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. rohanna

    you have no evidence that he is the murderer, you have no eye witness and no weapon to prove that he is the murderer so why punish him for some thing that he did not do, what the american government is doing is wrong. just imagine if you were being accused of something you didn't do, would you stand back and get a harsh death sentence for something you didn't do, would you like being punished for some one else mistake

    September 21, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  2. CATHY


    September 21, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  3. harry

    how can u accuse some one with out any evidence

    September 21, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |


    September 21, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  5. HOLLY


    September 21, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mr. Logic

      If he's executed . . . then he beoomes a martyr . . . Atlantans could then BURN that city to the ground!!!!
      Making Vancouver Riot look like a weanie roast!!!

      September 21, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • veteranman

      you are clueless. you make that decision based on....what.....what you heard? what evidence and testimony did YOU actually see and hear? right, right, just jumpin on the bandwagon......hell with his victims huh.....

      September 21, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff


      I see that you have mastered the copy and paste function of your computer.

      September 21, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jerry

      I heard where the witnesses recanted their story, but the PAPER WORK cannot be processed to stop this insanity. PAPER WORK does not kill people, people kill people, you had better get it right your souls are counting on it.

      September 21, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe fed up with crap media

      Time for the MURDERER to go where he belongs!! H E L L!!!!! Horray score one for the good guys!!

      September 21, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steven

      Do you all understand that Mr. Troy Davis himself pled GUILTY to the charge?

      September 21, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
  6. HOLLY

    he should be set free

    September 21, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • veteranman

      you are clueless. you make that decision based on....what.....what you heard? what evidence and testimony did YOU actually see and hear? right, right, just jumpin on the bandwagon......hell with his victims huh.....pressure from thso ejust dont like the death penalty should not over ride what was done in a just court of law...

      September 21, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • veteranman

      right, right, just jumpin on the bandwagon......hell with his victims huh.....pressure from those just dont like the death penalty should not over ride what was done in a just court of law...

      September 21, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rickey Crouse

      Holley read the evidence. he shot another man in the FACE earlier in the night and the guns matched. as easy as it is ti testify is as easy as it is to recant... he was right there with the gun.

      September 21, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Nancy M. McCormick

    Some of the looters of Katrina, were cops.cion and coverups. The legal system will fight tooth and nail to hide mistakes and corruption , until the evidence and the tide of public opinion exposes them for what they are.
    When DNA evidence began to exonerate one conviction after another, instead of saying, " Oh my God, there's a problem here..." some states decided to put a $2000.00 dollar price tag on DNA testing on the convict's family, to discourage poor families from getting to the truth.
    There isn't a class of people that it's OK to screw with!

    September 21, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Taura

      Sad, but true. I pray for the family of the victim, but killing "anybody" just to compensate his death is wrong. I assure you he's not getting all of this support because a bandwagon.
      Racism is alive and doing just fine.

      September 21, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rickey Crouse

      the miranda right states thet if you cannot affort it defence will be apointed without cost.... that means the cost of investigation of the defence... in some poor counties that coulkd mean cost int the tens of millions of dollars for the defence of a citzen. The possibility of incuring such huge charges sometimes leads poorer counties to not prosicute low income individules that the county would be expected funt the cost of both the defense and the prosicution.

      September 21, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Anisa

    this is not right, he does not deserve to be punished for something that he did not do, you have no evidence against him, no eye witness, no weapon, no nothing, 7 out of 10 people said at court that they had lied, tHey mentioned the name of the real murderer. WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS, HE SHOULD BE LET FREE

    September 21, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • jasmine

      I i completely agree with you

      September 21, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • mazzi

      i also agree, he should be let free

      September 21, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • veteranman

      you are clueless. you make that decision based on....what.....what you heard? what evidence and testimony did YOU actually see and hear? right, right, just jumpin on the bandwagon......hell with his victims huh.....

      September 21, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Narbik K

    I think they should keep the death penalty, but hold the officials legally responsible to full extend of the law. If there is a mistake, then, they should pay for it. The police, the panel that decides the death and everyone involved. This will reduce the errors.

