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. Cryi

    Kill this sob cop killer.

    September 21, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  2. us1776

    I don't believe in polygraphs. They are ouija board science.


    September 21, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  3. sonofacop

    You are a low life.

    September 21, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Rieckster

    I find it funny how this case hasn't been in the limelight for 22 years, his defense team hasn't really pulled out all of the stops, but it seems to happen days before his execution. NAACP starts screaming about innocence even though he had shot someone earlier in the evening (but who cares about that either, right?). If this had been a white person, this wouldn't be an issue. But it turns racist just because a black guy shot a white cop. The NAACP fuels racial anger and racial hate. His defense team failed and the media blew this so far out of proportion, no one knows what is right and what is wrong. You wonder what happened in the Casey Anthony trial? Crap like this. It begins to skew. How many of you have actually taken time to get a print copy of the file, look at the evidence and make an informed decision? Didn't think so. You should pull your heads out of the media's rear end and do a little research. Stop following hate mongers like the NAACP and quit acting like sheep and for once make an informed decision.

    September 21, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Name*justucz

      I agree.

      September 21, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • flashtrum

      Well put.

      September 21, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tmore

      I think you are the racists one. If 7 of the 9 persons have changed their stories then I believe he was not given a fair trail. Regardless of the evidence you have read, if no one has issued a statement saying that the report of 7 of the 9 persons changing their story is not contradicted, then it should be warrant a revisit of the facts of the case.

      September 21, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • theight

      this case has been in limelight in georgia for the past 4 years. I have the file in my hand right and have read it over plenty of times. have you read it yourself because if you didn't you wouldn't making the comments you just made. Where is all of this race issue crap come from. No one has used this as a race issue. What did you write on here when people was protesting the west memphis 3.

      September 21, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      So 7 out of 9 witnesses involved in this case are liars one way or another...

      September 21, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bobby

      Totally agree. If you go out to Wiki and read the case and the appeals, nothing in there points to innocence. As a matter of fact, some of the witnesses reported to be "recanting" would NOT DO SO UNDER OATH! But, don't let the facts get in the way.

      September 21, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Corey in Fl

      Doing research on the case is one thing, but one thing needs no research, and that's the testimony (via affidavit) that the witnesses to the crime have made. WHO CARES THAT THEY DIDN'T SAY THIS 20 YEARS AGO??? If their coerced word was good enough to convict and sentence to death, why aren't their words NOW holding the same weight? Why are you so eager to kill a person in the name of justice when justice hasn't been fully examined?? Pro death penalty or against, we should be 100% certain that we're killing the RIGHT person. What justice does it bring to kill Davis when the other guy very well may have done it? The only evidence against Davis was eyewitness testimony, which is unreliable on its face, even without the recanting of those who did the eyewitnessing...which makes this all the worse.

      Your statement loses credibility when you call the NAACP racist hate mongers. Show examples to support your claim. When has the NAACP espoused hatred? Example please?? It is your statement that reveals your nature as a hate monger. You need help.

      September 21, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • theight

      @Bobby: Where is that in Wiki because that is a lie. All of the witnesses testified under oath last year but the judge would only accept 1 witness. Anybody can go to Wiki and change up words. its no that hard. Try going to and pulling up the transcript.

      September 21, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • tensor

      Kevin, 7 out 9 witnesses are drug abusing, semi-literates from the 'hood who only recanted after a number of years and under a lot of pressure from the NAACP and other special interest groups hellbent on making David their poster boy. He did it, he admitted he did it, the gun casings are from his gun, 2 non-druggie witnesses maintained for the last 20+ years they saw David pull the trigger. He's had umpteen non-stop appeals, none of which introduced one single new piece of evidence. This criminal is lucky he lived this long; he shouldn't have.

      September 21, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      Tensor, exactly.

      September 21, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  5. metookah

    Tell Pres. Obama and Attorney General Holder: Save Troy Davis!

    Send a letter right now to President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder demanding a federal civil rights investigation that would stay tonight’s execution of Troy Davis. A sample letter is provided but you may modify it or write your own.

    It’s not too late to act. The clock is ticking before an innocent man is put to death.

    Send a letter right this second to President Obama and Attorney General Holder insisting that he speak up and use the authority of the Presidency to prevent this outrage. Tell President Obama to order a Federal Civil Rights investigation into the case of Troy Davis.

