Death-row inmate Troy Davis denied clemency
September 20th, 2011
09:57 AM ET

Death-row inmate Troy Davis denied clemency

The Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole has denied clemency for death-row inmate Troy Davis.

Davis was convicted of the 1989 killing of Savannah, Georgia, police officer Mark MacPhail.

Davis is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection at 7 p.m. Wednesday at a state prison in Jackson, Georgia.

"Monday September 19, 2011, the State Board of Pardons and Paroles met to consider a clemency request from attorneys representing condemned inmate Troy Anthony Davis. After considering the request, the Board has voted to deny clemency," the board said in a statement Tuesday morning.

The five-member parole board votes in a secret ballot.

Davis has gained international support for his long-standing claim that he did not kill MacPhail. International figures including Pope Benedict XVI, Desmond Tutu, and former President Jimmy Carter, entertainers such as Susan Sarandon, Harry Belafonte, and the Indigo Girls, and others have joined with Amnesty International, the NAACP and other groups in supporting Davis' efforts to be exonerated.

He has been scheduled to die three times before, most recently in October 2008, when the U.S. Supreme Court granted a stay two hours before he was to be executed.

Since Davis' conviction in 1991, seven of the nine witnesses against him have recanted or contradicted their testimony. There also have been questions about the physical evidence - and, according to some, the lack thereof - linking Davis to the killing.

Amnesty International reacted angrily to the clemency denial on Tuesday.

"It is unconscionable that the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles has denied relief to Troy Davis. Allowing a man to be sent to death under an enormous cloud of doubt about his guilt is an outrageous affront to justice," Amnesty International said in a statement Tuesday.

"Should Troy Davis be executed, Georgia may well have executed an innocent man and in so doing discredited the justice system," the statement said.

But the victim's mother, Anne MacPhail, said she's satisfied that Davis will be executed.

"Well, justice is done, that's the way we look at it. That's what we wanted," the mother told CNN. "I am very convinced that he is guilty."

She said she would not attend Davis' execution but family members would be there.

Anne MacPhail said she has not forgiven the convicted of killing her son.

"Not yet, maybe sometime," she said.

The NAACP and Georgians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty had joined Amnesty International in organizing support for Davis, setting up about 300 rallies, vigils and events worldwide in the past week or so. In addition, they said that more than 1 million people have signed a petition in support of Davis' bid to be exonerated.

In a 2008 statement, then-Chatham County District Attorney Spencer Lawton described how Davis was at a pool party in Savannah when he shot another man, Michael Cooper, wounding him in the face. Davis was then driven to a nearby convenience store, where he pistol-whipped a homeless man, Larry Young, who'd just bought a beer.

Soon thereafter, prosecutors said, MacPhail - who was working in uniform, off-duty, at a nearby bus station and restaurant - arrived. It was then, the jury determined, that Davis shot the officer three times, including once in the face as he stood over him.

Davis' lawyers, in a federal court filing, insisted that there is "no physical evidence linking" Davis to MacPhail's murder. They point, too, to "the unremarkable conclusion" of a ballistics expert who testified that he could not find definitively that the bullets that wounded Cooper and killed MacPhail were the same.

Georgia's attorney general, in an online statement, claimed that the expert said the bullets came from the same gun type and noted that casings at the pool party shooting matched - thus came from the same firearm as - those found at MacPhail's murder scene.

Two decades ago, a jury convicted Davis on two counts of aggravated assault and one each of possessing a firearm during a crime, obstructing a law enforcement officer and murder. The latter charge led, soon thereafter, to his death sentence.

While 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 parole board denied had denied Davis clemency once before. The board has never changed its mind on any case in the past 33 years.

Read more CNN coverage on the Troy Davis case
Post by: ,
Filed under: Crime • Death Penalty • Georgia • Justice
soundoff (2,336 Responses)
  1. Mauro

    I'm so glad I left that part of the world a long time ago. Ignorance and racism is the word of the day. Georgia is never on my Mind!! Backwards and racist.

    September 20, 2011 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  2. Bolaji09

    As Jon Stewart (TDS) once said, throwing the moniker "racist" around cheapens it for those who worked hard to earn it. In my worldview, human life is sacred and I'd choose to not take any however odious – but that's me. The State of Georgia may very well also share the perspective that human life is sacred but, with little care for the contradiction, willfully snuff out one they hold responsible for taking another life. The state's history may show a detestable pattern but one instance – especially one where the subject's behavior on the day of the murder isn't quite something the defense would tout – doesn't fault the state or its supporters.

    Troy Davis may very well be a goner but one who leaves a lesson behind: It's easy enough to stay out of trouble by avoiding trouble-prone behavior and association; after all, it's extremely doubtful that a falling tree in the forest would kill someone in the house.

    September 20, 2011 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
    • bob

      hands down one of the most asinine things ive ever read in my life.

      September 20, 2011 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Eyeque

      Unless of course the house was next to the tree...

      September 20, 2011 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  3. intelleligen woman

    we are not saying tha the is innocent..we are saying that who really knows if he is innocent or guilty...why put a possibly innocent man to death...

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

    Racism has nothing to do with this. Eye for an eye.

    September 20, 2011 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Jomm

      Then you are blind if you think race has nothing to do with this.

      September 20, 2011 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Jessica J

      An eye for an eye leaves the the whole world blind.

      September 20, 2011 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
    • beelzebubba

      What Jesus taught has nothing to do with revenge. Jesus said quite plainly that the golden rule trumped all the old testament laws. What you believe in, an eye for an eye, is revenge. Revenge will not change what happened. Imprisoning someone serves the purpose of protecting society from evil. Imprisoning someone is enough punishment for any crime anyway. What you believe in is Sharia law. Even your old testament god (if you believe in fairy tales) said don't seek revenge... revenge will be mine.

