Troy Davis Story: Slain Officer's Mother Offers Unique Insight Into Execution

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By Gina E. Ryder, Christian Post Contributor
September 22, 2011|12:45 pm

Anneliese MacPhail waited 22 years for Troy Davis’s execution. She got the one phone call she’d been waiting more than two decades for last night at 11:08 p.m. It was the call that informed her that Troy Davis was dead.

Annenliese MacPhail is the mother of slain Savannah, GA, police officer Mark MacPhail who was gunned down in a 1989 shooting that Davis was convicted for.

According to The Washington Post, the last time MacPhail saw her son was in July 1989 at his birthday party at her Columbus house. His wife had just given birth to their second child - a son, Mark Jr. - and the family had gathered in Columbus to celebrate.

“He was rolling on the grass here with his daughter. And would you believe she still remembers that?” she said with a grin. “We just talked. We talked until 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning. And the next day he waved goodbye.”

During a sleepless night a month later, MacPhail was still awake to answer her phone when it rang at 2:30 a.m. Her son had been shot in the face and again under his arm, where a bullet slipped beneath his bulletproof vest. He was dead.

“I didn’t even cry after a while,” MacPhail said. “It was like I was dead.”

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MacPhail chose to stay in her Columbus home Wednesday rather than travel to Jackson, GA for the execution. She spent the hours leading up to the execution sitting by the phone, smoking cigarettes and talking about her son on national television.

“I really don’t like to see someone die, but he took my son,” she said.

At 10:18 p.m. – three hours and 18 minutes after the execution was supposed to occur – the one phone call she’d been waiting more than two decades for finally come.

It was word that the U.S. Supreme Court had denied Davis’ 11th hour request for a stay and that the execution would go forward.

MacPhail began to seriously wait five minutes before 11 p.m. when she received word that the execution process had begun.

Then, at 11:08 p.m. she received a call for the last time and bulbs began to flash as photographers waiting inside her home capturing somber expressions on her face.

As crowds marched through America in support of the death row inmate, the slain Savannah police officer’s mother said Saturday she remains convinced of Troy Davis’ guilt.

“I will never have closure, but I may have some peace when he is executed,” MacPhail told CNN.

On the other side Davis’ sister told CNN last Saturday that she is “emotionally prepared” for an execution but does not think it is warranted.

“My brother, he is innocent,” she said. “(MacPhail’s family) won’t have closure if an innocent man is executed.”

But the slain officer’s mother insists she “never had any doubts.”

"I think these people are just against the death penalty," she said.

She later added that they "have no idea what's going on. ... They don't know what happened."

When McPhail received the final word, she asked, “He’s gone? 11:08?” She said, “11:08. It’s over.”

It was then when she hugged the mother of her youngest great grandchild before she stepped outside to bright lights and addressed the national media that filled her front yard.

“I really don’t know what I’m going to do. I have to kind of digest all the things that have happened,” she said.

In a poignant interview with Anderson Cooper, Macphail responded to the question about whether peace would be possible for her.

“I sure hope so,” she responded. “I’m working on it, I’ll tell you that. Because we have been through Hell. He did this. Nobody made him do it; it was his choice. So. I lost my son, the father of my grandchildren, and I have been very hurt and very upset with all these things that have been going on for years. So I want it to come to an end.”

 

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