The Anniversary Trip

So today we are headed out to Naples, Florida for our anniversary. Southwest Airlines was having a huge sale several months ago, so we were able to book flights and stay four days for less than $900. It was a bargain, and it fit the bil perfectly – beach, warm weather, ocean, sand, and no email. I need this!

I’ve been reading for class on the plane, and I plan to finish up for next week’s reading here in just a bit I didn’t bring my evidence book, but I can read for that class when we get home on Monday, as I already read quite a bit for class before we left. I am really enjoying my classes this semester, although one is not as fun as I’d hoped it would be because the gunner is driving us all nuts. It’s easy to do in a class of only 12 or so folks.

We’ve never been to Naples. The reason we chose it was because we wanted to go to south Florida but we didn’t want to go to the Gulf. We also heard that life was slow-paced there, and we heard that the housing market is pretty depressed, so we are going to look at a few condos tomorrow, just to see what is available. I’d love to live in Florida at some point.

It’s funny how every semester I have a class that makes me want to change my focus. This semester, it’s the class I didn’t originally sign up to take, but it is by far my favorite. It’s actually in the top three I’ve taken to-date in school. I really like the professors, both adjuncts who work in the Federal Habeas system, because they are passionate about what they do and passionate about their clients. THIS matters to them, and it makes a huge difference in someone’s life. Habeas is not like anything else. It’s truly life or death. They have clients who are put to death by the state, and I can guarantee you that not all of those men and women are guilty. Eyewitness testimony is inherently flawed.

Think for yourself. You are in an airport. You’ve been sitting by the same lady in a green sweater all day. Three hours later, she stands up, stabs a man, and runs out of the airport, flanked by hurried travelers on their way to the ballgame. Could you accurately descibe her? If she is the same race as you, that gives you a head start, but if not, there is a 50/50 chance you’re going to be wrong.

Think if it was your sister, daughter, friend, or parent. You know her. You know she would never stab someone. Yet, a stranger who only sat next to her in an aiport, someone who has never met her before, accused her of stabbing someone simply because she, too, was wearing a green sweater and had brown hair. It’s just the luck of the draw. It’s also someone’s life at stake.

The inherent flaw in the more conservative view is “What about the victim’s rights?”, not taking into account that the victim, too, would not want your sister to die because she wasn’t the one who committed the crime. The victim, somewhere in another dimension or in spirit, depending on your belief, is screaming out, “You have done no justice for me!”, but there is no one there to hear. It is truly a Catch-22. The people want a resolution; the victim’s family wants retribution; the crime must be solved. The flaw, however, is not solving the crime itself, but merely finding a scapegoat who wil fit into the prosecution’s slot.

I am not totally against the death penalty. I just firmly believe that it must be used in the most aggregious cases, and with the utmost care. It is non-reversible.

For the victim’s families, justice is only served by catching the actual person who did the deed. Justice is not served by putting to death an innocent man.

These things are on my mind today because of Troy Davis. If he was indeed innocent, Georgia did a horrible injustice last evening. If he was not, then the victim’s family do have their justice.

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