The U.S. justice system is crumbling. We divorced fathers that have experienced family justice know where the flaws lie: prejudice –
against men and fathers- and more credence and weight given to accusation than to defense. You have to prove your innocence, when prosecution should be bearing the burden of the proof. In the case of capital punishment- the icing on the rotten cake- there is the combination of racial prejudice and prejudice against the poor. If you are flushed, you might save yourself; Otherwise, too bad.
Thursday September 23 of this year, Troy Davis was executed in Georgia. His execution was opposed by an international movement led by Amnesty International. One would have thought that might have spurred proposals to mend the capital punishment system. Indeed it did, in the most unexpected area: John Withmire, a Houston democrat and chairman of the Senate criminal Justice Committee, put an end all by himself to the last meal in Texas.
According to Manny Fernandez from the New York Times, this is the profligacy of Lawrence Russel Brewer’s last meal that set Withmire’s creative legislative mind in motion. Brewer was executed by lethal injection in the Huntsville Unit on Wednesday, September 22, one day before Travis. One would think that the chairman of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee in Houston had better things to do than micromanaging last meals. In any case, we don’t know for sure if it is the ethnic ingredients of Brewer ‘s last meal – jalapeños, fajitas- or worries for the State of Texas’ budget that troubled Whitmire. But even at the pace Texas executes inmates on death row, I bet last meals are not the most crucial budgetary issue of the state.
John Whitmire’s score to the Political courage test organized by Project Vote Smart is 0, because he refused to tell where he stands on issues addressed in 2010 Political Courage Test. No wonder; To me, Whitmire belongs to the most despicable type of politicians: Those who seek exposure while beating on the weakest and the defenseless. Who in these glorious days we are leaving in will oppose scaremongers like Whitmire? For God sake, until the day medieval capital punishment is abolished in the U.S., let’s those to be executed enjoy a last meal…and a last cigarette. Their fellows on death row won’t mind second-hand smoking.