Condemned man's supporters rally in Atlanta
Supporters of Troy Davis rally in Atlanta. He is scheduled to be executed for the 1989 murder of a police officer.
September 16th, 2011
09:41 PM ET

Condemned man's supporters rally in Atlanta

Troy Davis has been scheduled to die on Georgia's death row three previous times. Friday night at an Atlanta rally and march, Davis' supporters said this time will be different.

Their numbers were greater, their voices are louder and they are hopeful that their appeals for clemency will be answered by the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles.

Hundreds of supporters marched through the downtown streets of the Georgia capital chanting "Free Troy Davis." Others carried signs that read, "Too Much Doubt."

However, unless something dramatic happens, Davis, 42, will die by lethal injection on Wednesday for the 1989 murder of Savannah police officer Mark MacPhail.

The case has drawn international attention. Davis' advocates say he was convicted on flimsy evidence.

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.

One of Davis' sisters told CNN she had spoken to him Friday, and that he was moved by the show of support. His family has maintained he is innocent.

"Someone asked us if had started making preparations for his final days," Kimberly Davis said. "We are not. We have actually (been) looking past those final days."

Hope is just about all Davis has right now. The pardons and paroles board denied him clemency once before. The board has never changed its mind in any case for the past 33 years.

On Thursday, supporters delivered to the pardons and paroles board a 663,000-name petition asking for clemency.

MacPhail's family has steadfastly asserted that Davis was the killer, as has the man who prosecuted him.

"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 (133 Responses)
  1. Ernie Register

    One dead and found innocent sorry to his family is not enough!

    September 17, 2011 at 6:48 am | Report abuse |
  2. Albro

    Too much doubt? Try "Too much pigmentation". THAT'S the only reason for all of the interest.

    September 17, 2011 at 7:57 am | Report abuse |
  3. sunstarz

    There are always going to be people who believe the guilty are innocent. I have no idea why....

    September 17, 2011 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Jack

      And there will always be people who are incapable of examining the objective facts: 7 out of the 9 witnesses gave testimony that was subsequently recanted or contradicted, and there was no physical evidence presented. Not enough for me to send someone to the chair. But if it's good enough for you, well...
      If you ever find yourself wrongly accused, Sunstarz, I hope each individual member of your jury has EXACTLY the same levels of compassion and integrity that you do.

      September 17, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  4. yannaes

    Do you notice that most of the attendees are caucasian? These are sympathetic (pathetic) voters that helped put Osama Bin Ladin Obama into office.

    September 17, 2011 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Jack

      To yannaes, yes I did notice that. it's encouraging to see people of all races doing the right thing. What's your excuse?

      September 17, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul H.

      You refer to the President of the United States as "Osama bin Laden Obama" because he was the President who was smart enough to find and kill the world's most wanted terrorist ...... RIGHT?

      September 18, 2011 at 1:46 am | Report abuse |
  5. pilihP might have something to do with christians being commanded to obey man's laws, not write them. As long as the man's law does not violate God's law, we should obey...not sanction or agree with, simply obey.

    September 17, 2011 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
  6. pilihP

    And I see many people here trying to reduce Justice to color-coding. How can Justice turn a blind-eye to a persons color, when the person keep spouting that color has something to do with Justice. Ny your racist remarks, you fan the flames of racism and keep them burning-up America. Stop stoking the fire already. Let it burn-out on it's own.

    September 17, 2011 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
  7. fernace

    This kind of travesty happens in Texas too often! We're a state that is hard on criminals & proud of it, but new evidence has shown that CameronTodd Willingham, for example, was more than likely innocent of the crime for which he was executed! In states that strongly lean toward prosecution & conviction, it's practically impossible to overturn a wrongful conviction, even in the face of overwhelming evidence! Law officials refuse to believe they may have made a human mistake, or cling to the old evidence even while faced with new irrefutable proof! It's to the point now that my state is trying to limit the use of DNA evidence! Too many wrongful convictions & too many stubborn good ol' boys "stickin' to their guns"! I want the criminal caught & made to pay for his/her crime! I Do Not want any person by proxy to suffice, when the guilty can't be found! When it comes to the death penalty law makers better be 100% certain they have the right person, otherwise They are the murderers of an innocent human being!!

    September 17, 2011 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
    • steve

      deal with it!

      September 17, 2011 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  8. katydid10024

    I have a simple reason as to why Troy Davis should not be executed. Although I know hardly anything about the case and the evidence put forth, I know that we, as humans, do not have the right to decide when to end someone's life. Now you may say "Why not? He killed that police officer..." but the fact of the matter is that if we kill Troy, we won't be any better as people than this man you are trying to convict. Consider that, please.

    September 17, 2011 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
    • steve

      you consider it!
      i already have
      fry him now!

