Executioner for Easter Monday stopped in Little Rockby Guido Bolaffi - 2017.04.18
When we first heard the news that the first execution, of the eight scheduled in Arkansas, to take place by the end of April, had been suspended, in a moment of professional weakness, we couldn’t help but think that perhaps our publication could take some credit. Seeing as, to the best of our knowledge, we were the only ones in Italy, to have announced and denounced, last Holy Thursday, the decision by the authorities in Little Rock to launch nothing less than a mega Horror Show. A decision that, due to the number of individuals scheduled to be executed by the state, as well as the accelerated timeframe for the “operation”, had been unprecedented, even in the long, tormented history of capital punishment “Made in USA”.
But, aside from our journalistic pride, what really motivated us to return to the issue was the desire to provide accurate information. Which, in this particular case, aside from the novelty of the actual fact that the convicted felon Don W. Davis was only 15 minutes away from entering the execution chamber, when the “stay of execution” arrived, rests with providing an explanation as to why the judges decided to halt the execution altogether. Against whom there were the usual hard-line politicians headed up by Arkansas Governor, Asa Hutchinson, and no small part of the local population noted as one of the most convinced in America that “true Justice” does not contemplate either the admission or remission of sins. Never, without any exception. The Judges of the state, however, took a different stance, when it came to the applicability of this concept to prisoner Davis, convicted 25 years ago for the brutal killing of a young woman, albeit by a very close 4 to 3 vote. Their argument, which will probably go to the Supreme Court, was based on what they saw as obvious intellectual limitations together with the overall professional superficiality of his defense attorneys, whose insufficient resources could never have adequately instructed in a precise and punctual manner witnesses that might have been able to testify in their client’s favor.
An event the merits close attention as it unfolds, regardless of the fate of Don W. Davis. Because, what is really at stake here is not one individual’s destiny, but rather, the question of equal opportunity in judicial procedures, an issue that, up until today, the American judicial system has taken great care to avoid.