Ray Jasper is scheduled to be executed by the state of Texas. From death row, he wrote a strong piece on his impending death and the practice of state killing. I appreciate the juxtaposition he paints about race. Referencing a passage by Lisa Maxwell, Jasper explains:
Imagine you’re a young white guy facing capital murder charges where you can receive the death penalty… the victim in the case is a black man… when you go to trial and step into the courtroom… the judge is a black man… the two State prosecutors seeking the death penalty on you… are also black men… you couldn’t afford an attorney, so the Judge appointed you two defense lawyers who are also black men… you look in the jury box… there’s 8 more black people and 4 hispanics… the only white person in the courtroom is you… How would you feel facing the death penalty? Do you believe you’ll receive justice?
As outside of the box as that scene is, those were the exact circumstances of my trial. I was the only black person in the courtroom.
Again, I’m not playing the race card, but empathy is putting the shoe on the other foot.
If the people in Texas is going to kill this dude, the least I can do is read his letter.