      September 17, 2011 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
    • katydid10024

      @steve Think about this: if you were in Troy's position, would you rather spend your life in jail, or die for killing a man? And then how would you view the people who were going to kill you? They're no better off than you are.

      September 17, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • SuperBaked

      So you are if favor of him living out the rest of his days with hot meals and cable tv......all at the expense of the taxpayers here in Ga? I live in Ga. I don't want to help take care of murderers.

      September 19, 2011 at 1:31 am | Report abuse |
  9. pilihP

    @yaneas...wether it's an fat-assed Elephant with a tiny Donkey head or a tiny Donkey with the huge head of an Elephant, it's still the same combined beast. Would you only criticize the head of a man raypeing your own mother? No, you would want the entire man brought to Justice, of course.

    September 17, 2011 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
  10. Assassinate well-known suspects

    What would you folks think if this man had been hunted down and killed when he was just a fromally charged suspected murderer...before he had his day in court? By the comments here, I suspecy most-all would be very upset. OBL is the most famous suspected criminal in hhistory. Yet, he was never fromally charged/indicted for 9/11. The FBI had a warrant for his arrest, but that was for something he was suspected of doing in 1998...not for anything in connection with 9/11. President Obama called out a hit and a team of paid assassins murdered OBL right in front of everyone (murder def. 'the taking of human life with malice aforethought) Murdering a well-known suspect when there wasn't even enough evidence for an federal judge to even have him indicted is not Justice American style. It is justice styled after mobsters who murder witnesses before they can get to court and testify/call on other witnesses to testify. There is no arguing go ahead and start calling me names to end the debate.

    September 17, 2011 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  11. Assassinate well-known suspects

    During a political debate where one man debates another, if one of them resorts to hurling personal insults at the other who had brought-up an very imortant issue, the audiebce begins to sense who will be winning the debate. Fire away.

    September 17, 2011 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  12. kim

    If he is innocent why does the killer the killer get to walk free I would want the correct person to pay for there crime or is hatred that blind to justice. As far as jurys go hey casey anthony is all I got to say. It always brothered me if this man is not the killer and the real killer is able to get away why are others not in fear that they may be next if he was able to murder a cop what makes anyone think this man wont kill again. If Troy is not the killer then the real killer must think hes on easy street an will continue to be a dangerous person to anyone that might know his secret. INCLUDING THE LAW...maybe they should think about that. GET THE RIGHT PERSON.

    September 17, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  13. Jen Marlowe

    "Hundreds of supporters" marching in Atlanta, as the article mentions above, is not accurate. I was there, 3,500 people participated in the event. Ebenezer Baptist Church was filled beyond capacity (they squeezed 2,500 inside) and there was a large "over-flow" rally outside on the church grounds as well, for the hundreds who could not be squeezed inside!

    September 17, 2011 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  14. Dragon

    "On what grounds are the recantations more believable than the testimony in court? None." I believe that goes to the credibility of the witness. If memory serves that alone can kill a case before it even leaves the court room. If a majority of the witnesses are now recanting or changing their testimony and the local level refuses to deal with it and sweep it under the rug then maybe the supreme court should get involved. Any case dealing with the death of a peace office is going to be high emotions running the show not logic. My guess would be that the officers involved in the initial investigation more than likely did some strong arming in the interrogations to get the answers they wanted to hear simply because they wanted someone to pay for their friends killing. Totally understandable but you have to keep in mind that you need to make darned sure that the person of interest is the person responsible. I am a stanch supporter of the death penalty however...if you can't prove that the defendant is 100% the person responsible then the ONLY moral recourse is life w/o parole. Most people believe in some sort of higher power in this world so you really need to ask yourself this question....when I meet this power what do you think the reaction is going to be when I have to look them in the eye and state "I was just doing my job". How do you think that's going to go over?

    September 17, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Greg Gilbert

    The media always talks about why the doubt but they never bring up evidence showing guilt. Witnesses recanting is irrelevant if the 2 that have remained steadfast were the 2 most powerful in the case. It is also not unusual during a death penalty for peoples memory to fade and start feeling guilty for putting someone to death when they can no longer remember the certainty they had before.

    September 17, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dena

      Greg–In this case one of the 2 who has not recanted did not "identify" Davis until 2 years after he failed to identify a shooter. The other witness is strongly suspected of being the real killer! Sylvestor "Red" Coles is his name. It's a very interesting case, if you have time to research it more. There really is a lot of doubt about Troy Davis's guilt, and not just from the usual anti-capital punishment crowd. Both Coles and Davis were at the scene when McPhail was killed, and I don't think it's right for one guy to (maybe) get away with murder while the other is poisoned.

      September 17, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7