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. Beth McKenzie

    I have had Mr. Davis in my thoughts and prayers. I hope that he will be set free since the trial and process that led to the trial was botched.

    September 21, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • DaveinCincy

      .....and prayers with his victim and their family too right? Oh...that's right...who gives a damn about them.
      You and your ilk really need to also think about the real victims.

      September 21, 2011 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Chris

    I CAN'T BELIEVE that there are actually people who want this man killed. NONE OF US KNOW whether or not he is guilty; you can pick a side to agree with, but only Mr. Davis knows whether or not he committed this crime.

    However, the fact that killing this man is even an OPTION is embarrassing to me. How is MURDERING a MURDERER going to fix anything? It might make you "feel better", but that just shows that you are a slave to your human ego. Revenge is such an immature aspect of human nature.

    It is better to let a criminal get away with a crime than it is to punish an innocent person... An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind...... I could go on forever, but if you don't get it by now, then I pity you.

    September 21, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fizzay

      It's impossible to know whether he did it or not, but either way if there's a reasonable doubt he is guilty, they are to find him innocent. Not saying he is, but he definetly shouldn't be executed without a doubt. And about the Death Penalty, I believe a life is worth a life. It's called punishment, which is one of the only things stopping normally sane people from killing.

      September 21, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • DaveinCincy

      Spoken like someone who's father/son/grandfather/friend wasn't murdered. Easy to forgive when it has nothing to do with you. We have laws in the country..and moral codes. He did do it...and should be dealt justice...not revenge.
      Although I admire your compasion, it's misplaced. The victim and his family should be the beneficiary.

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

    Over in Texas, a mann was rightly executed at 6:00 PM tonight. No bleeding hearts over there talking about the nasty ole death penalty. White man killed a black man. Jury convicted. Comdemmed man lost all appeals. He was executed as he should have been. I guess that one is OK. No one worried about the DP. The same type case is being delayed by the SC. No credible evidence was produced in tyhe trial or appeals this man is innocent. Recanters refuse to testify under oath that their stories were wrong the first time. Execute him.

    September 21, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
  4. sonarcoop

    Kill him in Georgia, or send him to Texas. They kill him without all the left wing influence.

    September 21, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Tonya

    I am a 24 yr old black female and this is what i have to say:
    What is done in the dark will always come to light! There is a strong reason this execution was delayed again. GIVE THIS MAN A FAIR HEARING PLEASE! The world has seen Casey Anthony walk free with murder, AMERICA lets not let racisim get the best of us, and kill an innocent man. If this man is put to death w/o a fair hearing this case can damage the already "idle" minds of the youth of all races and not give them any hope in the legal systems which can result to more crime , murders and riots.

    September 21, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bobby

      The man had trials and appeals, and even a rare date with the Supreme Court. The original jury was majority black. The most recent decision by the board, a unamious one, is 50/50 black/white. Mr. Davis never was able to get one of the "recanters" to recant under oath. What else do you want?

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

      I took this matter personal. Troy davis is now dead.

      September 21, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • hilo, HI

      Tonya, beware of 'wolves in sheeps clothing' -like the NAACP & Black Caucus.
      Troy Davis was an evil, evil person and rightly deserved to die. (familiarize yourself with all of this case and his history -read the DAs interview here on CNN)

      There are TRULY INNOCENT people who need this kind of attention. Davis and his Dream Team Media Hype Machine have just done those wrongly incarcerated, as well as victims of violence seeking JUSTICE, a terrible wrong.

      September 21, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
  6. What a waste!

    What you see tonight, is the very reason that Africa is so messed up. If justice was left to these people, this nation would look just like Somalia, Ethiopia, Angola or one of those other loser nations. They just do not have the sense it takes to run a civilized society These folks may think they are fighting for their rights, but the fact is they are fighting to let a killer off the hook.

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

      and you know that how??? maybe he's guilty, maybe he's not. I don't know. My question is how do YOU know?

      September 21, 2011 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Red Team

    So the 7 black members of his jury he originally said he was guilty, are they apart of the great white conspiracy as well?

