Innocence Vs the killing state of Georgia
compiled from various sources
published: 4WardEver UK – October 2010
News updates listed at the foot of this item
Troy Davis faced execution for the murder of police officer Mark MacPhail in Georgia, despite a strong and sustained claim of innocence. 7 out of 9 witnesses have recanted or contradicted their testimony, no murder weapon was found and there was also no no physical evidence linking Troy to the crime. See films on YouTube >
The story of Troy Anthony Davis’ case began on August 19, 1989 with the shooting death of police officer Mark MacPhail in a Savannah, Georgia Burger King. Two years later, Troy Anthony Davis was convicted and sentenced to death.
Davis has maintained his innocence since the day of his arrest, and has sought to introduce new evidence that would prove his innocence, appealing his habeas corpus petition through the entire U.S. legal system with the help of organizations like Amnesty International.
Despite a lack of physical evidence proving the case against Davis, State attorneys have urged federal judges to deny his petition and defer to the Georgia courts under the 1996 Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act.
Many innocent people end up on death row. Between 1973 and 2009, 135 condemned US prisoners had been released after key information emerged. During the same period over 1,150 people were executed.
How many of the dead will eventually be proven innocent? The innocence of Cameron Todd Willingham, executed in Texas in 2004 after his three children died in a house fire, was disclosed in 2009. Willingham had rejected the offer of a life sentence in return for a guilty plea, protesting his innocence to the end.
Troy Davis has been engaged in an exhaustive legal battle for his exoneration and release from death row. His efforts have garnered international support from organizations and figureheads such as Amnesty International, the European Parliament, Desmond Tutu, and Pope Benedict XVI.
Within the United States, members of Congress and legal scholars have offered their services and influence to his case as well. In 2009 Amnesty International organized a “Global Day of Action for Troy Davis”; an event that Laura Moye, deputy director of the Southern Regional Office of Amnesty International, said “galvanized support from people in over 45 states in the U.S. and in 14 countries around the world.”
As Davis’s legal team runs out of options in the courtroom, his supporters are looking to government officials to use their influence in the case.
Moye said that “the point of the global day of action was to keep the light on Troy Davis’ case because there are several different sets of officials that have the power to prevent his execution and to see that the evidence in his case finally gets heard.”
Among those officials is the newly elected Chatham County District Attorney, Larry Chisolm.
In June, U.S. District Court Judge William T. Moore Jr. heard two days of testimony from witnesses in Savannah seeking to cast doubt on Davis’ conviction. The Supreme Court ordered the hearing for Davis a year prior to this.
In August 2010 a federal judge in Savannah, ruled against Troy Davis’ claims that he is innocent of the 1989 murder of off-duty police officer Mark Allen MacPhail.
The ruling against Davis sets the stage for Georgia officials to move forward with executing him for the 1989 shooting death of Mark MacPhail, an off-duty Savannah police officer.
Reflections on Troy Davis
26 September 2012
Troy Davis execution sparks anti-death penalty backlash protests
22 September 2011
Troy Davis execution goes ahead after US supreme court refuses stay
22 September 2011
Troy Davis’ execution doesn’t end controversy
22 September 2011
Banging the drum for Troy Davis
25 September 2009