Troy Davis put to death
September 21st, 2011
11:50 PM ET

Troy Davis put to death

Georgia inmate Troy Davis was executed Wednesday night for the 1989 murder of Mark MacPhail, an off-duty Savannah police officer.

Davis died at 11:08 p.m. ET, according to a prison official. The execution was about four hours later than initially scheduled, because prison officials waited for a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Davis' request for a stay.

After 10 p.m. ET, the Supreme Court, in a brief order, rejected Davis' request. His supporters had sought to prevent the execution, saying seven of the nine witnesses against him have recanted or contradicted their testimony.

Below are the developments as they happened. Read the full story here.

[Updated at 11:50 p.m.] Jon Lewis of WSB radio, one of the execution witnesses, gave this account of the minutes before Davis' death:

After the warden read the execution order and asked whether Davis had anything to say, Davis - strapped to a gurney - lifted his head up and looked at the witness area's first row, which was where MacPhail's relatives and friends sat.

“(Davis) made a statement in which he said ... 'Despite the situation you're in, (I) was not the one who did it.' He said he was not personally responsible for what happened that night, that he did not have a gun. He said to the family that he was sorry for their loss, but also said that he did not take their son, father, brother.

"He said to them to dig deeper into this case, to find out the truth. He asked his family and friends to keep praying, to keep working, to keep the faith. And then he said to the prison staff, the ones he said 'are going to take my life,' ... ‘May God have mercy on your souls,’ and his last words to them (were), 'May God bless your souls.'"

Another witness, reporter Rhonda Cook of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper, also gave quotes from Davis. According to her, Davis said: "The incident that night was not my fault. I did not have gun."

"And that’s when he told his friends to continue the fight and 'look deeper into this case so you can really find the truth,'" Cook said.

Davis also said, according to Cook: "For those about to take my life, may God have mercy on your souls, may God bless your souls."

Davis said to the MacPhail family, according to Cook: "I did not personally kill your son, father and brother. I am innocent."

Hours earlier, Davis declined what the prison offered him as a final meal, Cook said.

[Updated at 11:12 p.m.] Davis has been executed, a prison representative has said. The time of death was 11:08 p.m. ET.

[Updated at 10:55 p.m.] Davis' execution is expected to begin between 11:05 to 11:10 p.m. ET, the Georgia Department of Corrections says.

[Updated at 10:36 p.m.] People who'd been protesting for hours across the street from the prison where Davis will be executed are chanting, "We are Troy Davis," CNN's David Mattingly reported.

[Updated at 10:21 p.m.] The U.S. Supreme Court has denied Davis' motion for a stay of execution.

Word of the Supreme Court's decision comes more than three hours after Davis was scheduled to be executed, and more than four hours after Davis' attorneys had filed the motion.

With the ruling, Georgia is expected to proceed with Davis' execution.

[Updated at 10:07 p.m.] The daylong gathering across the street from the prison by Davis' supporters has turned into a candlelight vigil, CNN's Gustavo Valdes reports. Hundreds still are waiting for a resolution. Some are praying, and some others are singing.

[Updated at 9:41 p.m.] The Rev. Raphael Warnock said he was standing with Davis' relatives on the grounds of the prison when they heard the execution wouldn't happen at the scheduled time.

"I was standing with the family at about 7 p.m. By that time, of course, naturally, we were expecting the worst," Warnock, a pastor to Davis' family, told CNN's Piers Morgan. "Suddenly we began to hear cheers from the crowd across the way, and the word came that the execution had been delayed.

"Certainly we're glad that Troy Davis is still alive, but we are still witnessing, in my estimation, a civil right violation and a human rights violation in the worst way unfold before our very eyes. This is Troy Davis’ fourth execution date. I’m glad that he’s alive, but that in and of itself is cruel and unusual punishment. America can do much better than this."

Asked if Davis had had what would have been offered as a last meal, Warnock indicated that Davis might have skipped it.

“I do know that on the last time he received an execution warrant, he refused his last meal," Warnock said. "I spoke earlier tonight with his nephew ... and he said his uncle would refuse his last meal again today. He has continued to insist that this is not his last meal. I must say to you that he evinces a faith that is just amazing, even to me as his pastor."

