Thursday, September 22, 2011

Supreme Court Denies Stay of Execution for Troy Davis

"The application for stay of execution of sentence of death presented to Justice Thomas and by him referred to the court is denied." Supreme Court: Wed., Sep. 21, 2011

The NYT reports that Troy davis was executed last night in the controversial case in Georgia after the Supreme Court refused a stay of execution.

Mr. Davis, 42, who was convicted of murdering a Savannah police officer 22 years ago, entered the death chamber shortly before 11 p.m., four hours after the scheduled time. He died at 11:08.
This final chapter before his execution had become an international symbol of the battle over the death penalty and racial imbalance in the justice system.
“It harkens back to some ugly days in the history of this state,” said the Rev. Raphael Warnock of Ebenezer Baptist Church, who visited Mr. Davis on Monday.
Mr. Davis remained defiant at the end, according to reporters who witnessed his death. He looked directly at the members of the family of Mark MacPhail, the officer he was convicted of killing, and told them they had the wrong man.
“I did not personally kill your son, father, brother,” he said. “All I can ask is that you look deeper into this case so you really can finally see the truth.”
The Georgia State Board of Pardons and Parole on Tuesday denied Mr. Davis’s clemency after a daylong hearing and announced that that there would be no reconsideration of the case, and a polygraph test--requested by Davis Attorneys--was refused.

Because so many of the ID witnesses at trial have recanted, six in all, the case has become a symbol across the nation and beyond for the problems in administering the death penalty for many with claims of selective enforcement and obvious issues of race and poverty adding to the debate about the validity of a state's moral use of the ultimate penalty.

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