A crazy white man named Cox is helping put black people to death in northwest Louisiana. Articles in both the New York Times and the New Yorker (yeah, yankee liberals. So?) detail the deep desire of acting district attorney Dale Cox of Caddo Parish to kill people, mostly black men. Caddo Parish juries are responsible for sentencing more people to death per capita than any other county in the country. 77% of those sentenced are black. If you read even one of the pieces, you will come away with the sickening feeling in your stomach that Dale Cox is a serial killer, a sociopath – fuck, a psychopath – who gets the state of Louisiana to do his murders for him.
In an interview with the Times, Cox repeatedly talks about a society that “would say it’s okay to kill babies and eat them, and in fact we can have parties where we kill them and eat them.” Cox admits that he has never seen a case where people killed and ate a baby, alone or at a party, but that doesn’t stop him from talking about the “savagery” he’s seen and that “We’ve become a jungle.” He pretty much says that he’s got PTSD from the shit he’s dealt with in his job: “the nature of the work is so serious that there’d be something wrong if it didn’t change you.
“ He “went on to describe rapes, murders and dismemberments in extended detail, pointing to a box on his desk that he said contained autopsy photos of an infant who was beaten to death.” That’s the way insane people act. That’s someone who might just want to eat an infant or someone so tortured by the crimes of others that he can no longer react with the dispassion that the law needs. Motherfucker just wants people put to death.
The New Yorker article, by Rachel Aviv, is a deeper dive into a single case, that of Rodricus Crawford, a black man who was sentenced to death for the murder of his infant son, despite the fact that there were egregious errors in the autopsy of the baby (who was not eaten) and that Crawford was a doting, caring father. Cox just really, really wanted Crawford sentenced to death.
Cox supported the release of an inmate on death row when evidence came forward that exonerated him (a previous prosecutor in Caddo Parish wrote an impassioned plea to end capital punishment because of this case), but that has not shaken Cox’s belief in more death sentences. In fact, he still thinks the exonerated man, Glenn Ford, got a fair trial and deserves no compensation for the three decades he spent on death row.
In an interview with the Shreveport Times, the local paper, Cox said, “I think we need to kill more people…I think the death penalty should be used more often. It has come to the place in our society where it is used less often, and I think crime in our society has expanded so expeditiously…that we’re going the wrong way with the death penalty that we need it more than ever and we’re using it less now.”
In Crawford’s case, Cox said in his closing statement during the trial that Jesus commanded the jurors to put the accused to death: “Now, this is Jesus Christ of the New Testament. ‘It would be better if you were never born. You shall have a millstone cast around your neck, and you will be thrown into the sea.’” Imagine a prosecutor citing the Quran for support in sentencing. Later, Cox regretted that Louisiana uses lethal injection: “Mr. Crawford deserves as much physical suffering as it is humanly possible to endure before he dies.” Cox doesn’t give a shit that everyone who examined the baby boy’s autopsy report found it deeply flawed and incredibly wrong and that the child died of sepsis brought on by pneumonia, not from a beating from his father.
Cox is running for DA now. He recently defended himself against Aviv’s article, sounding for all the world like a depressed, deeply troubled man who is one fender-bender away from going on a killing spree. He also answered a question about the Confederate monument that sits outside the courthouse in Caddo Parish. He said that it should be removed because it’s “a distraction,” and that anyone who tells you that the Confederate flag doesn’t stand for slavery “is lying through their teeth.”
But mostly he doesn’t want the issue to get in the way of him making sure more black “barbarians” die.
Editor’s Note: This essay originally appeared on July 7, 2015, on The Rude Pundit, a website featuring commentary by Lee Papa. It was reproduced here with the consent of Mr. Papa.