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Bert Roughton III
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By Bert Roughton III:
As the looming tragedy of the Troy Davis case continues to unfold in our courts and across headlines, we southerners, as the ones doing most of the killing and dying on death row, owe it to ourselves to pause for a moment and consider the full weight of what is happening here in our names. Just what does it mean to execute a person in the United States? What ultimate purpose does it serve? Can our death penalty really be called criminal justice? These are difficult questions. But they are not just philosophical musings. Since the restoration of the death penalty in 1976, 1,136 people in the United States have been executed on death row. That figure includes the 34 executions (30 in the South) that have taken place in the first half of 2009 alone. With human lives hanging in the balance, the stakes could not be higher or more real. We must get serious about this. It’s time to begin cutting through the cynical rhetoric, political cowardice and blatant untruths that have thus far […]