[Updated at 9:05 p.m.] The number of police officers standing outside the Georgia prison housing Davis has risen to more than 100, CNN's David Mattingly reported. The officers are watching protesters, who've been across the street for hours.

The crowd has been orderly, Mattingly said. While it had been chanting for much of the day, they're "probably as quiet as I’ve heard them all night," Mattingly reported.

[Updated at 8:55 p.m.] Dozens of people have gathered outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., in support of Davis, footage from CNN affiliate WJLA shows.

Still no ruling from the court on Davis' request for a stay of execution.

[Updated at 8:39 p.m.] This video report from CNN's David Mattingly, made about 40 minutes ago, shows the people who've been protesting across the street from the prison where Davis is being held, and the police officers in riot gear who are in front of the prison, watching the protesters.

[cnn-video url=""%5D

[Updated at 8:19 p.m.] The mother of the police officer that Davis was convicted of killing told CNN's Anderson Cooper that she is "absolutely devastated" that the execution has yet to happen.

“I’m absolutely devastated because I want it over with. ... They’ve been through the courts four times there in Georgia. They’ve been to the Supreme Court three times," Anneliese MacPhail said in an interview from her home, referring to previous delays. "This delay, again, is very upsetting and I think very unfair to us."

"I'd like to close this book," she said. "We feel (Davis is) guilty. The evidence and everything that we have seen - that I have seen , because I’ve been to all the trials - he is guilty, and I believe in that. And so does the rest of my family.”

[cnn-video url=""%5D

[Updated at 8:10 p.m.] The time that the U.S. Supreme Court is taking to rule on Davis' motion for a stay of execution is unusual, CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said. "Usually, it’s handled pretty promptly," Toobin said.

Davis' lawyers filed the motion at about 6 p.m., an hour before Davis' scheduled execution. The state attorney general's office filed a response shortly afterward.

The two hours that the court has had the motion is "not a long time, but it's long enough for (the nine justices) to respond and say, 'Go ahead,'" Toobin said. "So it does suggest that they’re taking this seriously, and there may be some disagreement.”

[Updated at 7:43 p.m.] After a brief moment of jubilation upon hearing that the execution hasn't yet happened, Davis' supporters - who have gathered outside the grounds of the prison where he is being held - are regrouping and talking about what might be next, CNN's Emma Lacey-Bordeaux reports. "Troy Davis can never die" is a common theme.

The state of Georgia isn't proceeding with the execution until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on Davis' request for a stay. Davis' attorneys filed the request about an hour before Davis' scheduled 7 p.m. execution.

Davis' supporters, who had been chanting, are now letting out cheers as drivers pass and honk their horns. Otherwise, the mood is tense as they wait for a development, Lacey-Bordeaux reports.

[Updated at 7:26 p.m.] The state of Georgia hasn't yet proceeded with the execution of Troy Davis, because it is waiting for the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on his request for a stay, CNN's Bill Mears reports.

Davis had been scheduled to be executed at 7 p.m. ET. His attorneys filed a motion asking the Supreme Court for a stay about an hour before the scheduled execution time.

[Updated at 7:06 p.m.] Inside the grounds of the prison where Davis is scheduled to be executed, about 100 people, including Davis' sister, have formed a tight circle and are praying and singing, CNN's Gustavo Valdes reports.

[Updated at 6:32 p.m.] Davis' attorneys have filed a motion with the U.S. Supreme Court, asking for a stay of execution, the court has said. No decision yet.

[Updated at 6:28 p.m.] Earlier, this blog mentioned a protest outside the White House against Troy Davis' scheduled execution. Here is video of the protest:

[cnn-video url=""%5D

[Updated at 6:20 p.m.] CNN's David Mattingly notes that according to the state Department of Corrections' schedule, Davis would have been offered a mild sedative, to calm his nerves, at 6 p.m.

[Updated at 5:58 p.m.] Davis' supporters outside the Jackson, Georgia, prison where he is to be executed are growing louder, CNN's David Mattingly reports. Frequent chants include: "Death Row? Hell No!" and "Free Troy Davis."