    You can also call the White House switchboard and tell them that you want President Obama to initiate a federal civil rights investigation and seek a stay of execution. Call the White House at 202-456-1414.

    September 21, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • veteranman

      Yeah, forget his trial by his peers, forget the real evidence, forget the witnesses that were truthful, until they are coerced by thsoe hating the death penalty, forget his victims, make him a martyr and a the end he fries anyway, when he pases on and meets the real judge of us just dely the inevitable

      September 21, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Harrys Putter

      Sorry – GUILTY !

      September 21, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • blue

      Hey metookah we don't trust Obama!! Troy Davis should die!! Just like the people he killed.

      September 21, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • cthegoodcitizens

      metookah, that White House Tel. Number is 202-456-1111

      September 21, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kent

      Tries calling the White House – the line is busy – now how can that be. I realize this guy may not be a saint but from all I have read and heard think it is only fair and just to commute his sentence to life without parole. Who gives another the right to take another life and if you want to carry that responsibility you had better check in with the big guy above and see how he will deal with you.

      September 21, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      His civil rights have not been violated. He was given a fair trial and found guilty. He has made his appeals and the conviction upheld. The people who are now trying to change their stories are not willing to do so under oath. That means they are having trouble emotionally being part of the process that is going to take a man's life. They just aren't so troubled that they're willing to face perjury charges.

      September 21, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bruce

      "His civil rights have not been violated."

      That's a conclusion that can only come about if there is an investigation into the matter. Even if they haven't been violated, that does not prevent Holder from ordering such an investigation.

      September 21, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      How is it that he, nor his attorneys, ever filed a civil rights complaint about how the case was handled? I would imagine that they have as part of their appeals, all of which have been looked at. This is why the appeals process takes so long, the convicted can pretty much try every approach. None of the approaches have outweighed the conviction. It's a hard argument to make... "I shot that other guy, but not the one who died, that was somebody else..."

      September 21, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bruce

      "How is it that he, nor his attorneys, ever filed a civil rights complaint about how the case was handled?"

      Hmmm... sounds like his attorneys might have violated his civil rights by failing to do this. We should investigate and find out!

      September 21, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  6. joe


    September 21, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Quickuation


      September 21, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Master

    I see why this coutry is going backwards .White your right .Black in the back

    September 21, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  8. TriXen

    As far as the recanted testimony goes, I think of it kind of like the edge pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. You need those pieces in place first so that you can complete the rest of the puzzle. However, once you've determined where those pieces fit, you could take them out and you'd still be able to see the picture. The fact is that the testimony of several witnesses fit together for 12 people to form a complete picture of what happened. Sure, it's possible to convince yourself 20+ years after the conviction that maybe you got the wrong guy. People don't remember things as clearly, time has gone by and those witnesses have moved on with their lives. Just because some of them don't feel they'd be able to identify him again more than 2 decades later doesn't damage their credibility as witnesses back then.

    The State of Georgia has made the right decision here–the decision to finally deliver justice which is long overdue.

    September 21, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • theight

      have you read the case. read what each witness stated in 1991 and tell what court will allow those testimonies to go foward. 1 witness said he is about 60% sure he saw troy davis, another said she didn't see a face but see the clothes, another stated they saw troy in the dark through his tinted windows, the other guy "Red Coles" stated that he had left by the time of the shooting but still said it was Troy who had the gun another man who was his jail made admitted that he lied about Troy telling him he killed Officer McPhail. You also have mulitple residents here in Savannah including a relative of Red Coles testifying that Red Coles has come up to them many times bragging about he is the original killer but the judge did not want to hear those people.

      September 21, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bruce

      We're not talking about bad memory, here. We're talking about testimony that was coerced by police pressure.

      Look, even if Davis is guilty and their testimony was factual at the time, the fact that they were coerced throws out their testimony, just like the lack of a warrant threw out the forensics evidence.

      If Davis was the shooter (and I'm not sure whether it was him or Sylvester Coles, I tend to think it was the latter, but my opinion really doesn't matter all that much in this case), the actions of the police and the prosecutors was bad enough that all the evidence they may have had should be thrown out. Because the "reasonable doubt" wasn't there at the time was because all this evidence was NOT thrown out. If the evidence is thrown out and Davis goes free, even if Davis is in fact guilty, the travesty of justice belongs with the prosecutors–it is THEIR FAULT for not doing their jobs correctly, it is THEIR FAULT that justice will not and cannot be done in this case.

