FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Pending Execution of Troy Davis

and JEN MARLOWE

Troy Anthony Davis’ execution date and time has been set. If clemency is not granted, Davis will soon be choosing his last meal and determining how his body should be disposed of after his death, scheduled for 7pm on September 23rd.

Davis’ case for clemency is compelling, and has already attracted the attention of media and human rights groups in July of last year. Twenty-four hours before Davis’ scheduled execution on July 16, 2007, the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles issued a ninety-day stay to allow it to consider evidence of innocence presented at Davis’ clemency hearing.

The Georgia Supreme Court subsequently agreed to hear the death row prisoner’s extraordinary motion for a new trial, but in March the Court rejected the motion largely on procedural grounds in a 4-3 vote.

Troubled by this result, Chief Justice Sears stated in her dissent:

“[…] I believe that this case illustrates that this Court’s approach in extraordinary motions for new trials based on new evidence is overly rigid and fails to allow an adequate inquiry into the fundamental question, which is whether or not an innocent person might have been convicted or even, as in this case, might be put to death.”

In July of 2007, the Board of Pardons and Paroles said that it would “not allow an execution to proceed in this State unless and until its members are convinced that there is no doubt as to the guilt of the accused.”

But were Davis to be granted a new trial today, the State would have great difficulty proving its case beyond a reasonable doubt. There was no physical evidence linking Davis to the crime for which he was convicted, the 1989 murder of an off-duty police officer in Savannah, Mark MacPhail. At the trial, the witness testimony presented inconsistencies, and since then, seven of nine non-police witnesses have recanted or contradicted their original testimony, several citing that they gave their original statements against Davis under police intimidation or coercion.

Furthermore, affidavits signed by numerous people who came forward after Davis’ conviction implicate one of the non-recanting witnesses in the murder. These affidavits put that witness, Sylvester Coles, at the scene with a .38 caliber gun – the same caliber as the murder weapon, and detail how he hid the gun after the shooting in a dark parking lot and even later boasted about having committed the murder and escaping punishment. At the time of the original investigation, Coles and his lawyer met promptly with the police, who subsequently neglected to question Cole’s involvement in the murder, search his house for the murder weapon, or include his picture in witness photo spreads.

The testimony of the other non-recanting witness is also highly questionable. He identified Davis at trial as the shooter, although he had claimed two years earlier that he “wouldn’t recognize them [the shooter and another man at the scene] again except for their clothes.”

Numerous national, state, and local human rights groups and individuals are taking actions to protest Davis’ imminent fate. They are organizing a rally to take place on September 11th at six in the evening at the State Capitol in Atlanta, a day before Troy’s scheduled clemency hearing with the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles. Amnesty International launched an on-line letter-writing campaign at www.amnestyusa.org/troydavis to urge the Board to be true to their July 2007 words, stating that no execution would proceed in Georgia unless and until its members are convinced that there is no doubt as to the guilt of the accused. If Troy Anthony Davis, whose case against him is full of holes, doubts and discrepancies, is executed on September 23rd, it will be, indeed, a travesty of justice.

LAURA TATE KAGEL is the State Death Penalty Abolition Coordinator for Amnesty International USA in Georgia.

Jen Marlowe is an activist/writer/filmmaker who has been following Troy Davis’s case and corresponding via letters with Davis.

www.amnestyusa.org/troydavis

Justice Matters: Rally to Save Troy Davis

Thursday, September 11, 2008

6 – 8 p.m.

Georgia State Capitol

(front steps on Washington St.)

Atlanta, GA

troy@aiusa.org / 404-876-5661 ext. 13

 

 

Your Ad Here
 

 

 

 

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
August 17, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Nick Pemberton
Donald Trump and the Rise of Patriotism 
CJ Hopkins
Where Have All the Nazis Gone?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Running Out of Fools
Joseph Natoli
First Amendment Rights and the Court of Popular Opinion
Andrew Levine
Midterms 2018: What’s There to Hope For?
Ajamu Baraka
Opposing Bipartisan Warmongering is Defending Human Rights of the Poor and Working Class
Paul Street
Corporate Media: the Enemy of the People
David Macaray
Trump and the Sex Tape
Daniel Falcone
The Future of NATO: an Interview With Richard Falk
Robert Hunziker
Hothouse Earth
Cesar Chelala
The Historic Responsibility of the Catholic Church
Ron Jacobs
The Barbarism of US Immigration Policy
Kenneth Surin
In Shanghai
William Camacaro - Frederick B. Mills
The Military Option Against Venezuela in the “Year of the Americas”
Nancy Kurshan
The Whole World Was Watching: Chicago ’68, Revisited
Robert Fantina
Yemeni and Palestinian Children
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Orcas and Other-Than-Human Grief
Shoshana Fine – Thomas Lindemann
Migrants Deaths: European Democracies and the Right to Not Protect?
Paul Edwards
Totally Irrusianal
Thomas Knapp
Murphy’s Law: Big Tech Must Serve as Censorship Subcontractors
Mark Ashwill
More Demons Unleashed After Fulbright University Vietnam Official Drops Rhetorical Bombshells
Ralph Nader
Going Fundamental Eludes Congressional Progressives
Hans-Armin Ohlmann
My Longest Day: How World War II Ended for My Family
Matthew Funke
The Nordic Countries Aren’t Socialist
Daniel Warner
Tiger Woods, Donald Trump and Crime and Punishment
Dave Lindorff
Mainstream Media Hypocrisy on Display
Jeff Cohen
Democrats Gather in Chicago: Elite Party or Party of the People?
Victor Grossman
Stand Up With New Hope in Germany?
Christopher Brauchli
A Family Affair
Jill Richardson
Profiting From Poison
Patrick Bobilin
Moving the Margins
Alison Barros
Dear White American
Celia Bottger
If Ireland Can Reject Fossil Fuels, Your Town Can Too
Ian Scott Horst
Less Voting, More Revolution
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
We Are Winning
Graham Peebles
Climate Change, Extreme Weather, Destructive Lifestyles
Peter Certo
Trump Snubbed McCain, Then the Media Snubbed the Rest of Us
Mel Gurtov
Saving Democracy
Dan Ritzman
Drilling ANWR: One of Our Last Links to the Wild World is in Danger
Brandon Do
The World and Palestine, Palestine and the World
Negin Owliaei
Toys R Us May be Gone, But Its Workers’ Struggle Continues
Chris Wright
An Updated and Improved Marxism
Daryan Rezazad
Iran and the Doomsday Machine
Patrick Bond
Africa’s Pioneering Marxist Political Economist, Samir Amin (1931-2018)
Thomas Knapp
Murphy’s Law: Big Tech Must Serve as Censorship Subcontractors
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail