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. jremo

    Based on the racists and evidence that this guy is convicted on, he should be given a full retrial. Its not the US favoring a black man. Do what is right and what is fair

    September 21, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Justin

    Besides, Davis admitted to the murders in a sworn statement in May of 2009.

    September 21, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
  3. AJ

    And for those that thinks this is Obama's issue....its not! He has nothing to do with judicial matters he is the President for goodness sakes get real and learn how the government works!

    September 21, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jimmytwotimes

    This attention would not happen if the murderer was not a blacky, he's guilty and everyone knows it. How about saving the tax payer from supporting this travisty of justice, terminate him as planned and move on people,

    September 21, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
  5. BLT

    Mr. Davis murdered an innocent person.

    God can judge his heart......expedite the meeting already.

    Let the victim's and defendant's family get on with their lives.

    September 21, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ThatGuy

    They just need to hurry up and kill this guy. He's guilty and he knows it. Just wasting my damn tax money keeping him alive.

    September 21, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • LordismyShepard

      I will pray for you.

      September 21, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • long

      BEERS ALL AROUND!!!!!!

      September 21, 2011 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |

      Read this...

      September 21, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • 7TX

      You sound like a fuuckin idiot. There needs to be absolutely no doubt of this man's guilt before his execution if there is going to be one. Money doesn't mean a daamn thing if he turns out to be innocent.

      September 21, 2011 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bernard

      You're an idiot.

      September 21, 2011 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • reasonabledoubt

      Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

      September 21, 2011 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
  7. CH

    Two wrongs do not make a right.

    There is also questions as to the possibility of Mr. Davis being innocent.

    How many people has "the state" executed that later were proven innocent................ooops.

    Murder is murder. Whether it is war (mass murder), executions, etc.

    NOBODY has the right to kill another. Just because it is done in the name of the state or country does not make it right.

    September 21, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kill HIm


      September 21, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • John R.

      Right on brother! I agree. Especially if there is any doubt! I won't even get into the moral issue at hand. But I agree I think the death penalty should be abolished all together.

      September 21, 2011 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Kim

    Landet i världens största ekonomiska kris lägger sina pengar på att döda människor dom inte ens vet är skyldiga. Det går bra för er just nu USA!

    September 21, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • GuestColin

      De är galna amerikaner vad förväntar du dig??

      September 21, 2011 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kim

      Sant sant.... D e ju bara att kolla diskussionen dom för här. haha skattepengar för att han lever? Va mölar dom om?! Vet dom va d kostar av deras skattepengar att avrätta någon?! Obildade och trögtänkta är vad dom är... Hoppas han får en rättvis rättegång och oavsett om han är skyldig eller inte så finns d inget som rättfärdigar dödsstraff

      September 21, 2011 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Sanity

    I wonder what the left would say if a child advocate tried to stop an elective abortion. Not really–I know what they would say.

    September 21, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      what you don't understand is that Pro-Choice people do not believe that fetus is a life.
      A belief they share with the supreme court by the way.

      September 21, 2011 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      The supreme court upheld Dred v Scott at one time, too.

      September 21, 2011 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sanity

      Yes, Mike, I know. Tell us all where and when the SCOTUS said that a fetus is not a person. I can't find that in the Roe vs Wade ruling. Please be specific. Not some BS from NARAL

      September 21, 2011 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Irrelevant. My point is SCOTUS has admitted mistakes and reversed themselves in the past. They are not perfect.

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

      This has nothing to do with left and right but I'll bite. Keep in mind, however, that I'm not left: The difference is Troy is a human being who can survive outside a womb. He's no longer a tiny clump of cells that rely solely on the woman who is facing the burden to either carry it to term or have those "cells" removed. Understand?

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

    Chickens–ts. Be like Texas. execute them if found guilty, period. Too many cry babies in this country.

    September 21, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eyeforaneye

      Totally we want to be just like Texas...because that's what American is all about, bunch of sheep trying to be like everyone individuality...God bless Texas and all the sheep that follow it...EEEEHAAAA.

      September 21, 2011 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Johnathan Forrest

    Lawrence Russell Brewer was executed in Texas Wednesday evening for his involvement in the infamous dragging death of a black man 13 years ago.

    Brewer, 44, was one of three men convicted for involvement in the murder of James Byrd.

    He was executed by lethal injection at 6:21 p.m. local time (7:21 p.m. ET) Wednesday , according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice

    So they have killed the white guy; now why isn't this cop killin african dead yet???

    September 21, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Because in one case we have no reason to have reasonable doubt.

      In another case, there are very significant doubts as to the guilt.

      This is not a race issue, it is a Legal issue.

      September 21, 2011 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • truth b told

      they had proof that the WHITE man did his where is the BLACK man's proof????? INNOCENT TIL PROVEN GUILTY!!!! IF STILL IN DOUBT......DON'T WIPE HIM OUT!!!!! NUFF SAID!!!!!

      September 21, 2011 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
  12. long


    September 21, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  13. DiRisio

    I have been praying that he is freed at the last minute, all Glory to God who is merciful on the just and unjust.

    September 21, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • I am GOD

      I hate you.

      September 21, 2011 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Pimpin and Hoein

    They've already killed him, they are just going to let he crowd get tired and start going home. He died at 8:04.

    September 21, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Mark

    Texas just executed a guy. Why no outrage? Oh, 'cause he was white.

    September 21, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Max in NY

      ur an joke.

      September 21, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      FU. No joke!

      September 21, 2011 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • LordismyShepard

      no, because there was NO doubt of his guilt.

      September 21, 2011 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Another piece of NY trash.

      September 21, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gee

      That's because they are different, they intellectual enough to understand the long term consequences of injustice.

      September 21, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Juleps

      No, because the evidence in that case is incontrovertible get it? Geez, it is totally disturbing that some of you logic-challenged and simplistic individuals might have to serve on a jury someday...

      September 21, 2011 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      "they intellectual enough" Really?

      September 21, 2011 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      You know nothing about me. You will not judge my intellect.

      September 21, 2011 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Juleps


      Your initial post spoke volumes about your intellect – I stand by my earlier conclusion. Even beyond being simplistic and logic-challenged, it's inflammatory.

      September 21, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Oh, Juleps. Does this mean you don't love me any more? Can't we get past this and just go on with our lives?

      September 21, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175