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. Tang

    The more comments I read I try to figure out why race has to be a factor way can't this just be about this case injustice

    September 21, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Obama2012

      This is about race because a black guy killed a white cop. If his mom (notice they never say dad) would have raise him better he wouldn't have been in the area in the first place.

      September 21, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Squid

    How is executing a Black man going to ease racial tensions in this country?

    September 21, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Obama2012

      One less Obama voter...that's how!

      September 21, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Viva

      ONE for YOU Obama2012.....but do us a favor and pick a better username! I hate typing that Socialist's name!

      September 21, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Girlie girl

    He's a violent criminal, he shot another guy in the face and people want this man to walk? I don't think so. He's as good as gone.

    September 21, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Executioner

      Amen Sister!

      September 21, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  4. SIck of It

    Racist white people. you will kill a black man for the murder of a white man but white men can murder black people and walk. when there is a white defendenant and a black victim, your "justice" system sentenced 16 white people to death. when there is a black defendant and a white victim, you sentenced 253 black people to death. what is clear is that there is no value for black life which is why i would guarantee that the bloggers who say "murder him, he's guilty," are white even though not a single one of you was there. Yet you are so convinced of his guilt! I bet you also say you don't see color. You are a disgusting and sick, ruthless people.

    September 21, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Executioner


      Justice is finally being served!

      September 21, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • morbus gravis

      52% of the murders in the usa are done by blacks. but there are more whites on death row then blacks. 56% of death row is white people. whites arre usually on average put to death 17 months quicker then a black person. thems the facts. if anyting more blacks should be put on death row as blacks kill blacks and black life should be just as sacred so more blacks need to be condemned to make things fair

      September 21, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Obama2012

      Pretty sure OJ killed a white woman and man and walked....and now he is right back where he belongs in jail.

      September 21, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Viva

      Executioner, how much time now? This Blog is rocking and rollin'! Come on people give me more great one liners!!!!!

      September 21, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Purple haze

      Sounds like you're an angry black man but that's not unusual now is it? I truly cannot even think of more than 20 cases of white men killing black men. Why? because it doesn't happen thug life. If you want to be angry be angry with your brothers cause nobody just rounded up a bunch of black folks and threw them in jail kemosabi they committed crimes first. Do you have a brain? Why don't you save all that pent up anger over the white man and turn it into something positive and rally to your people to pull up their drawers and live a better life so their kids can have someone to look up to since black kids have NO role models. You are just as guilty of discrimination as the white folks you are whining about. Idiot. I'm asian by the way so stop stereotyping it hurts everyone.

      September 21, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Obama2012

      Hey Sick of could always go back to Africa where you won't be tried by 16 white people. You'll just be killed by your own people without trial. At least we attempt to be civil. 🙂

      September 21, 2011 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Viva

      Obama2012, you're "pretty sure" about OJ? What PLANET did you fall from? Oh I know....was it the OBAMANATION??

      September 21, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Dan

    Just wait til you see the riot that this creates...

    September 21, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      The victims daughter is proud to kill an Innocent black man so she can have false closure.. Selfish racist, your father chose his job, and in his line of work he could have been killed any given day, and sad that he was, but this is the same choice our brave men and women make every given day...

      September 21, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • meatblocks

      *breaks wind in Dan's face*

      September 21, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • hilo, HI

      The signs NO LEGAL LYNCHING, implies a Yes Vote for the illegal lynching Davis was in the process of committing when all this started.

      Also, 'lynching'?? So it's not the DP they are against, only the DP for black men?

      They aren't really helping their cause when they do it this way.

      September 21, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • hilo, HI

      actually, the homeless man they were attacking ala Byrde in Jasper TX, might have been white, so maybe not a lynching.

      September 21, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |

    @ sean. You say my middle eastern GOD... I serve ONE GOD the same one who created and allowed you as ignorant as you sound to wake up today and breathe. And i'm pretty sure troy davis has been praying,that is why it has been what 20 years GOD has kept him. Please do not go there and do not try to mock GOD, cause I will blast u with words and make you go pray and ask GOD for forgiveness of your lack of knowledge.

    September 21, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  7. The Executioner


    Hey Troy, It's time to get right with the Lord.
    You'll be standing before Him soon...

    September 21, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • jal


      September 21, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Viva

      Madea, we could always go back to Sparky, Sparky, Sparky! 😉

      September 21, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Chi

    To the bigots, the racists, and anyone else who thinks this is funny:

    Shame on you. This is a man's life we're talking about. Shame on you.

    September 21, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Slava

      The moment you resort to calling people racist is the same tmie you discredit your own argument, because that is exactly what people do when looking for an excuse. I have seen plenty of ignorant comments, but not one sound argument claiming why this piece of garbage is innocent or even potentially innocent versus a mountani of evidence and witnesses. He can burn in hell or admit his crime and ask God for mercy.

      September 21, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Viva

      In GREAT words from "jal" above your post......halleighlu-yer!!!!!!!!!!

      September 21, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. horn on my bike

    I say let's just let him go and he can come live with all the liberal heartbleeders. Oh, what's that you don't want him living near your loved ones? Ahhh because there might be a chance that he was guilty? Oh Lord. Shall all liberals rot in hell because you're ruining this country.

    September 21, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  10. GwatS

    Twenty years . time for the dirt nap and Justice to be served

    September 21, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Tom Jones

    Why are there no protestors standing up for the white inmate in Texas. He gets to go an hour before Davis.

    September 21, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      He got his 3rd stay from the supreme court.

      September 21, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • hilo, HI

      'the white inmate in Texas'. You just answered your own Q.
      Also, Davis murdered a cop,

      September 21, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Joe

    @Curious: umm if you're guilty you're going to hell no doubt about it unless you confessed and asked for forgiveness before you are executed, which is why it's so important for Davis to finally admit to killing MacPhail. Everyone who's backing this appeal nonsense is doing Davis a gigantic injustice he needs to confess to what he did and ask for forgiveness before it's too late for him to do so, his immortal soul is what's ultimately at stake and everyone backing the appeal are putting his soul in jeapordy. All of you should be ashamed a soul is worth more than any worldly existence you should be encouraging Davis to fess up.

    September 21, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Slava

      Agree 100%

      September 21, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Michelle C.

    What makes Troy Davis so special? Hundreds of men have been sentenced to death, both justly and not. What gives?

    September 21, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kana

      the thing that makes Troy Davis special is that with the evidence brought to light with previous witnesses recanting and changing their statements, etc. their is an element of reasonable doubt that there may have been witness tampering, From what has been presented in the media I believe there is enough reasonable doubt that the State should stay the execution and have a special prosecutor reinvestigate.
      I believe in the death penalty or exteme cases including killing a police officer. I also believe that if executing someone there should be absolutely no reasonable doubt.

      September 21, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  14. meatblocks

    The guy killed a cop. Plenty of evidence. Plenty of witnesses. Let it go. Go rally some other attention-seeking cause.
    There is no doubt he killed the cop. Just because YOU say YOU doubt it doesn't mean there's doubt (that matters).
    Phhllllt ... let him go apologize to his creator.

    September 21, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Mark

    This man should be set free. After all, he only shot a cracka. No biggie.

    September 21, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
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