I am writing this in the early hours of the morning.
Last night, just after 11pm in Georgia, an innocent man was killed. He was black, of course. Born in the wrong place at the wrong time. Until the last moment (he was made to wait 20 years, brought close to execution 4 times and yesterday left a whole day before the deed was done) he maintained his innocence. For him at least, 20 years of torture is over. The injection was administered quickly. In the words of the reporter, the executioners were 'professionals'.
And, along with other ghoulish details, we were told that the MacPhail family smiled when it was finished. They think they will now have peace.
How misguided is the advice they have been given. Peace does not come through revenge. Lest we forget, the MacPhail family are victims. They lost a beloved son, a brother, a husband. They lost someone they loved and still love, even in death, even after all these years.
How will this wound be staunched now that revenge is their's?
Perhaps it will come as a surprise to them, as the years roll by and their loss gets greater in the way these things do, that peace becomes even more elusive? No matter. Those who counselled and steered the MacPhail family towards the argument of the death penalty do not have their best interest at heart. For when all the vote chasing and the simplistic rhetoric is over, loss is only healed by love. The murder of an innocent man cannot be equated by the murder of another innocent. All that will be achieved is the sullying of Mark MacPhail's memory, a man who was merely helping a homeless man at the time of his death.
But now it is all over no one will be following his family through the long dark journey that will be the rest of their life. No one will offer them another blueprint for living with the loss that remains their loss only. Because frankly, no one will care about them much, now.
Not the Savannah District Atorney, Larry Chisolm.
Not the local judge Penny Haas Freesemann.
Not Georgia's Governor Nathan Deal, nor anyone who might have stopped this medieval execution.
The MacPhail family, vulnerable statistics and victims themselves, although they do not know it yet, have been betrayed twice by the State of Georgia.
And as for this little tribe, the Georgia State Board, what of them? Yesterday Amnesty International said,
'Should Troy Davis be executed, Georgia may well have executed an innocent man and in so doing discredited the justice system.'
Well, Georgia has achieved its objective and now will withdraw back into its alien way of life. No vigils will be held across the world for any of them. But America what of you? Once known for your charm and your friendliness; once thought of as world liberators, as the first to give us a glimpse of ourselves suspended in space.
What is it like now, for you, living on the dark side of the world?
Sons of the Motherland
'How far that little candle throws his beams!'
(Photograph taken outside the American Embassy in London on the night of Troy Davis's death.)