[Updated at 5:54 p.m.] CNN's David Mattingly notes that Davis, who had been scheduled for execution three previous times, "has never been as close to dying as he is at this hour." A previous scheduled execution was called off more than two hours before it was to happen; this time, Davis is a little more than an hour from the scheduled time.

"He has already said goodbye to friends and family visiting today," Mattingly writes. "He's been served his last meal. Everyone is waiting to see if a last-minute appeal now working it's way up the legal system might somehow stop or delay Troy Davis' pending appointment with lethal injection."

[Updated at 5:41 p.m.] The Georgia Supreme Court says it has unanimously denied a stay of execution for Troy Davis.

The court also denied his request for another appeal to be heard.

His attorneys will now ask the U.S. Supreme Court to halt the execution - Davis' last hope, CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said.

"The United States Supreme Court has a procedure in place. They know when executions are coming; they are expecting an application, so I expect this will be acted on fairly quickly. ... It’s unlikely that a stay will be granted, but that possibility exists, and that’s Troy Davis’ only hope," Toobin said.

[Updated at 4:33 p.m.] With one eye on the clock, celebrity supporters of Troy Davis are using their platforms to continue to spread the word about the Georgia inmate.

[Updated at 4:31 p.m.] A Butts County Superior Court judge has declined to halt the execution of Georgia death row inmate Troy Davis, scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Davis’ attorney Brian Kammer tells CNN the appeal is now being brought before the Georgia Supreme Court.

[Updated at 4:14 p.m.] Davis saw 25 visitors Wednesday during the six-hour window (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) he was allowed to receive them before his scheduled 7 p.m. execution, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections.

The visitors included relatives, friends, clergy and an attorney.

[Updated at 3:06 p.m.] A look at Davis' schedule today at the Jackson, Georgia, prison where he is scheduled to be executed at 7 p.m., from CNN's John Murgatroyd:

9 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Visitation with family, friends, clergy and/or attorneys.

3 p.m.: Will undergo a physical.

4 p.m.: Last meal offered.

5 p.m.: Opportunity to record final statement.

6 p.m.: An optional sedative will be offered.

[Updated at 3:02 p.m.]  About 100 people have gathered outside the White House in Washington, D.C., protesting Davis' scheduled execution in Georgia. The crowd consists mostly of students from Washington's Howard University, CNN's Lesa Jansen and Bob Kovach report.

One of the protesters, Howard graduate student Tamatha Scott, said in a CNN iReport video that the students marched from Howard to the White House, responding to student leaders' call to protest on Twitter.

“I started seeing the tweets about it late last night. It has been a very peaceful protest,” Scott said.

CNN's Lesa Jansen took this photo of the protest:

[Updated at 2:38 p.m.] An example of the high-profile support that Davis has received: Cory Booker, mayor of Newark, New Jersey, posted the following to his Twitter account Wednesday afternoon:

"The State should not be executing Troy Davis. . . if there is even a chance that he is innocent, why execute?"

Davis has gained international support. Public figures including Pope Benedict XVI, Desmond Tutu and former U.S. 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. On Wednesday, the French Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying it "deeply regrets" the parole board's decision.

[Updated at 2:32 p.m.] Outside the Jackson, Georgia, prison where Davis is to be executed at 7 p.m., many of the speakers have struck hopeful notes, and some say they hope to change the system for the future, CNN's Emma Lacey-Bordeaux reports.

Many are holding hand-lettered signs, with messages such as, "Spare Troy Davis." Some have produced signs showing Davis' picture and the message, "NAACP says too much doubt."

One of the signs carried outside the Jackson prison refers to the NAACP's stance.

[Updated at 1:34 p.m.] Dozens of people have already gathered at the prison in Jackson, Georgia, where Troy Davis is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET, CNN's Gustavo Valdes reported.

People gather Wednesday outside the prison in Jackson, Georgia, where Troy Davis is scheduled to be executed.

The Rev. Al Sharpton is among those at the site.

The group is praying and holding hands, Valdes reported.

[Updated at 1:28 a.m. ET]  The Georgia Department of Corrections told CNN it has denied a request by Troy Davis' lawyers to conduct a polygraph test.

