The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles rejected a last minute appeal Wednesday by attorneys of Troy Davis in a desperate effort to halt the scheduled execution of their client by lethal injection at 7 p.m. EDT Wednesday.
Brian Kammer, attorney for Davis, filed the appeal based on the argument that ballistic testing which linked Davis to the shooting was flawed.
At the same time, Georgia’s attorney general urged a state court to reject Davis’ last ditch appeal. The state’s chief prosecutor said that Davis’ lawyers are engaged in delaying tactics and are arguing evidence already rejected by the courts.
Today, supporters lined up alongside a special cordoned-off area outside the prison in Jackson, Georgia, and chanted “Save Troy Davis Now,” according to USA Today.
The family of Davis, 42, was "heartbroken," said Benjamin Jealous, head of the NAACP. "They're terrified at the thought that the state of Georgia would kill their loved one," Jealous said.
Davis was convicted of killing police officer Mark MacPhail in 1989, an off-duty police officer who was working as a security guard in Savannah at the time of his murder.
Members of MacPhail's family expressed relief at the decision, which appeared to end years of attempts by Davis supporters to stop his death.
"Justice was finally served for my father," Mark MacPhail, Jr. told the Associated Press (AP). "The truth was finally heard."
Davis' supporters have been pointing to the fact that witnesses in the case have recanted previous statements and have sworn through affidavits that they were pressured or coerced by police to testify against Davis. Other witnesses have also said the murder was committed by another man.
Reportedly, Davis did not ask for a last meal. He planned on spending his final hours meeting with friends and supporters.
"We're asking people across the country…at seven o'clock, to take a moment to gather with friends or sit with family at the dinner table or pause in their Wednesday night Bible study and talk about what this means for our country," said Jealous.