      September 21, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  9. florence

    I have to admit the guys eyes look innocebt but after all this time 7 of the nine recant their testimony??they should be aware that at the time they said what they said and its not like you can say oops I take it all back ......... I googled up some info and I am still totally unclear of what happened...

    September 21, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Harrys Putter

    Save Troy Davis
    The same way he saved Mark McPhail.

    September 21, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • anthrogirl

      I seriously doubt that Mr McPhail would want the death of an innocent man attached to his legacy. Why soil Mr McPhail's great name by murdering in his name. Let's instead honor his service to his community and his family. Pray for Mr. McPhail, pray for Mr. Davis and pray for the souls of those who hold so much anger in their hearts.

      September 21, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  11. TGD5

    Why isn't our "great" savior of a president doing something about this?? It amazes me how we praise Obama for everything and capable of anything but he is nowhere to be found with this situation. There are obvious facts that this man is innocent or at least needs to be re-examined to find the truth. Obama= FAIL

    September 21, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bruce

      You know what? If Davis dies tonight, and Obama doesn't stop it–even if the President TRIES to stop it and Davis still dies in spite of his attempt–then you are absolutely right. Obama = FAIL

      No excuses, Mr. President. Don't hide behind your lack of legal standing and authority. You can stop this. You SHOULD stop this. It doesn't matter if stopping this costs you the 2012 election, just get it done.

      September 21, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      I imagine Mr. Obama has bothered to look at the facts and sees a guilty man in Troy Davis.

      September 21, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bruce

      Kevin: If that is true, then the President should say as much, explicitly, and firmly contradict those who disagree with him.

      September 21, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      If the President spent his days commenting on every issue that he has no direct part, he'd be on TV 24-7. I'd prefer he keep tracking on issues for which he is on the hook.

      September 21, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bruce

      Kevin, this isn't some random issue, and the President does actually have some control over it, in spite of the apparent legal non-standing and non-authority he has over direct actions that could cause a stay of execution.

      I think that it's possible, actually, that a civil rights investigation started by the US Attorney General could in fact result in an emergency stay of execution.

      September 21, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • theight

      you have to understand that there is nothing the President can do to stop the execution. While President Obama has said he thinks the death penalty does little to deter crime, he has no legal authority to get involved, officially, with a state execution. When the death penalty is imposed for a state crime like murder, it is a state issue.

      September 21, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bruce

      "[the President] has no legal authority to get involved, officially, with a state execution"

      Nobody is arguing that has the authority. He has the power, however, to make certain things happen, in spite of this lack of legal authority. These things he can make happen (Holder calls for an emergency civil rights investigation, for example) can, at least in theory, cause the people who have that authority (the clemency board, in this case) to order a stay of execution.

      September 21, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • jrh512

      @theight – Obama has the power to grant Davis a full pardon. Which means Davis could go home within a day or so.

      September 21, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bruce

      jrh512: No, a Presidential pardon will not directly obligate Georgia to do anything. It might, however, cause the clemency board to order a stay of execution while they review their legal options and obligations for a few days.

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

      It's a state matter until the federal government wants to take capital punishment solely as a federal issue. There are lanes in the road and I don't think the President has one here. The only thing anyone has to work with is the word of witnesses who now say that they tell lies. When do they tell lies? Always, sometimes, when it is advantageous? If you throw out the 7 admitted liars, you still have two witnesses who have stuck to stories that match. You still have a guy who already admits to shooting someone else in the neighborhood. I'm finding it hard to reason my way to Troy's side on this.

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

      Bruce, I'd be concerned with someone (the President) using power without authority. We're years after the fact and millions of people in America are still crying about the last guy doing just that.

      September 21, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bruce

      Kevin, this thread isn't about the merits of any given case, but about what the President may or may not be able to do in this circu.mstance.

      "The only thing anyone has to work with is the word of witnesses who now say that they tell lies."

      No. You also have the fact that the police (allegedly) obtained forensics evidence in a search without a warrant, which speaks to the competence and professionalism of the police in the murder investigation, and also lends credence to claims that they also coerced witnesses into testifying against Davis.

      "If you throw out the 7 admitted liars, you still have two witnesses who have stuck to stories that match."

