When the Hebrew Sacred Text becomes a pretext for executing an innocent man, ours is no longer a nation governed by laws, but by an ideology of vengeance. Yes, six out of the nine non-uniformed eye-witnesses have withdrawn their testimony. Yes, no forensic evidence links Mr. Davis to the scene of the crime. Yes, one of the three remaining eye-witnesses was initially the prime suspect. But these facts overlook what blood-lust says about us and what it does to us.
Even if we assume that the value of one life is infinite, there is no rationale for doubling the value of the loss. Mr. Davis’s death cannot make up for the loss of the off-duty police officer who was killed. Mr. Davis’s death doubles the loss. But, as every school-boy knows, infinity squared is . . . infinity. Nothing is gained.
Assuming that the value of the life of the off-duty police officer is infinite, it does not follow that our knowledge is infinite. To the contrary, a review of a half-century of executions confirms that states have regularly put to death individuals who testimony and forensic evidence later proved had been innocent. In this case, the death of the accused at the hands of the fallible state only shows that the state can also commit a crime the consequences for which cannot be undone.
What does it say about us that we are willing to take a step of infinite consequence based on knowledge that is inevitably flawed? Or what effect does such a step have upon us?
We become in that instant a nation not of laws, but a nation of vengeance. However, “Vengeance is Mine. I will repay, saith the Lord.” This act by the State of Georgia is not only illegal. It is impious. And I truly believe that a just God will take vengeance upon a people who commits such an impious act in His name.