September 15th, 2011
03:21 PM ET

663,000 names on petition protesting Troy Davis' execution

Supporters of convicted cop killer Troy Davis say time is running out.

Unless something dramatic happens, Davis will die by lethal injection next week for the 1989 murder of Savannah, Georgia, police officer Mark MacPhail.

Davis, 42, is set to be executed at 7 p.m. Wednesday, and since his 1991 conviction, seven of the nine witnesses against him have recanted or contradicted their testimony. No physical evidence was presented linking Davis to the killing of the policeman.

Many people fighting for Davis' life are feeling the pressure.

"We honor the life of Officer MacPhail," said Edward DuBose, Georgia state conference president of the NAACP, but he added, "You cannot right a wrong by offering up Troy Davis, who we believe is not the person responsible."

The NAACP joins several groups advocating for Davis, who also counts former President Jimmy Carter, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Pope Benedict XVI and singer Harry Belafonte among his defenders.

The Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network plans to hold a candlelight vigil Friday for Davis at Atlanta's historic Ebenezer Baptist Church. Sharpton will speak at the rally at 7 p.m. ET.

Supporters Thursday delivered a massive petition containing more than 663,000 signatures in support of clemency for Davis.

They're worried that won't be enough, as all legal appeals have been exhausted and only the state Pardon and Parole Board can call off Wednesday's execution. The board denied clemency in 2008.

"In some ways, the board has an opportunity to look at this case afresh," said Laura Moye with Amnesty International USA, which has long denounced Davis' conviction.

A new witness who testified during a 2010 evidentiary hearing said he saw another person shoot MacPhail. Supporters hope that fact will be considered by the parole board.

"So why is it that we are willing to believe what they said in 1991, but are not willing to believe what they have to say today," Moye said. "Most of (the witnesses) have recanted or contradicted their testimony and additional testimony has come forward to implicate this alternative suspect."

MacPhail's family has steadfastly asserted that Davis was the killer, and the district attorney who prosecuted Davis has maintained his position that Davis is guilty. He does not have much confidence in witness recantations.

"I'm just disappointed so many people have been led to believe nobody has paid attention to these recantations. It is simply not the case," former Chatham County District Attorney Spencer Lawton once told CNN affiliate WTOC. "On what grounds are the recantations more believable than the testimony in court? None."

Reviewing Davis' claims of innocence last year, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia found that Davis "vastly overstates the value of his evidence of innocence."

"Some of the evidence is not credible and would be disregarded by a reasonable juror," Judge William T. Moore wrote in a 172-page opinion. "Other evidence that Mr. Davis brought forward is too general to provide anything more than smoke and mirrors," the court found.

soundoff (795 Responses)
  1. B4Real2Me

    If for no other reason than to please THE PEOPLE'S COURT OF APPEAL than the State should stay the execution even if they don't overthrow the sentence completely they can always reduce it to LIFE WITHOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF PAROLE... IF in fact Troy Davis is TRULY guilty.

    September 18, 2011 at 7:23 am | Report abuse |
  2. sherry andrews

    Possible Death in a couple of days!!!!
    ===IN REFERENCE TO MR. TROY DAVIS!!!! We can not allow this man born 10/9/68 age 42 be put to death....Why? According to the characteristics of this person born in this month falls under the sign of the scale which means balance..Now be mindfull I am no physic don't think i spelled that right but you know what I meant. Anyways I know alot about the signs of people..ask around

    Here are some famos people born under this sign just to name a few...

    Russell Simmons,Usher,Lil Wayne,Will Smith, T I, Ne-Yo,Eminem, Jessie Jackson, Wyclef Jean,Keisha Cole,Kim Kardashian,Bruce Springsteen,Jean-Claude Van Damme,Alicia Silverstone,Toni Braxton,Al Sharpton Jermaine Dupri,Miguel Jontel,Nick Cannon,Snoop Dogg, Bernie Mack (RIP) and so many others,I can go on and on...

    I have to start by saying anything is possible but from what I've learned of these individuals anything about confussion they have always tried to avoid...majority of them are mentors to many kids that seems to light up a special place in their hearts Many of them do not like being bothered you would only know this if your a part of their circle or family,out in the public they hide it well....A party can be going on and you think it's the bomb but the Libra person is ready to go...They really dont like being along but they run people close to them off because of the drama they carry within themselves. It's kinda hard for me to explain that part because I just said they don't like confussion but i guess what I'm trying to say if a fight broke out they would be the first to disappear so quick or if they can get a word in to defuse the situation believe me they will. Most of them try their best to be private because they really don't trust anyone.Mainly they go to work and try to get home as fast as possible..After reading the information about him thru Usher Twitter page he connected us with, also some other stories on the internet, I see that he have the same characteristics as the people I named above. Read the stories for yourself. All the people I named above seems to say something that makes us laugh or smile their words are very encouraging very positive role models they always seem to be involved in anything having to do with kids or young adults just look at their twitter accounts now keep in mind I did not read everyone twitter I spoke about so don't beat me down. I'm just saying the information I"ve gathered on these individuals = more positive then negative. Take a look at the people that follow them on twitter millions Wow that tells you something there. Whether it be music or reaching out to the world in other things they do, again it's more of a positive then negative. I hope that this little bit of info helped out with making a decision wheather you want to try and spare this mans life....Please give this man a second chance....PS Sherry A.


