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. JohnyWalker

    T-minus 10 minutes!!! Woooohoooo

    September 21, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Nick

    God Bless the victims. Your justice is at hand.

    September 21, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Lord Vader

    If this man is murdered, I wont be upset to hear about people robbing and looting the houses of the parole board members and any businesses they own. Also the prosecutors and the cops who allegedly switched evidence too. This is one for the books I am totally against and I am pro-death penalty.

    September 21, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Only one word to describe you and that is HYPOCRITE

      September 21, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lord Vader

      One word to describe you Mike..... UN-American.

      September 21, 2011 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Michelle

    Way to go America, you've proven that you're just as barbaric as those Middle Eastern countries you hate so much. Who are you to play God? What satisfaction will you get from killing a man as opposed to just letting him wait his life out in jail? Your country is sick and you should all be ashamed of yourselves.

    September 21, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Great, then we won't be seeing you visit our fine country anytime soon will we? We're already better off.

      September 21, 2011 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nick

      Michelle AKA clueless moron...

      September 21, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Derrique Stuckey

    Nobody is being "murdered" here tonight. A convicted killer will receive capital punishment.

    September 21, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nick


      September 21, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Dredd

    Let Justice take it's course, he should take a few minutes which is about all he has left and make amends with his maker. I feel for the children of the officer, maybe now they can move on

    September 21, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  7. The Grim Reaper

    Swing Loooowwwww Sweet Charioooooottt Coming for to carry me Hooommmmmeeee

    September 21, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  8. farthum

    If you live in an urban area now would be the time to lock your doors and arm yourself – it's about to get reeeaaaallll.

    September 21, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nick

      Ghetto thugs don't need a reason to riot... It's the way of the hood...

      September 21, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
  9. vee

    What I want to know is why another guy admitted SEVERAL TIMES to the murder, and no one is looking into it. You really think a witness would admit to that for fun and giggles? And yet, we're here, ready to kill Troy Davis when there was no physical evidence, 7 out of 9 witnesses recanted their original testimonies against him (and admitted that they only testified against him in the first place because the police wouldn't stop harassing them until they did), and a witness has admitted to the murder several times. REALLY?

    Even if Troy does end up being guilty of it, there's more than enough reasonable doubt for this to legally go through. Executions are to be performed ONLY when there is NO doubt whatsoever. And there is plenty of that here.

    Someone compare this case to Casey Anthony's and tell me what the hell is wrong with this picture.

    September 21, 2011 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mike

    Not to sound racist, because I don't he should be executed either, but there seems to be an awefully high percentage of African American protesters.
    Do they also protest when a white person is about to be executed and doubts exist about that person's guilt?
    I doubt it.
    Let's get real here. There is outrage because he is black. The outrage is within the black community.
    For once I'd like to see Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson stand up for someone who is white.
    Then I could at least respect their opinions a little. As it stands they have no credibility when their justification for anything is solely based on the color of someone's skin.
    That being said, I hope the U.S. Supreme Court gives this guy a stay and allows this case to proceed so that if any further evidence exists that can clear this man it is allowed to be brought forward. It will be a little too late if they wait until he is executed.

    September 21, 2011 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Deelanz

      Agreed, people are so quick to just jump sides because theyre the same color, Im sure if a white man was to be executed in one minute for killing a black cop. There would be ZERO protests.

      September 21, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      It has nothing to do with his color, and vice versa dude. Yea he is black, black people are supporting him... Case in point do you see white people out there? No. Im black and I think the dude should die. It has nothing to do with race until the onlookers make uprise about it. No left or Right, not black or white. Life or death is what its about

      September 21, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  11. black an proud

    all you that are downing this man need to think again....where is the evidence, no one wanted to do this but the he is suppost to be god willing.....i feel for this many people have killed police an still are living??? alot...i think this is such a they will all be punished by have to explain your self to him...may you rest in peace troy!!

    September 21, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      I'm white and proud..

      September 21, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • paul1121

      you are clouding the subject. This guy is a murderer. Would you have him in your house? NO! He is playing on ppl's emotions.

      September 21, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • wthomas33

      Where is the evidence saying Davis is not guilty. Are the courts going to believe witnesses who REFUSE to give sworn testimony in court in regards to Davis innocents? I recall a young black boy who murdered 2 Charlotte, NC police officers in cold blood and got 2 life sentences with no parole, so this is not a black / white thing.

      September 21, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • paul1121

      .....and Chris, that is not cool to say; i'm white and look upon my brothers as equals.

      September 21, 2011 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • yeah right

      good for you chris. However dont let your pride get in the way of treating all people with the respect that you expect from others.

      September 21, 2011 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
  12. mimi

    i think that nobody deserve to die because god gave us a life to live not the law so i dnt support execution . even though were not blood his a brother to me and i believe he is innocent so why cant yall i believe they no he is innocent but just dont want to look dumb for putiing him through all this so they have to and that is just cruel. BUT ALL I GOT TO SAY TO MY BROTHER IS I LOVE YOU AND I SEE YOU SOON AND IM STILL PRAYING RIGHT NOW THAT YOU GET JUSTICE

    September 21, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Good Stuff

      God didn't give you life, your mother and father did when they hopped in bed and got freaky.

      September 21, 2011 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • JOH

      Actually, God himself would smite people back in the old testament days. Also, if you really believe in God, then you will also realize that death is just another part of life.

      If there is no evidence that supports he deserves a death penalty, then I'm all for letting him go. Why execute someone who's done nothing wrong? But if it is death trial-warranted crime, then by all means. You realize that if NO ONE died, then ALL of us would be in poverty? With the death of another, life eases for those who still breathe.

      September 21, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
  13. paul1121

    So, if I am black and kill someone; went to court and judged guilty by a jury of my peers, I should be let go because I am black. NO SPECIAL TREATMENT BECAUSE OF RACE!

    September 21, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • mimi


      September 21, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • trainwreck

      special treatment? like a black man being more likely to be convicted? people are calling for a stop because his guilt is unproven

      September 21, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Good Stuff

    So what will people say about their prayers after he is executed? " was God's will. Thy will be done." Will they suddenly retract their prayers and continue trusting in God?

    September 21, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • mimi


      September 21, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • mimi


      September 21, 2011 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |

    I hope people join OCCUPY WALL STREET against all CORRUPTION IN USA! Peace be with Mr Davis. Only God knows the truth. I think Its Sylvester "red" Coles!

    September 21, 2011 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
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