Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
DOUBLE YOUR DONATION!
We don’t run corporate ads. We don’t shake our readers down for money every month or every quarter like some other sites out there. We provide our site for free to all, but the bandwidth we pay to do so doesn’t come cheap. A generous donor is matching all donations of $100 or more! So please donate now to double your punch!
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:
October 22, 2018
Henry Giroux
Neoliberalism in the Age of Pedagogical Terrorism
Melvin Goodman
Washington’s Latest Cold War Maneuver: Pulling Out of the INF
David Mattson
Basket of Deplorables Revisited: Grizzly Bears at the Mercy of Wyoming
Michelle Renee Matisons
Hurricane War Zone Further Immiserates Florida Panhandle, Panama City
Tom Gill
A Storm is Brewing in Europe: Italy and Its Public Finances Are at the Center of It
Christopher Brauchli
The Liars’ Bench
Gary Leupp
Will Trump Split the World by Endorsing a Bold-Faced Lie?
Michael Howard
The New York Times’ Animal Cruelty Fetish
Alice Slater
Time Out for Nukes!
Geoff Dutton
Yes, Virginia, There are Conspiracies—I Think
Daniel Warner
Davos in the Desert: To Attend or Not, That is Not the Question
Priti Gulati Cox – Stan Cox
Mothers of Exiles: For Many, the Child-Separation Ordeal May Never End
Manuel E. Yepe
Pence v. China: Cold War 2.0 May Have Just Begun
Raouf Halaby
Of Pith Helmets and Sartorial Colonialism
Dan Carey
Aspirational Goals  
Wim Laven
Intentional or Incompetence—Voter Suppression Where We Live
Weekend Edition
October 19, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jason Hirthler
The Pieties of the Liberal Class
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Day in My Life at CounterPunch
Paul Street
“Male Energy,” Authoritarian Whiteness and Creeping Fascism in the Age of Trump
Nick Pemberton
Reflections on Chomsky’s Voting Strategy: Why The Democratic Party Can’t Be Saved
John Davis
The Last History of the United States
Yigal Bronner
The Road to Khan al-Akhmar
Robert Hunziker
The Negan Syndrome
Andrew Levine
Democrats Ahead: Progressives Beware
Rannie Amiri
There is No “Proxy War” in Yemen
David Rosen
America’s Lost Souls: the 21st Century Lumpen-Proletariat?
Joseph Natoli
The Age of Misrepresentations
Ron Jacobs
History Is Not Kind
John Laforge
White House Radiation: Weakened Regulations Would Save Industry Billions
Ramzy Baroud
The UN ‘Sheriff’: Nikki Haley Elevated Israel, Damaged US Standing
Robert Fantina
Trump, Human Rights and the Middle East
Anthony Pahnke – Jim Goodman
NAFTA 2.0 Will Help Corporations More Than Farmers
Jill Richardson
Identity Crisis: Elizabeth Warren’s Claims Cherokee Heritage
Sam Husseini
The Most Strategic Midterm Race: Elder Challenges Hoyer
Maria Foscarinis – John Tharp
The Criminalization of Homelessness
Robert Fisk
The Story of the Armenian Legion: a Dark Tale of Anger and Revenge
Jacques R. Pauwels
Dinner With Marx in the House of the Swan
Dave Lindorff
US ‘Outrage’ over Slaying of US Residents Depends on the Nation Responsible
Ricardo Vaz
How Many Yemenis is a DC Pundit Worth?
Elliot Sperber
Build More Gardens, Phase out Cars
Chris Gilbert
In the Wake of Nepal’s Incomplete Revolution: Dispatch by a Far-Flung Bolivarian 
Muhammad Othman
Let Us Bray
Gerry Brown
Are Chinese Municipal $6 Trillion (40 Trillion Yuan) Hidden Debts Posing Titanic Risks?
Rev. William Alberts
Judge Kavanaugh’s Defenders Doth Protest Too Much
Ralph Nader
Unmasking Phony Values Campaigns by the Corporatists
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail