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A Tale of Two Executions

On Wednesday, the State of Georgia executed Troy Davis for his part in the death of an off-duty police officer. MSNBC had hours of coverage across various shows. The Vatican weighed in. The foreign press covered the controversial case. CNN.com posted an article this morning, 'World shocked by U.S. execution of Troy Davis."

Meanwhile, in Texas, Lawrence Russell Brewer, was executed for the dragging death of James Byrd. There was no highly publicized global outcry for his life, despite his protestations of innocence. Perhaps because of the attention the hate-crime garnered when it occurred, all hearts were hardened against his cause.

The Los Angeles Times has noticed the difference in reactions.

If one is opposed to the death penalty because it is morally wrong - then it was equally wrong for both men. If the opposition is based on the theory that it is bad policy - including the chances of executing innocent men - then one risks substituting popular or personal opinion for the judicial process on a selective basis. It forces capital punishment opponnents into the position of blessing or standing silent in the face of the "machinery of death" that executed Lawrence Russell Brewer while condemning the flaws of the same Texas system that killed Cameron Todd Willingham and a similar one that killed Troy Davis.

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