It is now 6:20pm on September 21, 2011 Eastern Daylight Time and Troy Davis is scheduled to be executed by the state of Georgia in 40 minutes. 139 nations, all the developed and civilized nations but ours have outlawed judicial murder. Only the United States of America tarnishes this progress of humanity. Troy’s case is even more compelling; since he has had 7 of 9 witnesses recant their testimony which caused his conviction in the 1989 murder of a cop. Furthermore no physical evidence whatever ties him to this case. Former Georgia Governor and former President Jimmy Carter, if he were Governor today, would rescind the execution order. No less an expert on the case than former FBI director and the nation’s top cop at the time of the incident William Sessions (appointed by Ronald Reagan) has called for Troy not to be executed. Pope Benedict XIV has joined the world-wide chorus calling for a stay in this tragedy. Nobel Peace Prize winning human rights group Amnesty International has been campaigning tirelessly and helping in acquiring nearly 1 MILLION petition signatures to halt this gross miscarriage of justice.
Monday I posted on Facebook.com a link to an article Amnesty had generated about Troy’s pending possible demise, linked here: http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/clock-ticks-troy-davis-execution-2011-09-16. I offered the following comment along with the link to this article:
“Since Troy Davis has been on death row, more than 90 prisoners have been released from death rows around the USA on grounds of innocence. In contrast to the 139 countries worldwide that have ended executions in law or practice, the USA currently has more than 3,200 people on its death rows, and has executed more than 1,200 prisoners since resuming judicial killing in 1977. Currently Georgia has over 100 people on its death row and three people have been executed in this state in 2011 already.”
My post generated some comments, only one bumper-sticker knee-jerk reaction with the old cave man revenge motive negative; all the others positive. And the one woman, who offered that comment, actually came to her senses and offered this two word amends: “I’m sorry.”
But remarkable was the response of a friend I’ve met on Facebook, Jennifer Ebersole, whom I have come to admire, love and respect for a multitude of reasons, but never more so than in the eventuality of Troy’s threatened murder by the Governor of Georgia, and the ‘jurists’ who live comfortable lives and all those transgressors and sinners, from the prosecutor in the case to the individual who voluntarily may stick a needle into this man’s arm in 26 minutes to kill him. WHAT HYPOCRACY! How dare anyone claim to be so righteous as to sign off on anyone’s death, given their own transgressions in life somehow imagining themselves superior in some manner? Certainly not Jennifer Ebersole, though if anyone could be given to bitterness and angst, certainly she could. Her comments speak for themselves.
Jennifer Ebersole (Monday, September 19, 2011 at 11:38pm): “There is nothing much more that fires me up then when people start acting like a lynch mob when it comes to execution. First of all, life is prison is no life. Death is an easier out for the guilty. 2nd, my hero Gandhi said one of my favorite quotes "An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind." I could carry on with a long one from Einstein but I won't. 3rd, most victim's families who witness the execution of the murderer of a loved one often feels more guilt. It doesn't make anyone feel better and it doesn't take the crime away. Texas is full of hate. The US Supreme Court and the entire state should be ashamed of themselves but instead they are proud of killing. Normal, mentally healthy people do not kill. That goes for the state as well...”
She followed this comment immediately with another even more amazing one:
Jennifer Ebersole (Monday, September 19, 2011 at 11:41pm): “And do NOT get me started on the self-righteousness of our police force. 99% of them are evil criminals with badges, their excuse to commit and get away with crimes. If you don't believe me, ask my therapist. When I was raped by a state trooper I didn't think anyone believed me until I went to counseling and found out that most women are abused by husbands or boyfriends in law enforcement or as a result from drug abuse.”