[Updated at 10:16 a.m. ET] The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles has declined to reconsider its decision denying clemency to Troy Davis.

Supporters of Davis have been hoping that some last-ditch efforts might help save him from being executed on Wednesday night. Earlier Wednesday, his team filed an appeal asking to stay his execution.

[Posted at 9:13 a.m. ET] Attorneys for Troy Davis, facing execution in Georgia at 7 p.m. Wednesday, have filed a request to stay his execution in Butts County Superior Court.

Davis is scheduled to die by lethal injection Wednesday night in Jackson, Georgia, for the 1989 shooting death of off-duty police officer Mark MacPhail.

The parole board declined to grant Davis clemency Tuesday following a hearing Monday in which it heard testimony calling into question physical evidence and witness statements that a Chatham County jury relied on in convicting Davis in 1991. In Georgia, only the board - not the governor - has the right to grant clemency.

Since Davis' conviction, seven of the nine witnesses against him have recanted or contradicted their testimony. Davis' supporters say the original witnesses were fearful of police and spoke under duress.

Other witnesses also have since come forward with accounts that call Davis' conviction into question, according to his supporters.

soundoff (5,817 Responses)
  1. Mira

    A government-ordered lynching. Deplorable. The only solace to find in this is that he is now in our Lord's hands and doesn't have to suffer anymore.

    September 21, 2011 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
  2. L. Bovine

    I can't believe they murdered him. They just couldn't wait, could they?!?!?!

    September 21, 2011 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Derrique Stuckey

      Get real. They've been waiting 22 years.

      September 21, 2011 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Justice Now!

      We waited decades.

      Rot in hell Troy Davis, a murdering piece of sh!t.

      September 21, 2011 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Clayton Bigsby

      Justice is served.

      September 21, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      Wait for what? Another appeal? Give me a break.

      September 21, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • CSUNikki

      They DID wait, for 20 years! Justice is done. He's in God's hands now on what happens to his soul.

      September 21, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Deserved

      REALLY?!?! Do you have any thing in that hollow place between your ears?!?!? We waited 22 years! Time to pay for your sins, Troy Davis AKA murderer!

      September 21, 2011 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • kiptron

      I didnt do nuthin, nowhatim sayin?

      September 21, 2011 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • L. Bovine

      What a disturbing bunch of racists we have on this forum! And "WE" didn't wait 22 years, freak!!

      September 21, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • ARMYofONE

      How did any of the above comments come across as a bunch of racists? I am black, he was guilty, and justice was served. Thre were appeals allt he way to the Supreme Court. Since when did arm chair lawyers on a forum determine law??

      September 21, 2011 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • L. Bovine

      ArmyofOne, you don't notice racism on this forum?! (Re-read my comments, they refer to the whole forum.) Maybe you need to pay more attention.

      September 21, 2011 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mark

    The sister of a black man murdered in Mississippi by this a supremacist asked prosecutors not to seek the death penalty and spare his life. Quite a contrast from MacPhail's mother who wanted to see Troy dead at all costs. Sickening.

    September 21, 2011 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      You're right. I agree it's sick that Troy Davis killed an honest man. Good thing they killed him in exchange, eh?

      September 21, 2011 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Guy

      So now you smear the mother of a dead man? Very impressive.

      September 21, 2011 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. This is crazy

    So what now? Two dead people. What did this solve?

    September 21, 2011 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Audrey Hansen


      September 21, 2011 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • gonzo

      more people won't be killed by this one! yes two people are now dead but if davis hadn't been a gun totting thug we'd have 2 people alive.

      September 21, 2011 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Disappointed

      I agree with you. Two deaths does not solve anything. May Troy Davis rest in peace.

      September 21, 2011 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jenn

      We solved absolutely NOTHING!

      September 21, 2011 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Kaitlyn

    Michael –

    They are victims and my prayers are also with them. However, when "witnesses" come forward and say that they were bullied by the police into saying they saw Davis, should throw out their testimony. Perjury is illegal. It's sad when the police, who are suppose to be protecting us, are bullying people into saying what they want. That is what is disgusting. My disappointment in the Supreme Court still stands.

