Executing an innocent person -- even a merely potentially innocent person -- is surely the the depth of evil. This execution, going forward tomorrow, combines so many kinds of moral failure it staggers the imagination. (See Mark Keliman's commentary here.) My stomach turns at the knowledge that the United States has an "Anti-terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act" -- the language combines Orwell's vision of authoritarian corruption with Kafka's sense of the nonchalant use of power in a perfect poem of moral darkness. Update: Davis' life spared, but he still faces life in prison; if, as Mark Kleiman points out, he was spared because he is innocent of the crime for which he was convicted, he does not belong in prison.

Author: jd

Joseph Duemer is Professor of Literature Emeritus at Clarkson University in northern New York state. His most recent book of poems is Magical Thinking from Ohio State University Press. Since the mid-1990s he has spent a good deal of time in Vietnam, mostly Hanoi. He lives with his wife Carole & five terriers (four Jack Russells & one Patterdale) on the stony bank of the Raquette River in South Colton.