Breaking: Troy Davis denied clemency

One last way to take action to save Troy Davis’ life is to sign this petition from Amnesty International to Chatham County District Attorney, Larry Chisolm, who has the power to withdraw the death warrant and support clemency. Or contact the DA’s office directly at: Telephone: 912-652-7308 Fax: 912-652-7328. Also, call Judge Penny Freesemann at Telephone: 912-652-7252 who has to accept the DA’s withdrawal.

In a rather unsurprising but nonetheless ruthless move, Troy Davis, a man accused of a murder that he most likely did not commit, has been denied clemency from the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles from his sentence to death. Davis will be put to death tomorrow at 7pm thanks to Georgia’s draconian death penalty laws. The parole hearing was the last possible hope.

via NY Times,

“I don’t see any avenues to the Supreme Court,” said Anne S. Emanuel, a law professor at Georgia State University who has formally reviewed the case and found it too weak to merit the death penalty. “There’s nothing else apparent.”

The last-ditch effort to spare Mr. Davis’s life produced a widespread reaction among people who believe there was too much doubt to execute him.

More than 630,000 letters asking the board to stay the execution were delivered by Amnesty International last Friday. The list of people asking that the Georgia parole board offer clemency included President Jimmy Carter, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, 51 members of Congress, entertainment figures like Cee Lo Green and death penalty supporters, including William S. Sessions, a former F.B.I. director.

On Friday, more than 3,000 people gathered at the Ebenezer Baptist Church, in the heart of Martin Luther King Jr.’s former neighborhood, for a prayer vigil and protest.

This is the fourth time Mr. Davis has faced the death penalty. The state parole board granted him a stay in 2007 as he was preparing for his final hours, saying the execution should not proceed unless its members “are convinced that there is no doubt as to the guilt of the accused.” The board has since added three new members.

And what were the doubts in his case anyway? David Zirin at the Nation breaks it down,

Please allow me to repeat: of the nine people who testified that Troy killed Officer Mark MacPhail, seven have recanted their testimony. Beyond the eyewitnesses, there was no physical evidence linking Troy to Officer MacPhail’s murder. None. Three jurors have signed affidavits saying that if they had all the information about Troy, they would not have voted to convict. One juror even arrived in person to the Board of Pardons and Paroles to say to their faces that she would not have voted to convict if she’d had the facts. Another woman has even come forward to say that another man on the scene that night, Sylvester “Redd” Coles, bragged afterward about doing the shooting. Of the two witnesses who still maintain that Troy was the triggerman, one is Sylvester “Redd” Coles.

The international show of support has been nothing short of incredible–but a system that does not bend towards justice–is a broken system. As someone who is opposed to the death penalty, Davis’s death would have been in vain anyway, however given the likelihood of his innocence this is indeed a very sad day for justice in the state of Georgia. As Zerlina wrote in her post at the Loop yesterday, “If reasonable doubt is enough to allow a guilty man to go free, reasonable doubt should be enough to halt an execution.” For real.

Join the Conversation