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. Shannon

    Will the NAACP be helping all people on death row- I mean if they only help "certain" people that would be racist and they don't like that. My crayon box is gonna be in an uproar when I say that the white color has to be removed because it's not a color.

    September 21, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Pha Sor

    The real high tech lynching.

    September 21, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
  3. tipe


    September 21, 2011 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      He will be freed to the gates of Hell during the early morning hours when the protesters go home.

      September 21, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • tipe


      September 21, 2011 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Sorry but I have to work in the morning. I don't get to sit at the house and collect a check.

      September 21, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
  4. David Im sure they will recant too. This just happened sunday.

    September 21, 2011 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
  5. AverageCanadian

    Nearly all developed countries abolished the death penalty years ago. So why do most states in the US still have a death penalty? It's just plain immoral. Everybody in the US who supports the death penalty should be ashamed of themselves.

    September 21, 2011 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mike

    Really disappointed they haven't gone through with it yet.

    September 21, 2011 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Elpieda

    Please why did Casey Anthony go scott free when it was 100% clear she murdered her own child???Why i she not on death row?? Ohhhh i forgot..she is a relatively attractive young white female thats why...Like it or not, AMERICA IS A RACIST COUNTRY AND STILL TREAT BLACK PEOPLE UNFAIRLY....The law never favor Black Men...Isnt that why you are all pushing to chase Obama and not have him do a second term...America just can't stand a man of color being their leader and you say we should not pull the race card...

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

      Why don't you ask the BLACK jury that convicted this guy why he didn't go free? That's right, 7 of the 12 jurors were BLACK. Get your facts straight before you utter such ignorance.

      September 21, 2011 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      It worked out pretty well for O.J the first time around

      September 21, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Why is anyone comparing this to Casey Anthony? The jury for this dude was mostly black, a detail many people don't want to look at.

      September 21, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Give Elpieda a few minutes you caught him off guard, hes calling Al Sharpton for another way to use the race card.

      September 21, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Elpieda

      BTW am not black...

      Ohh please so you hold on to the fact that 7 of the jury were blacks right so thats makes it not a racial issue...Take it or leave it...ITS A RACE ISSUE....How do you explain a witness saying that he kept insisting he dint see Davis do it but the police decided to write what they wanted too...Please please please lets just accept that AMerica is a racist country and racism will probably never go away...

      Casey Anthony should be put to death too because this is just a disturbing situation...

      September 21, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
  8. steve

    Why does race always have to be an issue? So what happens next. If he's executed , they will riot in the streets, screaming racism and injustice. Such a load of crap. He's a murderer, and should never see the light of day. That being said. When will Americans stop killing there own in the name of justice. If you see other people in other countries do the same thing, you call them animals and uncivilized, yet your country does it every day. An eye of an eye is never the answer. Stop the killing.

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

      It is about social class and race. I have lived in Alabama and have alway experience racism. This is not justice when there is doubt. Troy Davis is anybody that is poor or from any race not able to afford a lawyer so they can receive a fair trial. I feel for the family of the slain officer but why would you want Troy Davis executed if the evidences are not concrete. His death will not bring their love one back. People who say they believe in God, how can you when are looking to rejoice in somebody death. I do not believe in the death penatly, it does not solve anything.

      September 21, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
  9. SusS

    "But what then is capital punishment but the most premeditated of murders, to which no criminal's deed, however calculated it may be, can be compared? For there to be equivalence, the death penalty would have to punish a criminal who had warned his victim of the date at which he would inflict a horrible death on him and who, from that moment onward, had confined him at his mercy for months. Such a monster is not encountered in private life." -Albert Camus, writer, philosopher, Nobel laureate (1913-1960)

    September 21, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Andy

    Someone explain to me how Richard Ramirez is still alive and this guy (even if he did shoot the cop) is on the table?

    September 21, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
  11. mnguest

    maybe Casey Anthony would like to trade places with him!

    September 21, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
  12. BLT

    Troy Davis should have been dust by now. He should have been executed 10 years ago..the media is trying to spin it that he may be innocent. It's BS! The three airmen who were eyewitnesses HAVE NOT RECANTED their testimony. And by the way...the white supremacist in Texas got what he deserved TODAY. He was executed for dragging James Byrd to his death 15 years ago. At least the Fed. didn't stand in the way of Texas getting the job done.

