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Weekly Top Zen: I Object

 

Last week, the state of Georgia executed a man named Troy Davis. It was a stunning blow not only to those who oppose the U.S. death penalty, but also to believers in the justice system in general. Davis was convicted of killing a police officer in 1989 and while nine witnesses testified against him during the trial, seven recanted their statements due to accusations of police coercion and intimidation. 

Even with the blatant need for a retrial, the Supreme Court allowed Davis’ death to proceed, and he died of lethal injection on Sept. 21. 

Those who knew me could find me hunched over in the local bars for some days afterward.

This was quite clearly a failure of the U.S. justice system. 

If there is any modicum of doubt regarding a person’s guilt, especially if their lives are on the line, a careful reevaluation is necessary to ensure he or she is, in fact, the culprit. I am not going to spend time arguing whether or not the death penalty is necessary, I’m pretty sure people can figure out which side I’m on, but I will bring up a related debate that is gaining increasing coverage – Proposition 26.

Oh, Proposition 26. It’s sort of like that really offensive guy you know who you’ve tried to distance yourself from over the years, only to have him show up time and time again at your parties, eat all your food and tell your girlfriend that she doesn’t really have a say over her own body.

I first met Proposition 26 when the Dead Fetus Patrol came around town last semester, flaunting their signs, posters and disabled children. OK, maybe that’s a misrepresentation of group, but it’s hard to think of a rational description of them when they send their 6-year-olds around waving abortion picture fliers. It reminds me of the butter alternative at grocery stores — “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Human Decency.” Since then, attention on the amendment has grown on both sides. Everyone and their mothers (their mothers especially, seeing as they are in possession of a female reproductive system) have chimed in on the debates. Now you can add yours truly to that list. That is, someone who is chiming in, not someone with a female reproductive system. Just wanted to be clear.

Oh, you know who also has put in their two cents on the argument? The Mississippi-based American Family Association. Well, their two cents is in actuality $100,000 in donations in support of the proposition. Who are they, you ask? They’re just a Southern Poverty Law Center-classified hate group who last year blamed Nazi Germany’s brutal tactics on “homosexual soldiers.” It kind of reminds me of a certain university issue last year that gained the support of another ultra-conservative, bigoted group of concerned citizens, this one with a penchant for white, pointy hats. Oops.

Anywho, $100,000 may seem like a lot of money, but I would bet the AFA spends at least that much each fiscal year on aluminum foil hats in order to deflect mind control rays from the Jewish Reptilian overlords.

Look, it’s pretty simple stuff. Even discounting the whole “insane ultra-rightwing group support” thing, Prop 26 is kinda sorta, like, really unconstitutional. Executing a man with nearly a complete lack of evidence is sort of unconstitutional. I’m assuming that, should the amendment pass, we will prosecute women who suffer miscarriages on the basis of involuntary manslaughter with the full extent of the law. From what I’ve seen from the judicial system over the past two weeks, it’s only fair. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some tin foil hats that need making.