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. KellyinBoston

    Gotta ask–Alabama?

    September 22, 2011 at 1:03 am | Report abuse |
  2. jonny

    Becheeng do not resolve.....use violence against conservative in position,,,, of power,,, kill them.... shoot them ....maim them
    stop to post and waste your time!!!! use violence kill that b@stard antiamericans conservative one for all!!!one at the time

    September 22, 2011 at 1:03 am | Report abuse |
  3. Tiffany

    A shame.

    September 22, 2011 at 1:04 am | Report abuse |
  4. David

    I ask, if later on he's found innocent, will a majority of Americans really care? Will it spark any changes? Probably not. I never knew you could be found guilty of a crime without sufficient evidence. I thought that was something only countries like China do. I guess it just goes to show that when it comes to the tough problems, we're no better. The sad thing is, most of you don't get it. IF he's not guilty, then that means a far bigger problem lies out there than the death of an innocent man; the murderer is still at large. I hope he was guilty, because if he wasn't, everyone in the system that put him there is equally as guilty of murder as the crime he was executed for.

    September 22, 2011 at 1:06 am | Report abuse |
  5. Vindication is the goal

    His family need to stay strong and grant his final wish:vindication. Once he is vindicated of the crimes he was murdered over, I want that judge, prosecuter, swine cops, 7 clowns, the mother of the cop, and govenor of Georgia all publicly humiliated and sued.

    September 22, 2011 at 1:07 am | Report abuse |
  6. Greg Gilbert

    If your religious, him maintaining his innocence till the end is a good thing. That means he will go to hell and burn forever, because you can't ask forgiveness for Sins if you're still denying you did it.

    September 22, 2011 at 1:08 am | Report abuse |
  7. Citizen


    September 22, 2011 at 1:11 am | Report abuse |
  8. Sam

    He's better off dead than spending a life in prison. It's not like he's missing anything

    September 22, 2011 at 1:12 am | Report abuse |
  9. Chad

    Incarerate a man for 20 years. Then murder him? Then applaud said murder? America, land of the dumb, home of the sheep.

    September 22, 2011 at 1:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Justice was Done!

      Troy Davis should have been executed 19 years ago.

      You can thank sheep like Chad for the delay.

      September 22, 2011 at 1:15 am | Report abuse |
  10. Sam

    I wonder where old Troy is right now?

    September 22, 2011 at 1:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Justice was Done!

      Cooling in a stainless steel tray?

      September 22, 2011 at 1:16 am | Report abuse |
    • kingfernidad

      Troy Davis died 3:00pm today outside near the gate by a doctor who taped him on the shoulder who whispered a little bit of dose in his arm said the word of god.

      Now that Troy Davis is dead and went down over September 11th retaliation over January 2000 US Terrorist attacks against the King of Prussia on Air Canada flight 1744 you will never hear the end of it. Note* Troy Davis was honarably pardoned by the King of Prussia. – King of Prussia Fernidad Frederick

      Update: Troy Davis is currently charged in heaven as Radar Tech aboard Air Force One Awacs in the afterlife by my orders as King of Prussia.

      September 22, 2011 at 1:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Hooligan

      um... he's nowhere... he's dead.

      September 22, 2011 at 1:37 am | Report abuse |
    • J Pulver

      A guy named Davis died today by lethal injection in Georgia for allegations he killed a cop.I thought it was Guilty without a reasonable doubt?With all the protests that went on from people that did not believe this man was guilty.Does that not show that there was some sort of reasonable doubt?Weird...

      September 22, 2011 at 1:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Mother

      BARBARIANS, most of you that are for the death penalty claims to be Christians, but that can't be, hypocrits is what you are. Who are you to decide who will die, why are you playing GOD? Oh, that's right It depends on who was killed. A police officer's life is worth so much more and worth putting somehone to death for, but not for killling a "nobody". It's cheaper and CIVILIZED to keep an inmate in prison for life than on death row, let's say since 1989 like Mr, Davis. Especially if there is a chance the person is not guilty. It will be too late to change the verdict after you kill him. Innocent or not, what was the rush to kill Mr. Davis? It's gross to live in a state with death penalty, common, 2 wrongs doesn't make it right, it bring the murdered victim back.

      September 22, 2011 at 1:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Justice was Done!

