Not to be outdone by Georgia in the area of death penalty barbarism, the state of Texas has decided to stop serving "last meals" to death row inmates. Think I'm kidding? No, it's true! Turns out yesterday's last meal (served to a white supremacist executed for a notorious vehicular dragging murder) was the last last meal. He ordered too much barbecue, ice cream, and the like, didn't touch any of it, and now Texas legislators are taking away that tradition.
About Troy Davis's execution in Georgia ... I'm about to say something that may make you lose all confidence in me, dear reader. So let me first emphasize: I'm against the death penalty, and do think the Troy Davis execution looks to be a procedural mess. If there's no place in the system for taking into account withdrawn testimony, it seems inevitable that innocent people will be executed. In fact, it seems quite possible that Troy Davis was innocent of the crime for which he was executed. So he shouldn't have been executed.
OK ... here's my provocative point. In all the passionate talk about Davis's possible innocence in the last couple of days, something seems to have been lost. It's not consistent with the undisputed evidence that Davis was innocent in every single respect. He was in fact part of a group that was assaulting a homeless man when McPhail intervened and got shot. In fact, under the laws of some jurisdictions, sheer participation in that joint venture could have been enough to make Davis guilty of some offense--though perhaps not a capital offense. (Full disclosure: I was once on a jury that convicted a man of manslaughter under a joint venture law.)
Maybe that's actually obvious, and all the protests about Davis's execution were about the right thing--the procedural mess, not his blamelessness. I suspect people do get confused though. The sheer effort to defend someone against an injustice can make you vulnerable to a a sort of fallacy of victimhood. If X is a victim of injustice, X must be a saint or a hero. Mysteriously enough, the concept of a victim and the concept of a saint or hero seem to be next door neighbors in our brains.