- (Reuters/Georgia Department of Corrections)
Following an appeal by thousands worldwide for a pardon, the Troy Davis execution has been temporarily delayed as the U.S. Supreme Court considers the eleventh-hour plea issued by Davis’ defense team. It is believed that a decision will be announced imminently by the court.
His lawyers appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday in an effort to stop the death sentence. The scheduled execution time of 7 p.m. EST came and went, and an hour-and-a-half later still no news had been announced.
Supporters fought Davis’ death deadline down to the last minutes, following the unanimous denial of a petition for a chance at a new appeal by the Georgia Supreme Court.
A Georgia judge rejected the last minute appeal filed by Brian Kammer, attorney for Davis. Kammer argued the ballistic testing that linked the 42-year-old to the shooting was flawed.
Davis has spent 22 years on death row for the 1989 murder of Mark MacPhail, a Savannah, Ga., police officer who was shot dead when he attempted to help a homeless man who was being attacked.
The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles denied Davis’ request for clemency, following last-minute testimony in a convened hearing Tuesday. It was a decision many called “unconscionable” and had prominent figures such as former President Jimmy Carter and Pope Benedict XVI speaking out against the death sentence.
Heidi Neumark, pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church of Manhattan, has told The Christian Post that a judicial decision to end a person’s life was not in accordance with Christian teaching.
“Christian teaching is not about judging people,” the NYC pastor told CP. “It’s about preserving life and leaving judgment in God’s hands.”
Pastor David Wright, CEO of DOersTV, an online Christian TV network, on the other hand believes the death penalty is in fact biblical, citing scripture Romans 13:1-5 which reads:
“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God…”
Wright told CP, when asked whether or not capital punishment was biblical, “Yes I believe it is, if it’s correct and not the wrong person.”
“However, that does not mean a person has not been forgiven by God just because they have a death sentence,” he added.
A U.S. envoy for Pope Benedict XVI had sent a letter appealing to state officials to consider the circumstances that have weakened the credibility of Davis’ conviction, Savannah Morning News reported.
Monsignor Martin Krebs wrote, “I reiterate the commitment of the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, to uphold the sacredness and dignity of all human life, and I hope you will give heed to his petition.”