To these comments of Jennifer’s I replied as follows:
Steve Alexander (Tuesday, September 20, 2011 at 9:53am): “Thank you Jennifer Ebersole for sharing all of your experience here, this is awesome testimony and you are not just a beautiful human, but courageous as well. I admire you. And I AGREE with you in re. Gandhi, Einstein, MLK's writings and many more. Even former FBI Director Sessions is calling for clemency here, and murdering Governors like Dubya and Perry are sickos indeed, as is the "Lone Star" State, unfortunately and the nation which uses revenge as a motive for murder and calls it execution. Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize winner and decries not only U.S. judicial murder, but our criminal 'justice' system in general, of which you are one obvious victim. I ♥ you sincerely Jennifer, thank you so much. :)”
Upon seeing Jennifer’s courageous testimony, the aforementioned author of the pro-killing remark who had already seen the error of her ways was inspired to write the following in direct response to Jennifer Ebersole’s most insightful and brave commentary:
Anonymous (my choice, I don’t have her approval to release her name, her real name was on my thread, and I consider her recantation of her comment, her apology and this statement of hers to be heroic as well offered on Tuesday September 20, 2011 at 10:29am): “Oh Jennifer that is such a courageous thing to speak about. I am glad you went and took care of yourself. I too was raped by a guy I dated.”
Wow! Then Jennifer offered the following, which ends this thread for as of this hour, which is now just 14 minutes before Troy is scheduled to die by state murder:
Jennifer Ebersole (Tuesday, September 20th, 2011 at 11:50am): “I stood up for myself and reported him but he got away with it. I still hope that somewhere down the road it comes back to him bc I do not believe I am the only person he did that too. Anyway sadly the latest is that Georgia's pardons board... rejected clemency. Am I not correct here that an FBI agent involved in the case actually admitted that this man was wrongly convicted? What a sad, sad day. I can only hope that something good comes of this situation somehow. We are all too quick to judge others bc we only assume everyone else is the same as us.”
I was so touched and affected by Jennifer’s insights and her heroism in sharing not only her story, but the convictions she holds despite all odds, I felt compelled to offer her the following private message yesterday, and still the day before Troy’s pre-planned premeditated first degree murder with revenge as the motive:
Unabashed Left: “Hi Jen,
I just had to stop and tell you privately how touched I was by your honest sincerity in sharing about the rape you suffered at the hands of 'law enforcement.' I am a friend of a Senate candidate here in Connecticut, Sue Bysiewicz, who has privately shared with me the plight of countless servicewomen in the recent US aggressions overseas who have been victimized, not by enemy combatants, but by superior male American uniformed officers, and so routinely it is sickening. Your response to this monstrous act, one of compassion for those who are victims, and opposition to executions is amazing. As a kid I grew up in a household where my much older siblings along with enabling and contributing parents created an environment replete with violence, handguns, switchblades, gravity knives, blood, police vehicles, ambulances, flying coffee pots, assaults, hollering and what-not. My best friend was my brother Joe, exposed to jail at 16, dead at 43 from heroin, and with whom I chose to live as a roommate for 4 years immediately prior to his death we were in such love with each other as friends for life. Another brother is out of prison for 4 years now after languishing for 34 of the last 35 in maximum security torturous U.S. state prisons. Thank God he is getting better, despite the obstacles being placed in his way. My response has been to become a pacifist, I went altar-boy as a kid, then toyed with my mistakes of a non-violent nature, and as you know, now to Hartford Seminary and my writing project based on pacifism and peace and a possible calling to ordained ministry. I relate to you at so many levels and you have so much courage that I wanted to take the time to tell you that I have learned that there are no virtual people on this earth or even this website. And God don't make no junk. Troy Davis may not be perfect, but neither is the State nor the person who would be sticking the needle into his arm for his possible execution. :( You get that. I love you dearly, my non-virtual compatriot. Posting about giving that tire and rim away helped so many others the other day, I can't possibly begin to thank you for that one either. You are simply a perfectly cut crystal clear diamond in a red platinum setting which is so beautiful it almost defies imagination. ♥ Continued blessings to you and to all those you touch, please, Jennifer Ebersole. Peace please, Steve Alexander”
Jennifer Ebersole: “Well it's not a secret bc I have a big mouth but it's something I stand strongly behind. People like to stand blindly behind our police force. These are people who do not know any better and believe that the police are good as I was taught to believe. That said, I suffered from an abusive relationship with a PA state trooper for 10 years and if that wasn't enough, I went on a date with another one after we broke up and Mr. Drug Enforcement Officer stuck a roofie in my drink. Unbeknownst to him, I am an asthmatic and he nearly stopped by breathing by not knowing this. I reported him and long story short, he got away with it. People are so blind. They think what they experience is life is how it is. Do you know what I'm saying here? I am now a rape advocate and I'm personally sickened by law enforcement. That could be a bad thing bc maybe some are good BUT based on my experiences, I see things differently and maybe that's wrong of me to judge bc I'm obviously judging based on my experiences. On the other hand it opened my eyes widely!!!
