent human being, Marc McPhail, This truly noble man lost his life trying to help someone more unfortunate then himself. While we contest over Troy Davis’s life it is especially appropriate to together take a moment out to honor this man, and a small percentage out of all lobbing efforts on both sides should be earmarked for his relatives’ behalf.

Silverter Cole claimed Troy Davis did it, and somehow the police claimed no fingerprints or any other physical evidence and ignored that people had seen Silvester Cole with the kind of gun that shot officer McPail. There were other cases where the police and prosecutor wanted to punish an adult not a child for a crime. Here in Pennsylvania, 14-year-old Ronald Brickley at times under police interrogation confessed to murdering a delivery man. But the police wanted to punish Kevin Brickley because they could pretend a 15-year-old was an adult, for the purpose of a life imprisonment sentence, though not for purposes of a death sentence. Now years later Ronald is begging to be punished and new witnesses claim he did it, just like in Troy Davis’s case. If Troy Davis dies, capital punishment opponents should honor Troy Davis’s memory by wrapping our lives around the Kevin Brinkley case. The Supreme Court seems to only want to open up cases because of new evidence only when a perfect stranger is being accused, not when the wrong relative or gang member was blamed. In Texas after a lawyer’s client had died, that lawyer came forward and told the court that the dead man’s brother on death-row had nothing to do with the murder and knew nothing about it. The Supreme Court said the new evidence was incredible and let the execution stand. I wonder if in a hypothetical case, one man was convicted of kidnapping rape and murder and another of just kidnapping, and the man accused was murder was able to prove he ran away and pissed where he said he did, when his DNA from urine was found under the flooring of a being torn down building, whether the Supreme Court would suddenly call new DNA evidence “incredible” as well. Much of the world is slipping toward the kind of due process Saddam experienced. I have a strange idea. Perhaps lawyers defending guilty people could, with their client’s permission, tape-record or videotape their client’s confession, to be released after their client is too sick to be punished so innocent people won’t have to spend their life in prison, that is if the courts won’t rule that evidence incredible as well.

Can all of us, who think the world might be at least a little better with Obama in charge of the country than McCain, do anything other than play out our part of the Greek Tragedy for the country? It seems to me we would be in a hopeless corner except for one important detail.

There is something very special about Troy Davis’s most conservative supporter, and I don’t mean the Pope who pleads for Troy Davis’s life. Bob Barr who can be called anything but a bleeding heart liberal, or a black militant. He is a fellow Georgian, well know in Georgia with a long history in local politics. He was once the most hardened opponent of medical marijuana. Though he changed his mind about that issue. He also changed his mind about being a Republican and is now a top Libertarian. Some people suggest that he wants to get involved today only because of his personal guilt over involvement in the matter back in 1989. If so, then so much the better. Barr is still for the death penalty in cases where the proof is absolute and the trial completely fair. The libertarians may get a rememberable percentage of the Presidential vote, conceivably but very unlikely out poll McCain in both Texan and Georgia, though a few Texas Obama supporters are urging Barr to be voted for, as more likely to beat McCain in Texas. However, progressive libertarians were upset that an abortion hating Bible thumper got the top vote to head the Libertarian Presidential ticket. Some abortion haters accuse him of doing this just because he hates what McCain stands for. To the extent Bob Barr is at the head of any protest marches instead of blacks or so-called bleeding hearts, might the extent that a few more white Americans don’t get distracted by the issue of race to be reluctant to support Obama. If someone screams at Obama at a rally, “What are you going to do about Troy Davis,” Obama could change the subject to praising Bob Barr, turning the question into a win-win situation, including unfortunately praising Bob Barr if Troy dies right before election day. Since Obama haters condemned him for being Rev. Wright’s friend, then condemned him for criticizing Wright, McCain might do the same thing if Troy Davis dies, McCain implying that Obama betrayed his race while bragging that McCain is for Capital Punishment. Praising Bob Barr is the way for Obama supporters to go.

Bob Barr wants to end the Patriot Act, calls for reason toward Iran that resinates toward conservatives, eloquently and I think convincingly criticizes the boycott of Cuba, while Nader and Kucinich before him just quietly say they oppose it.

I have a fantasy. Instead of possibly black activists arrested for yelling too loud, or blocking an entrance, I hope Bob Barr considers trying to talk the doctor who is supposed to give the fatal poison in the last moment to refuse, than the next doctor far more effectively stopping an execution than if people were praying in front of the prison, which may end up with Bob Barr getting arrested for sabotaging justice. In Chicago a sheriff is refusing to evict renters who paid up their rent just because their landlord didn’t keep up the mortgage payments and is facing a charge of theft for not doing his job. Civil disobedience doesn’t have to mean blocking entrances. There is more possibility than in any case since Biblical times that persons assigned to an execution won’t carry out their job. So instead of a 42-year-old mother on estrogen pretending to be noble, almost Christ-like, by not using a condom with her husband, a 60-year-old politician will actually act Christ-like by stopping a lawful execution the way Christ did.

By Richard Kane (RichardKanePA)

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