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. Who cares

    Too much Liberals....

    September 21, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  2. rick

    The South is still racist, and will continue to execute Blacks, no whites are executed. Sad that this still happens in the USA. Texas is the same in executing Black men.

    September 21, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gigi

      You are so full of it!!!! Texas is executed a white man tonight. A white man who killed a BLACK man. So go stick it in your ear.

      September 21, 2011 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
  3. joeinalabama

    It's about time, all the whining about why they should not execute Davis, they don't seem to want to talk about what proves him guilty.

    September 21, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • n

      what proves him guilty, Joe?

      September 21, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Justice is failed

    The list of the men and women who are getting away with legal murder tonight continues to grow. Our justice system has failed. Georgia is a right to die state. At 7pm tonight, the MacPhails and the Georgia legal system will have blood on their hands. I hope the revenge kill haunts them all for the rest of their sad, miserable lives. No sympathy for their level of ignorance and hatred.

    September 21, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  5. infonomics

    Just get a pet rock for your cat, for your turtle and for yourself.

    September 21, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Maude

    Breaking news:

    Supreme court: Stay of Execution ordered. New trial to follow.

    September 21, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • marv

      what???????!!!!!!! forreals?

      September 21, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • marv

      where are you seeing this? Not cool if you are messing around.

      September 21, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Simone

      where did you hear that? The Georgia Supreme Court denied. They took it to the US supreme Court but I havent hear a decision yet

      September 21, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Not True!...

      September 21, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nick

      LOL nice try. Buh bye murderer...

      September 21, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Ben

    This guy shot a person in the face and pistol whipped a homeless man right before he was alleged to shot the cop. Why all the outrage over his sentence. For those actions alone he should be put to death.

    September 21, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brad

      do you know that for sure? were you there?

      September 21, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Justice lover

      They have had 20 plus years to prove him innocent, any new evidence would have come out by now. If every appeal, every court has upheld, and the SCOTUS offered him a rare chance to prove it for sure and he didn't or the lawyers didn't, then carry out the sentence and give JUSTICE to all the victims. He has had 20 plus years of mercy more then he gave his victims.

      September 21, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Viva

    Where is Mt Executioner pal? Oh, must be getting his drip...drip...drip ready! HA!HA!

    September 21, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • MISSPO

      Viva la ignorance!

      September 21, 2011 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • MISSPO

      Quick, Viva, you might be able to watch Fox and figure out what you should say next at the same time you are typing! Got anything besides buzzwords and the usual racism & hate that is ruining the right wing's image? I didn't think so. Maybe the teabaggers can send you a script.

      September 21, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  9. BD

    Rally round another cause people .. he did shoot at least one other person he admitted to doing that night (attempted murder). That person lived .. he intended to kill and most likely killed the other. Maybe he should be shot and see if he lives ?

    September 21, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  10. how doodie

    B B U U R R N N N
    B B U U R R N NN

    September 21, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Bryan

    This hard working taxpayer is sick of paying for room and board for the criminals in this country. We ought to broaden the crimes that get the death penalty, not get rid of it! They should be killing the guy that was with him as well, they both were present when a man's life was taken away (no arguement there) and they both were harassing a homeless man for a beer Even if this guy didn't pull the trigger, do you REALLY think he was a responsible citizen and told the other guy to stop? Armed robbers, rapists, child molesters, they should all get the death penalty. We do not need these people in our communities, even behind bars! Why do those of you who think this is wrong want to PAY to keep such worthless human beings alive? In case one soul is saved and "goes to heaven"? Then YOU pay for it!!!

    September 21, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Predictor1

      It actually much cheaper to keep a man for life in prison than to go through all the appeals that results from the death penalty

      September 21, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • @

      The cost for a death penatly conviction is much higher than for life in prison. Look it up.

      September 21, 2011 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • MISSPO

      B, I thought it cost more to pay for all these appeals than to feed & clothe an inmate. That was the old argument, do you know if it is still true?

      September 21, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
  12. john

    If they execute him EVERYONE who feels this was wrong should boycott any and all things to do with the state of Georgia, show them there is a price to pay for killing innocent people.

    September 21, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Viva

      Wha??? Are you kidding JOHN? Boycott the entire state of Georgia's products? Too many cotton , peanut, watermelon and peaches are grown won't even get a black man to give up his peanuts and watermelon!!!!!

      September 21, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  13. JUJU

    Will anyone have the courage to right this wrong. It's impossible to totally right it because he has lost years of his life inprison. will anyone have the Christianity to set aside their polital aspirations and stop this execution. Shame on the Supreme Court, shame on the Parole Board. No one wants to be unpopular, but as GW Bush said, it's better to be right than popular, of which he was neither. If this man was white, if his family was white and prosperous, we would not be at this point. We would never have gotten to this point. Governor, do the RIGHT THING.

    September 21, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gigi

      Put your race card away.

      September 21, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Viva


      September 21, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • MISSPO

      Sorry those two don't get it. They must have money and/or connections, plus white skin. Sorry to play the race card, folks, but ya gotta play the cards you were dealt.

      September 21, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Maude

    if obama admits he is satan himself, I would still vote for him. GOP is for the non human parasites.

    September 21, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Viva

      Apparently you add just like your "anointed one"!

      September 21, 2011 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Good Stuff

    Kudos for people standing up for something they believe in, but I feel bad for all those people who traveled to DC to protest. Such a waste of time, money, and resources. The courts have all handed down their decisions and this man will live no longer. They were better off getting their local news stations rallied together for a cause than drive/fly all the way out to DC just to wave a lousy pickett sign that nobody will read. By this time next week, this whole thing will have blown over, be forgotten about, and these people will be out gas or flight money and unpaid vacation time.

    September 21, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
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