In the older days, men were executed for rape. No I do not wish to see my "attacker" harmed or hurt but I believe that a little karma 3 fold will find his way to him. (Although a state trooper in general population in prison for rape would be just in my mind.) I have a really good friend whose mother was sexually assaulted and murdered when she was 18. It has hurt her tremendously. He just recently had his sentence commuted to life. Although I feel for her, I don't think killing him will make anything better. He admitted to the murder and he's obviously mentally ill so he wasn't wrongly convicted. Doesn't matter. It's a touchy subject and I have to watch what I say not to hurt her.
But enough of my rambling. Thank YOU for saying such kind words to me. I am not perfect and sometimes I am too opinionated but I blame that on the stars as I'm a Libra. So are many other open minded, peace & animal loving individuals such as Mr. Lennon was ;) Thanks for taking the time FOR me and for just listening ♥”
Unabashed Left: “No problem Jen, if you want to publish some of your opinions, just say the word, because you have power behind your words and the feeling and passion associated with them are awesome. No you're not perfect, me neither. But you are awesome and you are converting lemons into lemonade every time ICU! I'd love to take some of what you write and convert it into an article or two. Just let me know. I am in complete agreement on everything you've said here, and have similarly strong personal reasons for my feelings, and I agree that other's experiences color their views of officers who are like the rest of us, a mixed bag of mixed motivations. You don't ramble you make valid and strong points as far as I'm concerned. And any time you wish to vent, I'm here forya! ♥ indeed! :)”
Unabashed Left: “Jen, you are ANYTHING but a nagging drag, ask your FB friends and personal friends. What I see each time is outpourings of love from them for you and from you for others. I'm inspired by you, and believe me, that doesn't happen often. Get the movie "Pay it forward," it's simple and really more aimed at kids, but it reminds me of you and me. I was abused as well, and try for the whole lemonade thing, too. I relate to you so much it's always a delight to visit your page and your wall. You also have a sweetness about you and your fashion project is a delight as well. You have writing skill and you are physically attractive in a notable and very noticeable way, many besides me comment on that as well. There are reasons for all of this and they are assets that you use to good effect in advocating for nice and good projects. I sincerely mean it when I say that your husband, family and personal friends are fortunate and blessed to have a woman of your caliber in the midst of their lives. :) ♥ I hope that one day we could meet, and that I'd get the chance to meet your people as well and tell them these same things.
Like you, I can't really think about much else but Troy Davis today. I received an email from NAACP President Ben Jealous, asking me and others to fast, pray and discuss tonight the horror of judicial murder in the United States and Mr. Davis faith and to consult our own faith leaders and seek their guidance on this sad and shameful day for our nation. I'm so touched by your reaction and your support. You also try to make a difference and THAT is the lemonade thing. I confess that I DO try to make a difference, and am somewhat effective at it. But so much more needs to be done. I will get to work on putting your comments together along with some photos into an article for publication, and submit it to you for approval before I do. This will be a most pleasant project for me. Luvya Jen.
