The lump in my throat that had been there since the execution of Troy Davis on September 21 had just about dissolved when I looked on my Facebook page and saw a piece written by Reuters News Service that said the parole board in Georgia had spared the life of a convicted killer hours before his scheduled execution.
Samuel David Crowe, 47, was to be executed on Thursday, but his sentence was commuted to life in prison without parole.
Crowe has been convicted of murder and armed robbery. He admitted the same.
And he is white.
The story said that Crowe admitted killing a lumber store manager, shooting him three times and beating him.
The story said that Crowe “takes full responsibility of his crime and has shown …remorse.” His sentence was commuted, apparently, because of his remorse and because he has been a good “model prisoner.” His attorneys argued that when he committed his crime, he was suffering from symptoms caused by cocaine withdrawal.
The lump in my throat has come back. Now it’s not a “sad” lump. It is an “anger” lump. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Race continues to matter, and matter big time, in this country.
Why, how could the Georgia parole board be so able to grant clemency to this white man, in a case where there is, apparently, no doubt about his guilt, and yet refuse to grant clemency for Troy Davis in a case in which there was substantial doubt?
Something is terribly wrong.
There is nothing new under the sun. In the Bible, “The Preacher” in the Book of Ecclesiastes proclaims the same. “The Preacher” was distressed. So am I.
This candid observation gives me goosebumps. And it makes me really angry.