      Well, "Mother," I'm no Christian and I'm glad Troy Davis finally paid for his crimes. The only "tragedy" here is that it took 20 years for his death sentence to be executed.

      Was a cop's life more valuable than a "nobody"? Well, the only reason we won't know in Troy Davis' case is that the "nobody" he shot in the face-only a few hours before he shot police officer Mark McPhail-survived Troy Davis' attempt to murder him.

      And the "nobody" that Troy Davis beat severely with the same pistol he used to murder Mark McPhail? That "nobody" survived Mark Davis' armed attack too.

      Troy Davis was an evil vicious piece of sh1t. He earned his dose of poison. The world is a better place tonight with him no longer in it.

      September 22, 2011 at 2:04 am | Report abuse |
  11. Why no hate for the "liars" who put him there?

    Ha Ha Ha, earlier all you killer lovers where all on this "but 7 of 9 recanted their testimony", Now you are all saying "but they had no hard evidence. THE WITNESS' WERE THE HARD EVIDENCE, YOU IDIOTS.

    September 22, 2011 at 1:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Sam

      But just think of all the white people it made happy. So it's not a total loss

      September 22, 2011 at 1:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Marcus

      That's sooo f ucking racist..... ignorant f uck!

      September 22, 2011 at 1:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Hooligan

      a witness never can be hard evidence because PEOPLE LIE... and not only do people lie but these people in particular CHANGED their story.

      And that is what we call DOUBT

      September 22, 2011 at 1:38 am | Report abuse |
  12. okavo

    what if he was indeed innocent (like many others proven later)?
    Only people like bush can be sure Saddam had weapons of mass destruction – extremists?

    September 22, 2011 at 1:15 am | Report abuse |
  13. Doug Soderstrom, Ph.D.

    I am a white man, but after having seen what I have seen, and put up with what I have had to put up with for the past fifty or sixty years I am ashamed to claim that I am an American! As a follower of Jesus Christ I have been taught that we should do unto others as we would have them do unto us. But the way folks treat each other in this country, the way the rich treat the poor, the way white people treat those who are black, etc. I am absolutely appalled.

    And now what has happed to Troy Davis! Our justice system sucks! Like many have said, "It is the best system that money can buy! But for those who are poor, our system is no damn good! I really do feel sorry for the one-sixth in our country who are poor (so many of them black) because they are really getting screwed by the rich (the republican neocons) who seemingly have very little if any empathy for them and since they (the republican neocons) believe in capital punishment should be the very ones on death row waiting their turn to be executed!

    September 22, 2011 at 1:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Marcus


      September 22, 2011 at 1:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Save Ferris

      Let me get this right, so you're saying that only Republicans are rich and that you think that being rich is a crime punishable by death. I'm going to assume that this Troy Davis stuff is getting to you and that you're letting off a little steam.

      September 22, 2011 at 1:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Justice was Done!

      And here we see a textbook case of "progressive" lunacy.

      Troy Davis murdered Mark McPhail. Numerous witnesses saw him do it and testified at his trial that, yes indeed, it was Troy Davis who fired 3 bullets into Mark McPhail.

      The physical evidence showed it was Troy Davis' gun that fired the fatal shots, as well as the shots that struck another man in the face at a party earlier that evening.

      Yet in Doug Soderstrom's loony little over-educated world, it's "Republicans" who need to be killed-for the crime of being rich apparently?-and punishing a violent dangerous thug like Troy Davis is an "injustice."

      Could you find a better example of liberalism as a mental disorder?

      September 22, 2011 at 1:39 am | Report abuse |
  14. Sam

    Don't worry. There will always be plenty other black man who shoot white cops to take his place. It is not as if there is a shortage

    September 22, 2011 at 1:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Sam

      oooooo, i heard that

      September 22, 2011 at 3:58 am | Report abuse |
  15. americanfool

    What america needs is a BIG, I mean very Big war! It is good for the economy and it will put the lower class at work.
    WAR ans Torture is a Christian principle. May God continue to Bless us.

    September 22, 2011 at 1:23 am | Report abuse |
    • joesense

      stupe', since most countries are nuclear, it will be a very very big and a very very short war. dumbazz

      September 22, 2011 at 1:29 am | Report abuse |
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