Letter to the editor

Trojans running over Trojans

I have a concern, and it is kind of a big one. It’s about the bicyclists/skateboarders vs. pedestrians thing going on right now.

It is really getting out of control. There are no signs posted as to what the rules are. I have no idea what the rules are, to be honest, but there seem to be no rules — and that is really, really dangerous.

Every day I walk in fear for my life. Seriously. And every day I see bikes crash into each other and skateboarders run into pedestrians and bikers.

Here is the problem: People are getting hurt. They are getting thrown and knocked down. You don’t want Trojans suing other Trojans. Or worse, you do not want someone to find out they are injured and have no idea who hit them later. Or to find out their expensive laptop is now broken, etc.

I mean, what a crappy way to start off your day. And it is happening multiple times, all day long. I do not see the Department of Public Safety around warning people or any signs saying walk your bike, etc.

This, with the new year and new freshmen, is particularly getting out of control.

Perhaps there should be a dedicated lane for bikers/skaters like in all normal road rule areas so that everyone else can steer clear and not get creamed.

Desdemona bandini

Graduate student, communication management


Human life should not be taken

On Sept. 21 at 11:08 p.m. EST, Troy Anthony Davis was executed. As a 21-year-old, he was convicted of fatally shooting Savannah, Ga. security guard Mark MacPhail. At his 1991 trial, nine witnesses testified that they had seen Davis shoot the officer, and two of those insinuated that he had confessed to them.

There was never any murder weapon recovered that could be connected, however. During the re-evaluations that happened after Davis received the death penalty, seven of the nine witnesses recanted or changed their testimonies. Furthermore, according to the defense, there is evidence that one of the witnesses who has not recanted should actually be a suspect. Established anti-death penalty organizations, such as Amnesty International and the Campaign to End the Death Penalty, were a major part of early mobilizations in support of Davis. This was because it was already apparent that his trial was both rushed and shallow. Witnesses stated they had felt pressure by police to implicate Davis, and there was also suggestion that the racial make-up of the jury unfairly affected the conviction.

After multiple appeals to state and federal courts, Davis had successfully evaded three execution dates, and gathered more supporters against this injustice with each court date. But he could not escape lethal injection two weeks ago.

People have mobilized internationally this week in demonstrations and actions speaking out against the execution of Davis. From his prison site in Georgia, to Washington D.C., to Paris, citizens of the world picketed with signs stating “I am Troy Davis” and “NO to Legal Lynching.” Even just a couple miles away from USC, people gathered in Leimert Park to cry out and hold vigil in support of Davis and the atrocity that is the death penalty.

Regardless of political leanings, everyone should be able to agree that human life is sacrosanct, and is much too important to be dealt with lightly. If there is any doubt about the guilt of a person, executions should never ever proceed.

In the case of Davis, his death should be considered a murder rather than an execution. In a nation founded under the very idea that everyone has a right to freedom it is unfathomable that such an unfree death could have ever occurred. Davis should not have died.

More than 65 percent of all countries in the world have abolished the death penalty, and it is due time that we speak out against this barbaric form of retribution. How many others have been wrongly put to death because of the death penalty? We say “no more” — not in the name of justice, not in the name of freedom, and never in the name of democracy.


Katrina Kaiser

Sophomore, economics


Julia Wang

Sophomore, neuroscience