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.

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[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. fineart

    I said earlier this week that if they execute Mr. Davis, terrible things are going to happen in this country. I don't know what, but something so dreadful, that every man, woman and child will quake in their shoes. We kill more people in the US than any other country on Earth. It's going to stop.

    September 21, 2011 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jaxman

      Wooooooo! Boogie man's gonna get us! I bet you wave your fist at the sun god too!

      September 21, 2011 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Junior

      You know what? Your absolutely right. We should all go move to libya, or egypt, or iran, maybe iraq. You know, those places where the government guns down dozens of protesters just because they can? yeah america sucks man. I hate living in a place that destroys murderers

      September 22, 2011 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |

    If today's new and improved racially aware AMERICA thought that AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL and one million signatures would put pressure on the SUPREME COURT to spare Mr. Davis' life, WAKE UP. Troy Davis was convicted in 1989 in JACKSON, GEORGIA. GEORGIA, CONFEDERATE, SLAVE, LYNCHING GEORGIA. Tonight's execution was an extension of the race relations that were still strong in GEORGIA in 1989. Troy Davis was convicted, most likely, by an all white jury that did not give a DAMN about him or Clarence Thomas nor Colin Powell at that time. COP OR NOT, WAKE UP. If you think that we as a country have made it through on race relations, KEEP LIVING......

    September 21, 2011 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      Morons like you spouting off on this case when you dont know jack make me want to throw up. You dont even know the jury lineup and youre running your freaking mouth? Go back to your playstation you fakking moron.

      September 22, 2011 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
    • metbull

      Clearly you know nothing of the Davis vs State. 7 black jurors 5 white jurors in a county that was 64% white. Do some reading before you spew vomit from your mouth.

      September 22, 2011 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      7 blacks convicted him. Read the story before you riot, or cry the usual race card.

      September 22, 2011 at 12:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe have assumed that he was convicted by an all white jury,shows that YOU ARE A RACIST AS WELL! throw out your race card and try to live in reallity.

      September 22, 2011 at 12:19 am | Report abuse |
  3. Disgusted

    What a pathetic country the United States is, a total joke their so called justice system, Casey Anthony is free as a bird while Troy Davis is put to death over false eye witness accounts......

    September 21, 2011 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Liar, Liar, pants on fire

      I would suggest you take it out on the witness' whom waited 20 years to change their story. Their are your real criminals.

      September 21, 2011 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jaxman

      Then leave.

      September 22, 2011 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |
  4. Boy!

    Davis got his, all right!

    September 21, 2011 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
  5. JusticeServed

    Thank the Lord the cop killer is dead. Rot in hell Troy Davis, I hope he burns every single day.

    September 21, 2011 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Aryan nation


    September 21, 2011 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • GJN123

      hahaha nice

      September 22, 2011 at 12:02 am | Report abuse |
  7. Beam Me Up Scotty

    One more innocent person murdered by our imperfect system of "justice"

    September 21, 2011 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • GJN123

      Whats it like living in a fantasy world

      September 22, 2011 at 12:02 am | Report abuse |
  8. Senator

    I believe that every other suspected killer or they usual murderers are treated in equally justics. This is a painful death Our supreme being will judge us .

    September 21, 2011 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Pathetic

    How many of you idiots are going to remember this case in a week or heck probably even in a day. Americans have such horrible memories, especially young Americans. All you want to do is cling to the issue of the day. Let's face it, none of you actually care about Troy Davis. You are just trying to fit in and sound like your smart when in reality your education system has failed you. Go back to playing with your toys America.

    September 21, 2011 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
  10. jo

    If everyone jumping on the bandwagon really gave a crap they would have been working on this daily for ten years. The media trumped this up at the last minute to play a full deck of race cards and whether he was guilty or not.. they used him. CNN included.

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

    I find it very sad that some people have no sympathy towards troy or his family. Its crazy that adults can write a ton of comments as if this was Facebook.......
    The one thing we still do have in America is the right to have an opinion so why speak your opinion if its negative. Pu your self is troys shoes or better yet one of his family member imagine your son or uncle or brother was troy I highly belive half of you would not be saying what you are now 🙁

    September 21, 2011 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Justice Now!

