THE BLOG
11/19/2014 06:55 pm ET Updated Jan 19, 2015

Double Justice in Missouri

For the second time in two months, Governor Jay Nixon of Missouri approved the execution of an African American man sentenced to die by an all-white jury.

Governor Nixon denied Mr. Leon Taylor clemency shortly before his execution on November 19th. In September, he denied clemency for Mr. Earl Ringo. In each case, his statement announcing his decision made no mention of the fact that both African American men had been sentenced to death by all-white juries.

Nor did Governor Nixon mention that in both cases prominent civil rights leaders had expressed concern about the legitimacy of the outcomes in these cases because people of color had been excluded from the juries.

This is the same Governor Nixon who has declared a pre-emptive state of emergency in anticipation of a grand-jury decision on whether to indict Darren Wilson, the white police officer who shot unarmed, African American teenager Michael Brown.

The systematic exclusion of people of color from serving as jurors is one of the oldest tricks in the book of southern justice. The practice is supported by the despicable assumption that African Americans unlike their white counterparts cannot be trusted to render fair and impartial justice when it comes to one of our own.

If you doubt my logic, close your eyes and imagine for one minute this governor upholding a death sentence for Darren Wilson, or any white male, if he had been sentenced to death by an all-black jury.

If you cannot imagine that happening, for any number of reasons, you get my point.

If you get my point, you understand why Missouri and this governor have absolutely no moral authority to execute anyone.