      One of those two was probably the guy who actually shot MacPhail, so you are left with one. What about that one? One seems pretty flimsy at best. I think we should talk to that last one and figure out what's going on here. That there is enough reason to grant a stay of execution and revisit the case.

      "You still have a guy who already admits to shooting someone else in the neighborhood."

      No. You don't. Davis has never admitted this. The only person who says he admitted this to them has recanted that testimony, testimony that was hearsay and should have been thrown out to begin with.

      September 21, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bruce

      "I'd be concerned with someone (the President) using power without authority."

      But in this case the President would use his power, and the clemency board of Georgia would still need to exercise their authority for anything to actually happen. As long as it's public and no laws are violated, I think it's fair game.

      September 21, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • theight

      and the other witness didn't make any statement. He pointed and Mr. Davis as being the guy he saw. He never stated how sure he was that it was him. As far as we know this other witness may be dead himself or locked up.

      September 21, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      We shouldn't be okay with power being overstepped at all. There's a reason why the branches are broken up the way they are, to prevent just that. Sometimes we are going to like the system, sometimes we won't. But, we can't redefine it for every situation in order to feel better. I get it, this is a big deal and a very emotional issue for a lot of people. Emotion and reason are at odds here. Emotions make us latch on to things we wouldn't otherwise because it helps us make sense of the world. This has been looked at by a gigantic sum of people with a lot of training and experience. If judged after judge and board after board can't find reasonable doubt over the course of 20+ years how can me or you not liking their decision change it?

      September 21, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bruce

      "We shouldn't be okay with power being overstepped at all."

      If Holder orders an emergency civil rights investigation, it is within his authority as attorney general to do just that, and it is within the President's authority to ask (even to order) him to do it. If that happens to lead to the clemency board ordering a stay of execution, then so be it. There is no overstepping being proposed here.

      Holder could order the investigation and the clemency board might still let Davis die. It would be interesting indeed if that happened.

      "this is a big deal and a very emotional issue for a lot of people."

      It's much bigger than emotional and even legal. It's POLITICAL now. The very rule of law and nothing less than the public's trust in the state is at stake here. There also might be riots caused by an anti-lynch mob, as ironic as such a thing might be in Georgia.

      This isn't about reason versus emotion. This is about politics, and not the politics that gets people elected or not elected, but the politics that holds a society together.

      This is much much bigger than mere emotion.

      September 21, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Joe

    He will most likely be executed (unfortuneately). My thoughts and prayers go to both of the victims families of this horrible act. I don't know what Mr. Davis did exactly but I don't hear anyone saying that they got the wrong man so he was involved in some criminal act. Is this correct?

    With the attention this has brought maybe this execution will be the one to end all executions (except Texas). Texas won't stop until it's proven they've killed an innocent man/woman.

    September 21, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • theight

      Texas has been proven so many times that they have killed so many innocent people they have grown immune to it.

      September 21, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  13. tolerance

    I don't know very much about this case, so I could not say whether he is innocent or not. However, you can never know for sure and there should be no margin for error when it comes to human life if you can help it! At least if someone is given life in prison they can still be proven innocent 30 years later and be set free. It seems to me that the death penalty is more about retribution than justice. There have been thousands of people executed in the US and some of them might have been innocent for all we know.

    September 21, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Brandon

    This is ridiculous. I'll never step foot in Georgia, as it is a joke. Why did they deny the polygraph? scared it was going to say he was "telling the truth"? What a bunch of rednecks. None of them will have a good life, neither will the family of the cop, because the killer is still walking free. They just happy to see another black man go down I guess. I'm not even black, and I feel bad for them. This is the most cruel thing to do. This man is innocent.

    September 21, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      There is no quantifiable evidence that suggests that the conviction was wrong. I don't believe witnesses that won't go on the record under oath. Oh, and why did they lie in the first place if they are in deed now telling the truth. What value does the word of 7 people admitting they lie hold now?

      September 21, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • theight

      Do you know what kind of punishment you will get in this state for perjury and stop reading Wiki. Those witnesses went to court last year under oath.

      September 21, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      And apparently their new stories don't hold water.

      September 21, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Smartguy

    Too late...enough is enough!!.....put the convicted cop killer to death....trash pickup is every Thursday...

    September 21, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Citizen Twain

      Not very smart are you? Karma always returns to you and you will know it when it arrives. This is an innocent man, we all will have blood on our hands.

      September 21, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
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