      Sympathy for the MURDERER? Because he's finally paying for one of his many crimes? No thanks.

      Sympathy for the MURDERER's family? They raised him to think it was acceptable to rob people, to beat people, to murder people if that's what it took to gratify his momentary urges. Troy Davis' family created Troy Davis. They can rot in hell too.

      September 22, 2011 at 12:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Rick Findley

      You know what Justice Now, I don't have any sympathy for you either, because all of you who wanted him dead got what you wanted. So what are you going to do for an encore to satisfy your bloodlust? Find someone else? Might I suggest applying your pursuits to a worthwhile cause, and go kill some Taliban in Afghanistan if you really want to murder people. From your post, that is all you want to do. So, big man, have at it.

      September 22, 2011 at 12:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Just my opinion

      Justice Now! You are full of assumptions and self-righteousness. It will always be hard for people to have a decent conversation with you. A dialogue means two people talking and acknowledging they might be wrong. Your comments are more suited for monologues. Respectfully, I wish you change. You never know where your feet might stumble...

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

    Troy Davis has a lot of hatred until his execution. He shot a man at another car and his own companion was a witness. He hit the homeless man and when a police officer who was working as security guard intervened, Troy Davis shot the officer. The homeless man became another witness.

    For more than a decade, these witnesses changed heart when Troy Davis had trouble past like them. Since then, they recanted. Troubled past is not an excuse to kill a police officer.

    Troy Davis deserved to die.

    Next please.

    September 21, 2011 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jfra

      To Paul. Unfortunately you have no idea whether Troy Davis was guilty or not. The only ones that know that are Troy Davis and possibly the deceased. There certainly is reasonable doubt.

      Here is a list of some of the countries who do allow the death penatly: Iran, India, Pakistan, Afganistan, Bahrain, Syria, Egypt, Libya. Time to seriously think about this.

      September 22, 2011 at 12:04 am | Report abuse |
  13. sam

    It is wrong to kill anybody if there is even a smallest doubt.
    This shows that America is not much different than Iranian regime.
    This also shows that being full of hate, rage and backward thinking does not need need to be a fanatical person from Middle East, or wearing a turban. Just living in America will not make one more civilized.
    I am ashamed to be American today.

    September 21, 2011 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Atown

      reasonable doubt isnt the same as smallest doubt

      September 22, 2011 at 12:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Justice Now!

      You're free to leave, Sam. Frankly, we're ashamed to have a whiney little biatch like you in our country.

      Need a lift to the airport?

      September 22, 2011 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
  14. Terry


    September 21, 2011 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
  15. busy signal

    All those prayers totally unanswered. What went wrong? Perhaps God has adapted to modern times and outsourced his prayer reception service to India.

    Woman on knees: Dear lord, please save this guys life.
    Prayer Service Rep: Im sorry miss, were you praying to Lord Krisha?
    Woman on knees: NO! Im praying to GOD!
    Prayer Service Rep: Yes mam, but to which God please?
    Woman on Knees: GOD there is only one you idiot!
    Payer Service Rep: Mam, no need insult me, I just need to know which God. There are Millions of them you know?
    Woman on Knees: Listen here! Im praying to GOD, G-O-D!!
    Prayer service Rep: Perhaps you tell me catagory, yes? Roman? Greek? Norse? Hindu? Abrahamic?
    Woman on Knees: Im a CHRISTIAN!!!
    Prayer Service Rep: Abrahamic then. Let me just look at my screen real quick...... ahh.. ok yes yes... Lets see, Allah, Yahweh, Jesus,.. oh i see... God.. All right mam,, Ive got it now. May I interest you in additonal requests to any saints?
    Woman on Knees: NO!
    Prayer Servce Rep: OK mam. Sorry for the delay, and thank you for using the Quick Prayer Delivery Line. I show your Prayer sent at 11:09pm. May I be of additional service this eveneing?
    Woman on Knees. 11:09!!! G*d D*mn YOU!!!
    Prayer service rep: And which God would you like to address your curse request to mam?
    Woman on Knees:.......(dial tone)......................

    September 21, 2011 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
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