      September 20, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  5. Danielle

    typically I would not respond to such ignorance but clearly your the cream of the crop, your statement clearly reaks of inferior behavior. What does affirmative action have to do with this case evidently you have no clue you just want to be heard.

    September 20, 2011 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Rioter

      "Your"? Should be you're. Ignorance, or stupidity?

      September 20, 2011 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  6. Jomm

    It is clear that this is a race issue. Even the stupid comments from ignorant folks seem to want to justify this death by talking about blacks, Affirmative actions (which WHITE WOMEN benefited more from than blacks), and just a bunch of nonsense and racist remarks. All I say is that God knows the truth and if this man is innocence and these people kill him, they are just as bad as the real killer to killed the cop and God will judge you and those to bare "false witness" against someone.

    September 20, 2011 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Hang 'em high

      The "Texas Seven" (white) were executed and executed promptly for killing a police officer. Where were you anti-death-penalty people back then?

      Oh, that's right, it isn't a death penalty thing - it's a "blacks should be allowed to kill whites with impunity" thing

      September 20, 2011 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Mik

      There is no "God" to "bear false witness", therefore, this poor black man is Screwed (with a capital S)...

      September 20, 2011 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Leonard Skipper

      And if they Texas Seven were being executed based off of impartial evidence, I would have had an issue with that as well. Idiots like you love to infuse race into these post boards. The good ole "what about whites" line. Who cares about race.

      September 20, 2011 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  7. Leonard Skipper

    Oh, and that racist statement you just made is suppose to be knowledgeable? Did you even graduate from high school? "Blacks" slow things down...where are you working at, Burger King? Maybe if you didn't spend the majority of your pathetic life assessing other races, you would have a productive life.

    September 20, 2011 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  8. brathead

    If there is in fact this much doubt in the case, this is sad....When a person is convicted especially when they are sentenced to death. They should make sure that there is not one inch of doubt. I think all death row inmates should be given another look when new evidence is presented or of issues such as this come up where people supposedly did not followcertain guidelines or rules. Look at all of the death row inmates that have been cleared in the past few years after spending years of their life behind bars for a crime that they did not committ. It's a damn shame that politics play a part in so many parts of our government. Our country needs to stop with all of the political BS and focus on the cold hard facts!

    September 20, 2011 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  9. keith beard

    Whats the difference between superman and a black man ? ?? ? ? ? N$GG$R ~!!!!!

    September 20, 2011 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
    • brathead

      You are what's wrong with our society. I suppose you are a member of the KKK? The KKK are low life pieces of crap who don't realize that our country is made up of immigrants and they have no right to dictate or determine who should and should not be allowed in america.. Why don't you take your racist a$$ and bury yourself in a hole with the rest of your Racist buddies!

      September 20, 2011 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • beelzebubba

      My pet slug is smarter than you.

      September 20, 2011 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
    • David Tremblant

      Are you, by any chance, a member of the Georgia Parole Board?

      September 20, 2011 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  10. doubler

    "To deny one man his freedom on the basis of race is to dent freedom and liberty to us all!"

    The people screaming "racist" the loudest are often the worst offenders.

    September 20, 2011 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  11. luvmy2k9s

    White, black, yellow or purple, he has been found guilty and has wasted enough of our money! Troy, hope you're ready to explain your actions to your Maker..

    September 20, 2011 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
    • bob

      that goes doubly for you

      September 20, 2011 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  12. E Sincere

    I am confused as to why some people are so hateful!!! Some of the post that I am reading are proven that something is wrong with the people in America. This is a man life we are talking about. If there is a possiblity that he is not guilty then he should not be put to death. He could very well be guilty as sin but unless you are a 100% right and you was a fly on the wall and saw the crime beening committed you should do the right thing and stop this execution. I am sad for the police officers family cause what kind of justice will it give the police officer family if they are wrong. That is what we should be talking about not who should die just because you get kicks out of seening people suffer.

    September 20, 2011 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Jomm

      It is called racism. SOme people are allow their hate for blacks to show through this case. Anyone with common sense can see this is man who should not die but some people do not care because he black. YOu can tell by the comments that are made. And they want the race card not to be played? sorry but the RACE GAME is still being played. Three white teen were on death row and let go this years for the death of three white boys. They did not do it and those white men were let go.

      September 20, 2011 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  13. Gezus

    Those witnesses should face trial for changing or falsifying testimony.

    September 20, 2011 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
  14. Jon

    This is incredibly racist and you should be ashamed of yourself. Saying that all blacks are lazy because you have worked with a couple is like saying that all guys named John (like yourself) are jerks because I know a few Johns who are jerks. I've worked with blacks who are lazy and blacks who aren't, whites who are lazy and whites who aren't. So what does it prove?

    September 20, 2011 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
  15. John

    Satan has many followers on Earth. This is his domain. The Board members are doing his work.....

    September 20, 2011 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • beelzebubba

      If there is an all-knowing, all-powerful god who created all things, he would know when he created all things how everything would turn out. If it is unsatisfactory to you, just know that the responsibility is all his. The bible is his list of excuses for blaming the things he created. EIther it is untrue, or god is a sociopath. That said, revenge is not taught in the new testament. There is no justification for killing a possible killer. Prison will serve as punishment for the crime and as a protection for the rest of society. Prisoners can earn their own keep.

      September 20, 2011 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75