I posted Ben's email in the form of this note, please read it and let me know what you think. I'm taking the day off for reflection. I'm all tied up about Troy. :(“
Jennifer Ebersole: “You have no idea how good the things you say make me feel. Not many people take the time for anyone other than themselves. I'm going through a bit at the moment (though I have been through mounds more in the past). I'm not married yet. My fiancé lives in New Zealand. We've been going back and forth for 2 years and it's gotten so frustrating that we can't come to find a way to be together. He has a really good job over there and doesn't want to leave it (I do NOT blame him when our economy is the way it is). And me, well it's everything but mainly my pets. This sounds so ridiculous but I could give everything else up if I HAD to but not my pets. I have 5 cats and an elderly, handicapped iguana. I'm just not in a financial situation where I can keep my place and have one in both places. But I don't wanna talk about that. I worry about my small issues when there are situations like Troy's. I read the letter and for once I don't know what to say. You feel so helpless. What would it hurt anyone to stay his execution and commute his sentence if not pardon him??? It's all political. Are you familiar with Leslie Van Houten and her case? It's another one that sickens me. There are many cases that do that :( “
Unabashed Left: “Yup, Connecticut. I am a bit familiar with Leslie's case as well, and I also related to your pet love. I believe that I am a spiritual being having a temporary human experience. And I also believe that my 2 current felines, my k9's and my late iguana (yes, I had one, too) are the same sort of spiritual beings having or having had temporary dog/cat/iguana experiences. :) I live in central Connecticut and commute now to Hartford for work and school at Hartford Seminary and the state capitol quite often. I'll write more later. I'm glad my remarks, help, but they are sincere and heartfelt and just stating the facts, Jen. You are an awesome woman; please don't let anyone ever let you forget that for one second. I hafta run out, but will definitely write more later, and plan to start work on your article later. :) ♥ Blessya. Steve :)”
Jennifer Ebersole: “That makes me so happy to hear you had an iguana too! Have you ever seen mine? She's my baby. I run a pet kennel from home so I've gotten stuck with quite a few pets in my lifetime. After the rape I just stayed in the house and gave up on finding a decent and honest person to share my life with. That's when I became content with what I already did have and I learned to love myself and my life the way it was. Then I met Graham. It was safe online but it became more. I love him dearly and he has been the answer to my prayers though I forgot to ask that the one for me be in this country. It's something I never even thought about but just assumed!
Anyway, most of my pets have passed away; I have 1 of 8 fish left, my frog, birds, guinea pigs, and 4 cats have left me for the Rainbow Bridge. Now I still have my 5 cats and OLD iggy. They are my family. I feel I owe it to them to stay. I shouldn't have to give them up if I don't want to. There has to be a way around it but I haven't figured it out yet! Enough babble about animals. (I just have more respect for them than most humans!) I've never been to Connecticut. Have you ever been to Pittsburgh? I've been to Boston 4 times. I was an egg donor when I was younger and donated through Boston IVF. Write whenever you have a chance. I'm not going anywhere except to therapy tonight which I actually look forward to going to :)”
Republican Presidential Candidate and incumbent Texas “Governor” Rick Perry has been responsible for the premeditated first degree murders of more than 230 of his own fellow Texas citizens, and has even been responsible for abusing the court system in Texas to sign off on the murder of two Mexican nationals in violation of international law and in contradiction to the ruling of his predecessor and then-President George W. Bush! Bush himself, as Texas Governor killed 131 in his brief 5 year tenure as Governor, far more than any other state! WHY DO WE TAKE PERRY, ANOTHER SICKO COWBOY FANTASIZER WHO IMAGINES HIMSELF A CHRISTIAN, WHO HAS MADE MISTAKES IN LIFE LIKE ALL THE REST OF US, AS A PRESIDENTIAL CONTENDER OF ALL THINGS? GEORGE W. BUSH BELONGS IN CRIMINAL COURT AT THE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE AT THE HAGUE FOR HIS WAR CRIMES IN OFFICE, AND PERRY ALREADY DOES AS TEXAS GOVERNOR HAVING KILLED MEXICAN NATIONALS IN VIOLATION OF ALL THE CONVENTIONS AND TREATIES OUR NATION HAS SIGNED! EVERY SINGLE LAWYER, BUSH, PERRY, INCUMBENT GOVERNOR AND LAWYER RICH-GUY NATHAN DEAL, AND EVERY JUDGE, PROSECUTOR AND RICH LAWYER WHO HAS SIGNED OFF ON THIS, JUDGES AND JUSTICES INCLUDED, ARE AS GUILTY OF PREMEDITATED MURDER AS ANY CONVICT THEY HAVE KILLED! THESE ARE THE BEASTS! BEASTS! WELL, THERE ACTIONS ARE!
