The lynching party is never justified. When the shockjocks call out the citizens to take matters into their own hands, they should also tell them they are responsible for everything they do when they break the law (as, indeed, are the shockjocks for incitement).
Civilisation depends on this principle – that the law decides the punishment, not the individual. It is the bedrock of civil society and without it society teeters on the brink. Yet its decision to include the death penalty implicates every one of us in state sanctioned murder of the most cold-blooded type.
I’m not interested in the arguments in favour of this, as I know them off by heart, and none of them should ever convince a sensible human that the coldly calculated execution of a human being does anything uplifting for humanity. None. It does the reverse.
Even worse is the travesty when an innocent person is executed. Thanks and glory be to the wisdom of our past political leaders on this. Most of the time they drive us mad with their antics, but that time they got it right.
The stench of Troy Davis’s state sanctioned murder is still in my nostrils.
NOTE: there are other cases I would like to have mentioned here, but I decided against it. They include the gruesome murder of James Byrd by Russell Brewer, executed in Texas the day before Davis in Georgia, Australians currently on death row in Indonesia, Barlow and Chambers in Malaysia (1986), Ronald Ryan, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg (1953), the multiple travesties in Southern USA, China.... but it’s too much for now.