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. Ack123

    Recently a white woman who is assumed to have killed her child was set free since proper evidence was not presented. Why different rules for white and black in this country? Not Guilty until proven beyond reasonable doubt. Either all these thousands of citizens including jurors who retracted back should be just plain dumb human beings with absolute no common sense or the Govt system (parole board) is acting with ego which is never good for citizens of this country.

    I support sparing a criminal any day to killing one innocent when in doubt. This has always been our high values on which the criminal system has been formed.

    September 17, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • KeninTexas

      Ack123 said "Recently a white woman who is assumed to have killed her child was set free since proper evidence was not presented". ,,,,, Hey moron, there was plenty of evidence presented and they is why he was convicted and has been upheld on all appeals since then. You're just trying to use the so called race card to benefit your argument. Why don't you open your eyes and look at the evidence not his skin color. You bigot.

      September 17, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack

      KeninTexas: Did you not read the article? "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." So much for this "plenty of evidence" you refer to...

      September 17, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tracey

      Hrm CNN, wow hello lol. Talk about one sided? Earlier you interviewed the slain police officer's mother. She said she wouldn't find any peace unless Troy Davis was executed. She **also** gave very good reasons why. Being the prior shooting victim who was shot in the face and the matching bullets to her son.
      The point is, she HAD REASONS why she felt this way. What do you do? You go through the remainder of the day, and post only the piece of the interview where she states that she will not find peace unless he is executed, making it seem like she had no reasons to feel the way she did, no reasons, nothing. Yet you keep playing over and over again Tony's sister and her *entire* reasoning. This is biased. I don't appreciate your one-sided broadcasting.

      September 17, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Louis Lemieux

    If primitive societies had to resort to the death penalty in order to survive, the same is not true today. If no one has the exact same brain as someone else, then no one can really judge another person. By this I mean we sometimes know for sure someone committed a crime, but it's impossible to know the exact reason, all the different reasons why he did it. We all have a different personality and we were not all influenced by the same family and social surroundings. The fact we cannot understand how someone else cannot understand the society we live in is a poor excuse to do away with that life. If our sense of justice to the victim is the same as our feelings of vengeance, where's our humanity? It's only by changing the hearts of people towards kindness that the world can become a better place for humans to live.Let's do what we can to protect ourselves and society from criminals and at the same time may we learn to hate crime, but not the criminal. This I feel is what the great psychologist Jesus tried to teach us two thousand years ago.

    September 17, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Cousin It

    Great books Louis.

    September 17, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  4. analytical reasoner

    Reducing Justice to racism is the real damage being done here. Our lawmakers are most-all self-proclaimed "christians" who believe that if the wrong person is executed, God will either send him to 'hell' if guily, or 'heaven' if innocent. This twisting of God's word to suit the masses, aka American "christians" who account for roughly 80% of our population, is responsible for injustice being served, rather than true Justice where solid irrefutable proof would be required, along with sworn testimony by 2 or 3 eyewitnesses. Our "christian" politicians and those who support them truly believe in the "kill' em just in case and let God sort them out" ideology. Errr, idiotology, rather. We see this daily in countries occupied by US FORCES, with few public outcries for true American style Justice being served rather than 'mobster style' where people are assassinated before they ever see the inside of a courtroom.

    September 17, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  5. saywhat

    @ analytical reasoner

    well put.
    In this particular case if the evidence is shown to be 'filmsy' & yet the man goes to the gallows your premise applies.

    September 17, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  6. analytical reasoner

    @saywhat...i do not believe that a bad person is sent to burn in hell forever. I believe that God will be putting his disobedient children out of their misery, not adding to it. God isn't an extortionist, his enemies are.

    September 17, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  7. @Kevin, Texas

    Wow. You're delivery is as harsh(er) as mine! he he. Best not a be fer lettin' banasy a hear ya tokkin' thatawayes. (wink)

    September 17, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  8. analytical reasoner

    This case has absolutly nothing to do with this case. As long as we keep focusing in on every little tidbit we are fed through our media, nothing will change. Look at the big picture: our legal system has been overrun by phony "christian" fundamentalists who have been duped into believing that Jesus Christ is an extortionist just like they are...that no matter if the man is guilty or innocent, if they execute him 'just in case' Jesus will decide his 'fate'. This concept of burning ones own children alive forever is about as far away from Jesus as one can get. These phony christians have no right to enforce their crooked reasonings on US. it's called seperation of church and state. Many Americans have given their own lives to guarantee this seperation. Yet, here we are with a bunch of hypocrites writing laws...trying to scare people into submission with their twisting of the very image of Jesus Christ. This is what this case is really about.

    September 17, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  9. banasy©

    analytical reasoner:

    Why, I oughta....


    September 17, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  10. *Lee

    They have ballistics, bloodspatter, and a blood type match plus the two who haven't recanted. He's guilty as sin and deserves to die!!!!!

    September 17, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  11. analytical reasoner oughta comment on my posts is what ya oughta do. Go ahead...climb-out on the limb. Don't be afraid to speak your mind. Give it a whirl banasy. Come on in...the water's fine. 😉

    September 17, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Steve

    I'm from Texas and very pro- death penalty. With that said, something about this case stinks and I feel the state of Georgia is about to make a big mistake. While reading another article it was mentioned that shell casings were found at the scene. It is very unusual to find shell casings from a revolver at a crime scene, especially if only two shots were fired. I don't know of any .38 semi-autos that were on the market at the time of the shooting.

    September 17, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chucky McLovin

      You're pro death penalty? Well then you're pro fascism too. Just thought you should know 🙂

      September 17, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
  13. legal rights

    Let's be real about it all....the point is that a police officer was killed and they want to make an example out of someone in this matter. Had this been a gas station attendant that was killed I'm pretty sure his appeals would have gone much further. Read up on the case in texas about a man on death row who's appeals worked! Also look at how many times the American justice system has locked up innocent people and then released them 35 years later. No physical evidence, and 80% of the witnesses has changed their stories. GET REAL!!!

    September 17, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Pro American Empire

    Citizens are not exempted from experiencing the same treatment foreigners recieve during empire building. A simple study of the history of nations reveals this. Id they'll allow a broomstick to be shoved-up a foreingers ass, they will execute the wrong person. Get a clue you dummies. Uncle Sam is friends to none but themselves.

    September 17, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Corporate Fascism

    When a fascist government rules, citizens give up rights that even foreigners still enjoy. Under a corporate fascist regime, citizens give-up rights to share in profits. The US is not what she once was. Already can be seen the outlines of the sun setting on America. Greedy men tied to corporations for their entire lives rule you now, and will rule you to the end of America. Already profit knows no boundaries. National borders are for people, not Profit. Justice? Corporations concerned with Justice? Injustice suits them just fine, especially if it increases profit margins. America really is just an image. If you like what she has become, you are either stupid...or are one of them, NOT one of US.

    September 17, 2011 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
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