The execution of Troy Davis in Georgia on the night of September 21 made him the 1,269th person executed in the US since the Supreme Court lifted its ban on the death penalty in 1976. Though Davis's case may be unique, it forces us to reexamine the cruelty and injustice that haunts our legal system.
The Nation's associate editor Liliana Segura joined Countdown with Keith Olbermann on Current TV last night to explain why Davis's execution should change the way we conceptualize the death penalty, law and justice. Davis put a human face on the cruelty of the death penalty, reminding us that we are not far removed from the times of lynching, Segura argues. In addition, she points out the racial bias and financial injustice that can affect death penalty sentencing. "Capital punishment... the person who doesn't have the capital gets the punishment," as Segura paraphrases some of her activist friends. "That pretty much sums it up."