    September 21, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ya Think???

      This would not reduce errors at all. No one is going to hold the official responsible. They will wipe their hands of it and say "oh well we made a mistake. Who's next?" What should their punishment be for killing someone and then realize they made a mistake. Pay the wrongly accused family money for a certain amount of time, removed them from their office? Oh I know, make them go through the same fate as the person that was wrongly accused. Get a grip. Killing someone and holding these people responsible is not going to solve anything. Think about it.

      September 21, 2011 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jenny

    Why does it always have to go back to the race card crap? NAACP is no better than the KKK- sorry don't have any respect for organizations that only better a certain race. Sharpton and the goon crews only come out to help certain people.

    September 21, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |

      Amen sister! Black people are the most racist SOB's on this planet. NAACP, the National Black Caucus, BET, Tyler Perry movies, black only colleges, with black only scholarships, and the sh!ttiest @#$%ing president we've ever had. (Whom they'll vote for again just because he's 1/2 black) That's right, I @#$%ing said it. He's only 1/2 black, and if you think it was the fried chicken eating half of him that got elected, think again. I'm sick and @#$%ing tired of hearing your sob stories about how the white man owes you something because Kunta Kinte was a @#$%ing slave 146 years ago. YOU segregate yourselves from US. So, who’s @#$%ing racist now.

      September 21, 2011 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • dcdrew8171

      If people like you stop being of the dysfunctional past down generational belief of indifference towards others not like you, and use the wisdom of reason rather than the cultural past down wisdumb, then you may stop the fellings and the denial of truth. Eye's that don't see and ears that don't hear. Very sad and very true.

      September 21, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |

      WOW!!! Exactly the kind of hatred I was talking about. Guess what America.....racism is alive and kicking. Please stop grouping everyone into a race. We have enough to worry about than dealing idiots like yourselves.........

      September 21, 2011 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |

      You know what the funny thing is? I'm not really racist, I have several African American friends, and I'm actually very well educated. The only reason I even posted all that stuff is because some self-righteous, ignorant (probably African American) person took it there first. Go back and look at the very first comment on the first page of this blog. You'll notice that some ignorant, racist (probably African American) person immediately took it to that level. If I'm even remotely prejudice against anyone, it's ignorant people.

      September 22, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  11. estudiasinfronteras

    could the administrator please remove my comments? it appears that someone made comments while logged into my account. thanks.

    September 21, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |


    September 21, 2011 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Are you an idiot???

      Umm. Fried Chicken?!? Really. He was scheduled to die by lethal injection. What does frying have to do with this.

      September 21, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Henry Small

      How can one person have so much hatred ? hopefully you don't have any childrn or relatives. This could be anyone. Your child, brother, or relative...We reap what we sow...Remember this...

      September 21, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |

      @Henry Small – The only problem with your logic is that every last one of my relatives are hard working, law-abiding citizens, who contribute to society. Mr. Davis was a criminal even before he was "wrongfully convicted" for shooting a cop in the face. Good riddance!

      September 22, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Sum Dum Fuk

    OOOOOH! He sa big a brack man. He sa reary reary scary. They sa gonna keel heem an den all dem utter scary brack peeples ar gonna riot. I no. I seed it befo. That wat thems scary brack peeples do bes. You wait an see. They sa gonna sho them tru colors. Ha ha! Tru colors. Me sa make a funy!

    September 21, 2011 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Karah

    Casey Anthony? Anybody remember her...justice huh?

    September 21, 2011 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |

      Don't worry! If I ever found Casey Anthony I would wrap duct tape around her head and let her convulsions do all the work while I r@pe her in the @ss!

      September 21, 2011 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Taura

    "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"...When people recant their statements (maybe because of guilt and shame over 20 years), there is no evidence, Jury of his peers convicted him? Peers? I am so grateful we ALL have to stand before God and give an account of every word we say!!!! People are just as hateful as the were 50 years ago...ignorance begets ignorance...

    September 21, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
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