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.”

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[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. Michael

    I love how all these people that do not know the details of the case are protesting his execution. I guarantee if he killed someone in THEIR family they would not be carrying signs and looking like morons.

    September 21, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |


    September 21, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  3. kfair

    This is not about race, lets quit with the slamming. Its about the rights of ALL people living in a "Free" country to have a "Fair" trial. He has not yet had his "Fair" trial.

    September 21, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Tyler the Creator

    Phuck all your rotten Mother Phuckers!

    September 21, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  5. redchileboy

    hmm...wekillpeople who have killed people in order to prove our point that killing is wrong!!! nice logic!!

    September 21, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Johnnynothumbs

    Breaking News...................A so-called reform group still refers to them self as "colored." people gotta love it.

    September 21, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |


      September 21, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Dan Jones

    I am a conservative Christian but I don't support capital punishment. The reason is that we are all human and prone to make mistakes and I wouldn't want to be on a jury and have to make a decison to kill another human being.

    While I find it sad to think of this man facing death it should occur to us that thousands of times a say people face worse. For every time some one dies of cancer or some other disease they face a death penalty that is far less considerate or kind then lethal injection.

    September 21, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Justice

      A convicted murderer. Finish him off.

      September 21, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • TriXen

      @Justice Dаmn straight.

      September 21, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • kdp

      when your family are the victims of a murder like mine, you and your teabagging conservative christians will probably change your tune.

      September 21, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mom in MA

      But as a Christian wouldn't death by cancer or heart attack etc be God's will... where execution is death by man's hand.. 'thou shall not kill' and all that. I agree as humans we make too many errors, DNA has proven that our justice system is flawed at best... corrupt at worse...

      September 21, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • steve

      Its clear that you have never had anyone in your family murdered by a coward.

      September 21, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Gabriela

    I hate how the IGNORANT PEOPLE write bad things here in this blog like HURRY UP KILL HIM, COME ON clowns find something diferent in your Fuc.... life pieces OF sh..

    I HOPE THEY GIVE TROY an OPPORTUNITY to live, because no one have right to take our life away! GOD BLESS HIM!!!!

    September 21, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • bdrigg

      How loving of you. Hypocrite.

      September 21, 2011 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      Stop being ignorant about this subject and look at the society of today. Society of today overwhelming supports capital punishment and therefore it shall stand. This case has been on the books for over 22 years and the defense had 22 years to find this man innocent but they have not so in conclusion he must be put to death by order of the law. People who resort to name calling are losing the conversation badly and have no other options but to use name calling.

      September 21, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      That is not a logical conclusion.

      Whether the death penalty is right or wrong is not relevant.
      It is not an argument about that. It is an argument about whether or not there is doubt. There was no reasonable doubt at the time of the trial because they had ballistics evidence, and 9 eye witnesses pointing to Troy.

      Now, we see ballistics evidence was flawed, and that 7/9 witnesses have recanted.

      People do not overwhelmingly support punishing those who are probably guilty. They overwhelmingly support punishing those who are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

      September 21, 2011 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jason

    Give him one more last meal 🙂

    September 21, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • TriXen

      I wonder what Officer MacPhail had for his last meal. Do you think Davis looked at him right before he pulled the trіggеr and asked, "Excuse me officer, how would you like your steak done and would you like a bucket of Рореуеѕ Chicken to go with that?" I think not!

      September 21, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Michael

    Hi from Germany. If the US execute this man – despite doubts about his guilt – you're not a little bit better than countries like Iran or Syria. †

    September 21, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • steve

      That, coming from the people that executed milliions of jews. When we want Germany's opinion we will give it to you.

      September 21, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michelle

      Hi Michael in Germany! His execution has been delayed for the time being. We're no better than Iran and Syria? A bit dramatic don't ya think? At least in this country a person gets a trial. Iran executes people for infidelity, we don't (it's not even a crime here). Iran executes people for being gay, we don't (that's not a crime here either). Iran has a woman on death row, they plan to stone her to death. We don't do that here. Today, just hours ago, a 17 yr old in Iran was executed in a public hanging. We don't do pubic hangings and we don't execute 17 yr old children. It might be a good idea to review some facts before you make such stupid statements.

      September 21, 2011 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • jrh0

      Please don't condemn the whole US. The State of Georgia is doing this heinous deed. Michigan, on the other hand, has the world's oldest continuously in force law against capital punishment, dating from the year it was admitted to the Union, 1837. I hope Germans and others will keep this in mind when deciding where to invest in new offices and plants.

      September 21, 2011 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Audrey Hansen

      Oh yeah. United States did the public hanging executions when the Indians discovered United States. What U.S did?
      Went killed some many indians, stole United States land from the indians, took the land and now you come and say the United states don't do public hangings. Read the Story of this country back than before you say about U.S. this country is no better than others. Every country has you own bad history. Just study closer the facts before open your mouth.

      September 21, 2011 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Capital Advance

    Troy Davis and Casey Anthony should change spots..alot more people would be satisfied then including me

    September 21, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
  12. plane851

    BREAKING NEWS (WTVM-TV): Decision from United States Supreme Court will be made by 8:30 PM EDT. Via Kim Severson on Twitter.

    September 21, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • kdp

      And surely the decision will be to torture the victims family more by again not having the balls to make a decision.

      September 21, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
  13. john

    The white guy in Texas gets executed for killing a black. The black gets off in Georgia for killing a white guy. That's justice the American way, huh?

    September 21, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Unfair I Say

      I agree, if it's a black guy they call racism, white guy, go ahead and kill him. Our justice system sucks. I would like to know what this guy has on his criminal record. Bet it's not the first brush with the law he has had.

      September 21, 2011 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Veronica



    September 21, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • 100% Democrat

      He is not a human being.

      September 21, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Lunasol

    Well hopefully the Supreme court will grant clemency, they have more legal sense than the Georgia State of Pardons & Parole.
    This guy may be guilty, however in light of the new evidence that does cast reasonable doubt –
    you cannot execute him – point finale ........
    I don't care if he white, black, yellow, blue, green or polka dot .... any person facing the ultimate penalty of forfeiting their life needs to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and when more than two thirds of the witnesses are recanting their original statements – guess what that raises enough doubt not to execute someone .........

    September 21, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
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