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. Come on yall, and do the humpty hump

    Well Well Well!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Killing a cop is a real b1tch, now aint it.

    September 21, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • SFTor

      The only question is: was Troy Davis a cop killer? The developments in the case raise a lot of doubt about that. Maybe the State of Georgia killed an innocent man, and the cop killer is still walking the streets.

      How does that work for you?

      September 21, 2011 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Tommy S

    We should be ashamed of ourselves. Innocent or not, the death of one does not avenge the death of another, nor does it deter. We should learn from our history. Killing bequeaths killing, compassion does the same. I'm not saying grant pardons to wrongdoers. Simply have compassion, let them live their sentences and die in peace. It is not our right. The old west is just that, old.

    September 21, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jason Vorhees

    where are the thoughts for the murdered policeman and hiis family?

    I'm glad his killer is dead. I hope the execution was long and agonizing.
    I hope he died screaming.

    September 21, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tommy S

      Of course the families of the alleged murdered are in many hearts. But, this is not justice, merely penniless revenge.

      September 21, 2011 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Justice for all

      This clown was nothing more than a spin doctor. What all of his supportes fail to mention is that wheter he pulled the trigger or not either way he was still there. There has never been any doubt that he was someway involved. Nough said. Mayhe rot in hell!!!!!!

      September 21, 2011 at 11:48 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Georgia in my viens

    U people better learn white folks laws.......

    September 21, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Hoofleau

    The system can't be relied on anymore. There was a reasonable doubt here. America is turning into fodder.

    September 21, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Fred

    So WHY in this country does something like this take 22 years before justice is served??? And there are HOW MAY MORE on death row convicted of similar crimes?

    September 21, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Troy Davis is BURNING!

    Multiple witnesses, multiple court convictions...yet all these NAACP sheep on here spouting ignorance. Sad.

    September 21, 2011 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • SFTor

      Seven of nine witnesses recanted. Jurors said they would not have convicted if they knew all the facts.

      September 21, 2011 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Chris

    The "Lost Generation" is now more confused. September 21st, 2011 marks the day a guilty white supremicist and innocent colored man were executed.

    September 21, 2011 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Derrique Stuckey

      Two convicted killers died tonight. There should be nothing "lost" about this generation.

      September 21, 2011 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cleopatra

      When a white man does it, he is executed but when the courts do it.. its okay..
      only in america.

      September 21, 2011 at 11:48 pm | Report abuse |
  9. JB

    Shame on you Georgia!!

    September 21, 2011 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
  10. DEB

    People with glass houses can't throw stones!!! The self-righteousness of people kills me!!!!!!!

    Killing someone will not bring the victim back. What goes around will surely come around!!!!

    September 21, 2011 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
  11. OLESHA


    September 21, 2011 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Democratic Love

      You are retarded as you type in all caps. Say hi to your Cousins on the Corner!

      September 21, 2011 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Justice for all

      Thank God! one less "Peach" in Georgia tonight!........ Good riddins you no good POS Cop killer.

      September 21, 2011 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Cleopatra

    These people that all wanted him to die, can put back on their Christian Masks and live another day.

    September 21, 2011 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
  13. EYERIS625

    In peace he now rests and God has already forgiven him.

    September 21, 2011 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • I am GOD!

      I did not.

      September 21, 2011 at 11:48 pm | Report abuse |
  14. jm

    Demographics will soon take care of all these hypocritical white demons who have victimized people of color all over the world for centuries. More brown skinned babies are being born in this country and around the world than white babies. Time will take care of these demons on earth. For all you racists and white supremacists out there, your time is coming to an end. Face it, that is why you are all so mad.

    September 21, 2011 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • LadyP

      you hit the hammer on the nail jm! The white race is surely going to be knocked down bc not inly are African America babies being born everyday so are Hispanic Babies!!!!

      September 21, 2011 at 11:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Democrats are Good

      Kind of like the beginning of the movie 2001?

      September 21, 2011 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Atown

      One less black today

      September 21, 2011 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |

    Just a little something for all of you running your mouth's saying there was PLENTY of evidence against him:

    Davis, 42, was convicted of murdering Mark MacPhail, an off-duty Savannah police officer shot to death while coming to the aid of a homeless man being assaulted in a parking lot in the early morning of Aug.19, 1989. The murder weapon was never recovered and no physical evidence was found linking Davis to the crime, and he has always maintained that another man at the scene was responsible for the shooting.

    Now did you read that? No really, did you? NO PHYSICAL EVIDENCE people!!!! He was put to death over the so called testimony from nine witnesses, seven of which recanted their stories, even stating that the police coerced them to testify against him. They were shown photos of Mr. Davis before they were set to to choose him out of a line up. Yes I agree that whoever took the life of the officer should be brought to justice, but they should have make sure they got the right guy. They convinced themselves so long with their own lies that they had the right guy, that we possibly took the life of an innocent man tonight. The cops screwed up and had the court system cover for them and his life was the ultimate sacrafice here. Has the thought ever ran thru your minds that the real killer may actually be out there? And for all you people making racists comments and being ignorant, go read about the case and stop looking at it as a black or white thing. I'm guessing all of you who are happy that a possibly innocent man was put to death are probably the same ones that thought it was okay that Casey Anthony was found Not Guilty.
    R.I.P. Troy Davis

    September 21, 2011 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jaxman

      Go ahead and spew your propaganda. He is dead and NO ONE will read it.

      September 21, 2011 at 11:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Becky

      Well Jaxman, I read it.

      September 21, 2011 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jaxman

      Wow Becky, idiot joins idiot. Go figure.

      September 22, 2011 at 12:18 am | Report abuse |
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