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
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Filed under: Crime • Death Penalty • Georgia • Justice
soundoff (2,336 Responses)
  1. Betterknow

    You know it is odd that a person was found not guilty for killing a child (casey) and this person sat on the defense side with a poker face. If you notice this person (casey) did not say she didn't do it neither did she say she did it. Now on the flip side this black man is saying he did not do it for over 20 years. Both from the south, both supposedly killed someone and both has evidence against them and both had a reasonable doubt in the air. One had some form of money even though it ran out and the other never really had a chance in hell. With all these comparisons. America seem to always amaze me. I am with the guy that says if he has a reasonable doubt then get to the bottom of it or just give him life. If I was accused of stealing a pencil I would be just like this man and screaming till someone understood where I was coming from. I would not be sitting there stone faced. Hmmmm. I guess that is pretty black and white to me, or is it?

    September 20, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • V

      Well said sir, but you see, this country of ours believes in neither logic nor reason. They believe in results and a false sense of "closure" for the family of the slain officer. Why do you think the wonderful state of Georgia allowed the family to speak in front of the very panel that was to decide the fate of this man? We would much rather go ahead and kill an innocent black man than allow him to take up anymore space in our broken prison system. There are plenty of 18 year old pott smokers and 85 year old frauds that need to get whats coming to em'!!! America is the only major industrialized democracy in the world that has not abolished the death penalty. We should all think about that. Remember, remember, the 21st of September.

      September 20, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tensor

      Florida is not the south. Besides, Anthony is from Ohio and has nothing to do with this 20-year-old case, so stop dragging her into every black-related crime scene.

      Either gun-toting Davis or his gun-toting running buddy that night killed the Savannah police officer after the party they attended. At the very least, given the recants, Davis probably ought have gotten a new trial, as costly as that is.

      September 20, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • humbleyourself

      Oh my!!! You are the first Casey Anthony supporter I have ever met!!!! How are you? LOL

      September 20, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  2. marketplace

    Preach on!!!

    September 20, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  3. William


    September 20, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nick

      It amuses me how stupid you are if you think that the government-sanctioned killing of a human being through legal means in a controlled fashion would be free or cheap in any way. Very, very stupid.

      September 20, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      You're a moron. It costs so much because of the appeals process jack @$$

      September 20, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • V

      No need to shout sir. We are all civilized here, are we not? Excuse me, I just realized the ignorance in that statement.

      September 20, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • bama0918

      Sir, you are gravely in error, given the nature of our system. There have been many clever tricks used by certain capital punishment supporters to claim that execution is cheaper, but they do no hold water. All of the sources that have found life imprisonment without parole cheaper are solid and reputable. I'm sort of a fence-sitter on the death penalty issue, but science is science, and facts are does cost states a small fortune to execute someone.

      September 20, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  4. William


    September 20, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marv

      I feel sorry for your mother. Although she was the best sceeze I've ever had. Tight, real tight. In the ace, I should say.

      September 20, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  5. just me

    """"""RISE UP NOW PEOPLE.....WE OUTNUMBER THE SYSTEM""""""""""""""""

    September 20, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • V

      It is about time for a good, old-fashioned revolution isn't it? Hopefully Anonymous will do something about this. They could subvert the Georgia state prison system in the blink of an eye. Remember, Remember, the 21st of September...

      September 20, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. just me

    """""""MODERN DAY LYNCHING"""""""""" RISE UP....RISE UP

    September 20, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  7. just me


    September 20, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Death Penalty Lover

      Woo hoo!! The prisoner looks soooo scared to he didnt blink once while he killed that cop, huh?....flip the switch!! Execute him!!

      September 20, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • humbleyourself

      @ death penalty...You obviously havent a clue in your peanut sized brain... BTW its not a switch its an injection. Your mother should have done better... Go sit on the toilet and pull your head out TOODLES!

      September 20, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  8. WhiteGirl

    Damn not taste good in my soup.

    September 20, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Robert Kellberger

    Why won't Obama pardon Troy Anthony Davis?????

    September 20, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rainbo

      The President can only pardon Federal prisoners

      September 20, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
  10. CNNuthin

    The Supreme Court ordered a Stay of Execution for Cleve Foster. But are still quiet on Troy Davis. Quick! Someone play the race card.

    September 20, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Awhiteman

    so all you people would be protesting if this was a white guy? I think not.

    September 20, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ablackman

      YES.................................. right is right and wrong is wrong

      September 20, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • humbleyourself

      Please dont count your eggs before they hatch.. I see NO COLOR

      September 20, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Socialist Worker

    This means a green light for police when they need witness. Once they decide who is gulty all's they need to do is find a jail house snitch give him a police get out of jail free card and they have a witness. "Bring in the usual suspects and get their testimony." These are the methods of a dictatorship. No Justice!! No Peace!! Democracy Now!!

    September 20, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  13. FAR

    Bri: Come on Bri, Are you that hateful that you have say it that way? I am always amazed at the level of hatred that come from people. Just pure hatred. My God!

    September 20, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Nick

    Maybe you should die Bri, since you're clearly a foaming-at-the-mouth racist, and that is the true form of trash.

    September 20, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Anonymous

    kill all the white people

    September 20, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • V

      I appreciate your passion, and I feel your anger, but those kind of statements are simply not neccessary. If you were to construct your argument more clearly, people would not think that you are a complete idiiot.

      September 20, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • humbleyourself

      I cant bring myself to feed into that type of ignorance... This has to be a child on their mothers computer.. And their mother should try harder at teaching morals ethics compassion and respect. sheesh

      September 20, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
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