    September 18, 2011 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
  3. chickatty2

    I like Sherry Andrews comment as much as anything else I've read here: don't execute him because of his zodiac sign. Of course, I'm a Libra as well....

    September 18, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  4. chickatty2

    But seriously. This is a classic example of why the death penalty should be abolished. Not only is it barbaric, but even more important, since it is administered by people there will ALWAYS be humam error.

    September 18, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Heather

    This case reminds me an awful lot of the "West Memphis Three", or at least Damian Echols. He too was on death row in large part due to testimony that was recanted as well as no physical evidence that link him to the crime. He's out of prison now. I am not necessarily against the death penalty, but unless or until the way in which it is applied can be radically overhauled, it cannot be applied. Do we as a country have to have a "proven Innocent" person die by the states hands before this will end? I don't understand how you can morally be ok with having any doubts about the validity of a conviction and carry out a sanctioned killing – 'cus that's what it is. At the very least, have the cased reviewed by an outside party and make a recommendation. So it will cost some more money, so what? I'd rather be broke and know, than not spend the money and not be sure. And if you cant be sure – then life in prison is a valid option... Freaking use it.

    September 18, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yolanda

      I agree...I would rather spend the money and know the truth than to have to have it on my conscience that an innocent man was put to death.

      September 19, 2011 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Guy33

      does nobody here read the stories? He shot someone else in the face! Maybe he didnt shoot the cop, but he killed someone else......who is a better murder suspect a black convicted killer or a black non convicted killer?

      September 19, 2011 at 2:04 am | Report abuse |
  6. TK31094

    Twenty years in prison is ENOUGH punishment for anyone. Regardless if he is guilty or innocent, the man has served his time owed to society. LET HIM GO!

    September 18, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • smartfool

      um, no. this isn't norway. If he is guilty of murder he should be executed or imprisoned for life, twenty years for a loss of someones entire life isnt a fair trade it should be more.

      September 19, 2011 at 1:23 am | Report abuse |
  7. michelet

    I believe they going to execute him, because he is black! But, they going to do it anyway , even they've already seen his innoccense and no-one can stop them. Why? I think because they white and this is their way of thinking. David, i believe you didn't do it! I love you and all the black people in the world.

    September 18, 2011 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Black Celebrity Energy

    I wrote about this on my website, I hope he's not executed because there is doubt, however I want Black people to face the fact that we negatively affected his case by claiming racism. If he didn't do it another Black man did so to act like this is just racism would cause me to become defensive subconsciously or consciously too. I think that's why they've given him such a hard time over the years. I wonder if you can post links here?

    September 18, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yolanda

      I too discussed this in my church newsletter and on our website. It is not about race, people. It's about doing what is right and fair...the powers that be should seek justice in this much doubt...look at this again. What is it going to hurt? He could have been white, latino, any race and my thoughts would be the what is right. An innocent person, no matter what the race, should not be put to death.

      September 19, 2011 at 12:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Apa

      What proof do you have that "another black man" killed the police officer?

      September 19, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Guy33

    It was proven he shot someone else in the face.....why are we protecting him lol. Maybe he didnt kill the cop but he was charged with another murder....

    September 19, 2011 at 2:00 am | Report abuse |
    • LPF

      But only shooting the cop warrants the death penalty. If he didn't shoot the cop, he should be left to serve whatever his actual crime warrants in prison.

      September 19, 2011 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  10. kill

    it's good that the cop killer is gonna get the death sentence see you later loser the world will be better without you

    September 19, 2011 at 6:28 am | Report abuse |
  11. sammy


    September 19, 2011 at 6:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Apa

      "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."

      September 19, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Bob Newhart

    Execute the murderer and lets be done with it and him!!

    September 19, 2011 at 7:24 am | Report abuse |
  13. JustSayin

    most of these 663,000 people are just jumping on the bandwangon to raise some notoriety. i guarantee the majority has no idea what the facts of the case are, they are just passing off opinion as fact. there has been no denial that he shot the first guy, but shooting a cop got him in deep and that warrants the death penalty so naturally he would deny that part

    September 19, 2011 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  14. Law Abider

    I would like to see all these people who are saying this man is innocent, jump on some other cases that involve white convicts. oh wait, they wont because the majority of people trying to say this guy is innocent is black. They are only saying he is innocent because he is black. They never read the trial transcripts, they never even looked into the witness statements. They are only jumping on this bandwagon because he is black. Thats the hard truth.
    Again, you will not see these same people who are advocating this mans innocence on the side of any white convict. Its the same reason they voted for obama, and you idiots got that one wrong too.

    September 19, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Bobbi Monnot

    If a states' verdict is execution.
    Carry it out.
    Prolonging, costs all us taxpayers.
    Its a ridiculous system, of checks, and balances.

    September 19, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
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