    September 21, 2011 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
  6. yarpirate

    you know when the NAACP gets involved the guy is absolutely guilty. The only thing they have left is the race card and they're waving it like a burning flag.

    September 21, 2011 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
  7. alicewhite

    For seeking Interracial Love, I think I got the best choice. It's a community where to meet gorgeous, beautiful black and white for romance! It's the best place for seeking interracial love and open opportunities for you to meet the attractive singles and treat you like a king or Queen.

    September 21, 2011 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
  8. inGeorgia

    The time of lynching was 11:08 p.m. ET.

    September 21, 2011 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Julie

      Well said.

      September 21, 2011 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
  9. bonnie pritchard

    Hard to understand this injustice. What kind of country do we want to live in?

    September 21, 2011 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Justice Now!

      One where PROVEN MURDERERS like Troy Davis pay for their crimes.

      Rot in hell, Troy Davis, you murdering piece of sh1t.

      September 21, 2011 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      @Justice Now!
      So, do you view yourself as a higher power who can determine the innocence of another human being, or just act like you can?

      September 21, 2011 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • ARMYofONE

      I let the five layers of court with te facts make the judgements. Sice the Supreme Court also did, I will sleep well knowing a cop killer is gone.

      Night Night

      September 21, 2011 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Leftism is a mental disease

    nah nah nah nah
    nah nah nah nah
    hey hey hey
    good bye cop killer

    September 21, 2011 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Melanie

    Rest in peace, Troy Davis. Innocent or guilty, you are in my prayers.

    I sincerely hope this case does not end up joining the countless other cases of wrongful execution. That is the main reason why I do not support execution; you can never regain a life that was taken.

    September 21, 2011 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Meow

      I hope so too. That would be a shame.

      September 21, 2011 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • FRED

      What wrongful executions? I must have missed that story because I am sure the lame stream media would have had a field day with that one.

      September 21, 2011 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Melanie

      Have you really never heard of any cases of wrongful execution?
      I'm sure you're forgetting–
      Those are 10 of the most famous ones, and I remember hearing about 9 of them.

      September 21, 2011 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • ARMYofONE

      He was convicted, he was given DUE process. All the way to the supreme court. He was still found guilty. Stop thinking he was anything less. Sweet dreams

      September 21, 2011 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Meow

    I don't think it should be about this particular man being executed as it should be about us questioning our use of the death penalty. I think the death penalty needs to be reserved for the most extreme cases like the cold-blooded murder of a child, or a hate crime or a desecration of a corpse. It needs to be done in a way that proves the person who is dying is indeed a serious risk the safety of the public and in a way that ensures that there are no further questions of his guilt or innocence.

    We have seen two executions tonight, the first was Lawrence Brewer who died because he committed a depraved act of murder against an innocent person. In Troy Davis' case, if the victim were a police officer in the line of duty, I would without a doubt support his death penalty. But let's face it, this man has had many years and attempts to appeal his case, if he were truly innocent or any doubts about his conviction he would have been granted a retrial. Many prisoners play the martyr card in the end in order to garner sympathy in hopes political pressure will force a stay. A polygraph is not a detectable measure used in a court of law, why should it be used in an appeal? I think he committed the crime but I don't think he necessarily fits the profile of someone who deserves the death penalty. I think his rights to due process were properly used and I think both sides are trying to skewer this event to fit their agendas. I side with neither. In the end, I believe the only lesson learned here is that we need to used better discretion in who we deal death to.

    September 21, 2011 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • BK

      desecration of a corpse deserves the death penalty? are you serious? the person's already dead...

      September 21, 2011 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Meow

      I meant if someone murdered another person and THEN desecrated their corpse. I was thinking along the lines of someone like Jeffery Dahmer when writing that.

      September 21, 2011 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • ARMYofONE

      Personally, ou are convicted by DNA at a minimum, and given the death penalty, you should DIE within a week. Nothing more, nothin less.

      September 21, 2011 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Tim

    He's burning in hell

    September 21, 2011 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Tom Roll

    See ya, wouldnt wanna be ya

    September 21, 2011 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
  15. gonzo

    and it's over. by tomorrow morning no one will even remember this dude

    September 21, 2011 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
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