    September 21, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Name*Gene lopez

      Ty blt perfectly said

      September 21, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Your Fired

      BLT should become BLT! Troy's case should not be taken lightly. He does not deserve to die because of 3 witnesses while the other 7 recanted! This would be unfair to you and I you moron! Killing a man because another man was killed to teach him a lesson about killing doesn't make sense! If Georgia kills this man then Georgia will face violence and more innocent will die from this mistake because it will cause back lash! Without proof that is air tight he should walk. This is how are justice system was set up. Don't change what is supposed to work! Our system has been broken and letting him die would only support that!

      September 21, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • hilo, HI

      Well said.
      What is the Black version of the KKK??
      They seem to have elected Davis as their poster child.
      The Reveerend Getting-My-15-Minutes called the Davis execution "a civil rights violation'???
      I'm gonna puke.

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

      They gonna b laughing at us like when oj got off

      September 21, 2011 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Black girl with big heart


      September 21, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • BLT

      @ YOUR FIRED. The justice system and the jurors did there job 20 years ago. Maybe Mr. Davis can come live with your family.....please welcome him right in...... what would your tune be if he killed someone in your family........ right......smdh.

      September 21, 2011 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Black girl with big heart


      September 21, 2011 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • hilo, HI

      Your Fired, familiarize yourself with this case. His homies who were ready to lynch the homeless guy w/ Davis 'recanted' as a legal ploy to create confusion. (It worked, Fools!) They haven't recanted under oath, for cross examination, and hadn't come forward over a decade until days b/f Davis' Last scheduled execution.

      September 21, 2011 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bobby

      Very well said. All the recanters have refused to change their stories under oath. That little tip is being left out by the media. If you don't say it under oath, it means absolutely nothing. Why is this not pointed out?

      September 21, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • hilo, HI

      blackgirlwithheart, I understand ppl against all killing and respect that opinion. I do. But as the Good Book also says 'There is a time to kill.' and "He who sheds the blood of man so he to will have his blood shed by man, for man was made in my image.'
      In other words, murder is the very worse there is. And it must be treated as such.

      You do realize Davis and pals were about to lynch a homeless man, similar to Mr Byrde from Jasper TX, when Cop Whitie, outnumbered btw, intervened. Buy Davis' family has a Reverend NOW?? Well, that IS rich. His 'mother' should never have had him. SHE FAILED, SOCIETY WAS THE WORSE FOR IT, NOW THEY'RE CRYING ON TV!!

      Again, I'm gonna puke.

      September 21, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Chris

    Execute this waste of human flesh. he has had 20+ years that his victim never had.

    he admitted to shooting one person. Pistol whipped another. And then shot a man in his face.

    execute this guy now so he can meet his maker and discuss the situation.

    September 21, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
  14. JusticeforMcPhailsFamily

    Yeah.....why does the NAACP seem to be so racist? Is that the image they want? WHy didn't the anti-death penalty people support the white guy in Texas? Do some blacks feel as though this is a way to get back for racists in the past by letting a black man go that has killed a white policeman? How can so many people change their stories? I will tell you how....they probably got together and collaborated. I have heard rumors about black churches preaching hate against white people. Wait......wasn't Obama was a member of one? I just wanted to be equal in this country. I'm a white young man that wish I had affirmative action on my side and wish Al Sharpton wouldve sought me out when 4 black football players bullied me in high school while a black coach laughed.

    September 21, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Isabella

      VERY WELL SAID!!! And I am not yelling.... I am emphasizing!!!

      September 21, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • hilo, HI

      The NAACP is apparently a front for a black version of the KKK.
      Davis is their poster child.

      September 21, 2011 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • sivon

      I dont know about everyone else but if a former president, the pope and a former FBI agent say he not guilty then i think he is not guilty.

      September 21, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • hilo, HI

      sivon, read the DAs interview here on CNN today. He addresses each one, 100 on target.

      (btw, All of a Sudden, the pope & Some members of the gov't are competan?t!)

      September 21, 2011 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |

    Please give this man a fair trial. We are all human beings and all equally deserving of true justice.

    September 21, 2011 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
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