    September 21, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Pual

    he die of natrul cause b4 we get to him

    September 21, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Kevin

    It is frightening how little sympathy people have for the family of the slain off duty police officer as opposed to Troy Davis.

    September 21, 2011 at 10:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • n

      people have sympathy for the family of the officer – and they believe that irreversibly punishing someone who may or may not have done it would not be justice. Please read ALL the facts of this case.

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

      N -YOU read them. Davis was 100% GUILTY.

      Now, will his Dream Team release the supressed DNA evidence of the slain officer's blood on Davis' clothes?

      I still do not understand how they managed to keep that out. So what he got mail at his 'address of record', he slept, left bloody clothes at his momma's, so the intent of the search warrent was correct.

      September 21, 2011 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Willy Brown

    Buh bye

    September 21, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Martha

    Deep in my heart I know, that if my own son was killed I wouldn't have had any feeling of revenge. Revenge belongs only to the Lord. If someone belongs to the fire department, to the police or to any security forces it's his personal risk to be punished. I myself belong to a voluntary fire force and I know, that risk belongs to my life. In my heart there isn't any place for revenge.

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

      Thank you...

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

      How selfish of the mother. I understand her wanting all of this to be over and wanting closure; however, wishing death on another being that she isn't even sure killed her son is just disgusting to me. I appreciate justice just as much as the next person, however when it comes to an INNOCENT human life, this is not something to be taken lightly. I agree with you Martha, vengeance is the Lord's, and the mother should pray for closure, because obviously searching for it in a secular world has not been of help for her.

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

      Martha GET A CLUE!! Capitol Punishment for mudering Law Enforcement is to protect a FREE SOCIETY -TO PREVENT THE DELIBERATE ERADICATION OF POLICE THROUGH ASSASSINATIONS, planned or spur of the moment.

      POLICE PUT THEMSELVES between the criminals and society.
      So that we do not become like Mexico where only the Corrupt or Suicidal wear a badge, they require this extra measure of protection.

      September 21, 2011 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • hilo, HI

      Caitlin, How selfish of DAVIS' 'mother' for turning a MONSTER lose on society.
      Forget this trial, UNDISPUTED -this POS criminal already shot someone else, pistol whipped another, then was leading a lynching against a homeless man. -and this is what's on record.

      This 'White Lady' raised a HERO who, outnumbered by failed abortion THUGS. intervened to protect against a lynching.....and she is the mother you have a problem with re selfishness???? I'm gonna Puke.

      September 21, 2011 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |
  12. JusticeforMcPhailsFamily

    Yeah....stop the racism, the black on white racism. Jenna 6 didn't work out too well for people I see.......haha.......what was that, black out day? but let a white man die and it's all about the "racist" system........Please.....give me a break. I have been discriminated soooooo many times by black people. Will someone please hear me out. Can I be the white MLK Jr? Why doesn't the NAACP love me? I'm one of God's children. How did his shell casing find it's way to the Burger King parking lot. Did it want a flame broiled Whopper?

    September 21, 2011 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      "did it what a flame broiled whopper" lmao!

      September 21, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
  13. csx

    It would be great if they were this religious in dealing with the massive ills besetting the whole black community.
    Here we have one murderer and they cry out to the Lord. To them it is a sports game, can the black man beat the white man. We saw this with OJ and now BHO, blind to the truth, win at all cost.

    September 21, 2011 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
  14. What a waste!

    He gone a die tonight you bunch of LIars!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 21, 2011 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Hair Bear

    I really can't judge this case,I pray for both families. I'm just curious why he never took a lie detector test to prove his innocence . I'm not saying that would prove anything but I do think it would have helped.

    September 21, 2011 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • girl

      He asked to take a lie detector test, but his request was denied.

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

      He recently requested a polygraph and that request was denied.

      September 21, 2011 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • KWS

      Because Lie Detectors are fallible if the subject is a sociopath. They detect the discomfort people have with lying. They'd let people like Dexter get away if they were admissible as evidence.

      September 21, 2011 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
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