I’ve shown pictures of some beastly acting individuals and this beauty, Ms. Jennifer Ebersole of Pennsylvania. She’s no attorney, has no doctorate, has won no beauty contests like Sarah Palin that I know of, but writes with more passion and feeling than I ever will. And she does so with a certain right to do so, given the calamities she’s suffered herself, and yet so full of mercy, compassion and love. Which after all, is the why for the existential question, “Why are we here????” To Love. LOVE. Yes, TO LOVE. EXECUTIONS ARE ABOUT HATRED AND REVENGE. PLAIN AND SIMPLE. ABOUT REVERSION TO CAVE-MAN MOTIVES AND DEVOLUTION, NOT EVOLUTION. Whether Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Baha’i, Buddhist, agnostic, atheist or polytheist one guiding principle MUST guide our species. UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. It is the only way that our species is worth continuing. Arguing finance, or pragmatism in using the most violent act of all, taking another human’s life, is operating out of HATRED. And I have never printed this vulgar word on these pages before, but I am compelled to do so tonight. There is no other word more vulgar than HATE. The proponents of hate are misguided and operating on the basis of beastly motives. Perry, Bush, and others are not beasts, their actions are! They are sick and misguided people, in positions of power that kill way too many as a consequence of their personal sicknesses, just as Hitler and Stalin did.
It is now 7:27pm and it appears as though Georgia has temporarily delayed Troy’s killing, while the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing a last-minute argument for a stay of execution. Lord let this PLEASE be your will!
The beauty of Jennifer and all those who are on the streets, typing, as I am right now, and advocating for those in positions so untenable as to be unimaginable is the love that is contained in the motives of people world-wide, and the comfort which can be taken in knowing that for maybe the first time in human history most of the world has outlawed judicial murder or ‘execution.’ Wake up America.
Troy Davis issued a statement himself today:
“"The struggle for justice doesn't end with me," Davis said in a letter to supporters released to the public via Amnesty International USA after his legal appeal was refused.
"This struggle is for all the Troy Davises who came before me and all the ones who will come after me," he said in the message.
"I'm in good spirits and I'm prayerful and at peace. But I will not stop fighting until I've taken my last breath."
Please, Lord I pray that it be your will that this prayerful man be spared death at the hands of other humans tonight. Amen.
One last comment about Jennifer Ebersole. The other day, she was out and about in Pennsylvania, and another motorist had a flat tire and was in despair. Jennifer measured out her tire and rim, the rim fit the other car remarkably. She gave the tire rim and all to the other motorist without regard for a replacement rim for herself, nor for the tire, nor seeking any recompense whatsoever. Her beneficiaries were surprised, and when she posted this event upon her facebook wall it created yet another of Jennifer's lemonade sort of events. I commented on that particular thread about an awesome movie produced a few years back called "Pay It Forward" about a kid who creates a movement of doing favors for others and then repaying the favor by doing one for someone else. Jennifer and people like her are part of that movement. Random acts of kindness, if done often enough, are no longer random. They are a lifestyle. And if we all can do them, then we change the world. Thanks Jen, I love you my friend. Here's a link to the movie starring an awesome guy, Kevin Spacey:
And here's a link to an awesome poem for anyone who has loved a creature who has departed this life already, Rainbow Bridge, which Jennifer referred to above:
And a link to Nobel Peace Prize winners Amnesty International:
I am going to go ahead and publish this article now, it is 9:05pm and the state of Georgia has still not killed Troy Davis as the world awaits the Supreme Court decision. The NAACP has called this delay a "miracle." Let's pray for this court please. If you're prone to praying do so now, if not hope, send energy whatever you can please! Now more than ever. Amen.
LATE BREAKING NEWS: AT 11:08PM TROY DAVIS WAS MURDERED BY A BUNCH OF ATTORNEYS INCLUDING JOHN ROBERTS AND GEORGIA GOVERNOR NATHAN DEAL. TROY'S LAST WORDS WERE A PRAYER ON BEHALF OF THOSE WHO VOLUNTARILY INJECTED HIM WITH POISON: 'MAY GOD HAVE MERCY ON YOUR SOULS, MAY GOD BLESS YOUR SOULS.'