Paul Lachine

La pena de muerte: una vez más

PRINCETON – Tres acontecimientos significativos relacionados con la pena de muerte se produjeron en los Estados Unidos durante el mes de septiembre. El más publicitado fue la ejecución en Georgia de Troy Davis, quien fue condenado el año 1989 por el asesinato de Mark McPhail, un oficial de policía que en ese momento se estaba fuera de servicio.

La sentencia de muerte de Davis fue llevada a cabo a pesar de existir serias dudas sobre si era culpable del delito por el cual recibió dicha condena. Los testigos que declararon en el juicio dijeron posteriormente que los fiscales los habían forzado. Incluso los partidarios de la pena de muerte protestaron en contra de esta ejecución, alegando que se le debía dar la oportunidad de un nuevo juicio. Sin embargo, los tribunales rechazaron las apelaciones. En sus últimas palabras, Davis proclamó su inocencia.

El homicidio judicial deliberado de un hombre que podría haber sido inocente es profundamente preocupante. Pero la ejecución fue compatible con algo que sucedió apenas dos semanas antes, en uno de los debates entre los candidatos republicanos a la nominación de su partido para desafiar la candidatura del presidente Barack Obama el próximo año. El gobernador de Texas Rick Perry recordó que durante su mandato, la pena de muerte se había ejecutado 234 veces. Ningún otro gobernador en  tiempos modernos ha presidido tantas ejecuciones. Pero lo más resaltable es que algunos miembros del público aplaudieron cuando se mencionó este elevado número de ejecuciones.

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