Troy Davis Story: Last Minute Rallies Attempt to Save Death Row Prisoner

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  • Troy Davis
    (Reuters/Georgia Department of Corrections)
    Georgia Department of Corrections handout photo of death row inmate Troy Davis.
  • Troy Davis
    (Reuters/John Amis)
    Chris Brown of Atlanta holds a placard as protesters show their support for death row inmate Troy Davis during a rally at the capitol in Atlanta September 20, 2011. A parole board in Georgia on Tuesday denied a last-ditch clemency appeal by Davis, who is set to be executed on Wednesday for the murder of a police officer in a case that has attracted international attention. His case has became a focus for death penalty opponents because seven of nine trial witnesses have recanted their testimony against him, prompting supporters to say he may be innocent. Davis was convicted of the 1989 killing of police officer Mark MacPhail near a Burger King restaurant in the city of Savannah along the Atlantic coast of the southern U.S. state.
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September 21, 2011|3:12 pm

Protestors around the world are rallying today to try and save the life of death-row inmate Troy Davis. Davis, given the death penalty, is expected to die by lethal injection tonight at 7 p.m. for the murder of a Savannah police officer in 1989.

On Tuesday Georgia’s parole board denied clemency for Davis, who has been convicted of the slaying even though he has maintained his innocence, and seven of the nine witnesses that originally testified against him have changed their stories.

His execution has been pending since 2007, during which he had gathered supporters around the world.

Three boxes of petitions with 240,000 signatures supporting clemency for Davis have been delivered to the prosecutor’s office. According to AP, District Attorney Larry Chisolm said he’s powerless to override an execution order for Davis signed by a state Superior Court judge.

Lawmakers and activists in Europe are criticizing Georgia’s decision. There will be a protest later today by Amnesty International and other human rights groups outside the U.S. embassy in Paris.

AP reported doubts of Renate Wohlwend from the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly who said, "To carry out this irrevocable act now would be a terrible mistake which could lead to a tragic injustice."

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In the past two decades since his conviction, many leaders have revealed their doubts over Davis’ guilt, including former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and former GOP Rep. Bob Barr of Georgia.

Amnesty International USA’s executive director Larry Cos said the board’s decision is “unconscionable”, calling on Chatham County prosecutor Larry Chisolm to reconsider and abandon the death warrant.

According to the LA Times, Cox said, "Should Troy Davis be executed, Georgia may well have executed an innocent man and in so doing discredited the justice system."

 

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