Georgia death case grieves families on both sides. Troy Davis was accused of murdering Mark MacPhail in 1989/ Troy Davis has been executed - at 11:08pm

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Normal Georgia death case grieves families on both sides. Troy Davis was accused of murdering Mark MacPhail in 1989/ Troy Davis has been executed - at 11:08pm

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Sep 17, 2011 11:24 pm

By GREG BLUESTEIN - Associated Press,RUSS BYNUM - Associated Press | AP – 12 hrs ago

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — An elite Army Ranger, Mark MacPhail left the service and became a police officer to spare his wife and young children from the base-hopping life of a military career. Troy Davis dropped out of high school in his senior year to help care for his younger siblings, including a sister stricken with multiple sclerosis.

Both men inspired unwavering love and loyalty in their families that still runs deep more than two decades after one summer night forced the Davises and the MacPhails to opposite sides of a long legal battle that could end next week in a Georgia prison death chamber.

MacPhail, 27, was moonlighting off-duty as a security guard outside a Savannah bus station on Aug. 19, 1989, when he was shot and killed rushing to the aid of a homeless man who was being attacked. Police arrested Davis as the killer, based on eyewitness statements that two years later swayed a jury to sentence him to death.

"It was definitely not the Troy we knew," said Davis's younger sister, Kim. "It was very, very shocking when it did happen. It kind of turned the family upside down."

Troy Davis, now 42, insists he's innocent and his lawyers, arguing they could prove it, have managed to spare him from three execution dates in the last four years. After a series of appeals that received special attention from the U.S. Supreme Court, Davis couldn't persuade the courts to grant him a new trial. With his legal options nearly exhausted, he now faces death by injection Wednesday night.

The slain officer's relatives say they're confident Davis killed MacPhail. His mother, Anneliese MacPhail, dismisses the inmate's advocates — from the NAACP and Amnesty International to former President Jimmy Carter and Pope Benedict XVI — as ill-informed interlopers who have only prolonged her family's push for justice. She says she's "cautiously confident" that will end Wednesday.

"I think I finally will have peace of mind," said MacPhail, who lives in Columbus. "When it is over I can close that book and I know Mark can rest in peace, too."

Kim Davis, the middle child of five siblings, says the family has never questioned her brother's innocence. She never knew him to have the callousness of a killer.

After Kim Davis was hospitalized with multiple sclerosis at age 14, she said her brother left high school to help care for her while their mother worked during the day. At night, Troy studied for and later earned his GED.

He would come to her bedside at the hospital and brush her hair or rub lotion on her hands and feet. Two years later, he prodded her to start walking without crutches. She recalls taking two steps toward her brother, and him taking two steps back. As she kept walking forward, she saw their mother watching with tears in her eyes.

Their bond, Kim Davis says, couldn't be broken by prison bars.

After Davis' conviction, his mother and sisters would spend every Saturday making the 200-mile trip from Savannah on the coast to the small city of Jackson for family visits at Georgia's death row.
Virginia Davis, his mother, would sit quietly and pray with a prison Bible in her hands. Troy Davis would sing songs with his older sister, Martina, or play catch with her son after fashioning a makeshift football out of a soda bottle wrapped in potato chip bags.

"Troy would always say, 'I don't want y'all to come up here every weekend,'" Kim Davis said. "And we always told him: 'Troy, if you're on death row, we're all on death row.'"

MacPhail had grown up an Army brat along with four siblings, including his older brother Bill. The two were so close, their mother says, that Bill MacPhail flunked the first grade so he and Mark could be in the same class the following school year. Their father, an Army colonel, had a job that kept the family moving between military bases from New Mexico to Germany to Kansas before his death in 1975.
After high school, Mark MacPhail followed in his father's footsteps and joined the military. He became an Army Ranger and served with distinction. But after marrying, he sought more stability. Soon, he got a job as a Savannah police officer and started raising two young children. He'd call his mother during coffee breaks almost every day to make sure she was OK.

"Hi Momsy," he'd say. "I'm just checking on you."

The last time Anneliese 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, Anneliese 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."

In the last four years, numerous supporters of Troy Davis have said he's not MacPhail's killer. But no advocacy group or celebrity supporter could match the zeal of his older sister, Martina Correia. Amnesty International's Wende Gozan Brown refers to her simply as "a force of nature."

Correia isn't one to let anything stand in the way of rallying support for her brother's cause. A decade ago she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and has battled the disease while working with advocates to keep Troy Davis' name at the forefront of the death penalty debate.

When their mother died in April, Correia didn't flinch when someone suggested they collect petition signatures supporting her condemned brother at the funeral, saying it's what their mother would have wanted.

But Correia's health has sidelined her in recent weeks, after an adverse reaction to cancer drugs put her in the hospital about a month ago, Kim Davis said. Family members have taken away Correia's cell phone and laptop, to force her to rest, but she's continued to help coordinate rallies and events in hopes of blocking her brother's execution one more time.

"We're going to fight like we always do," Correia said.

Kim Davis says her family remains positive that doubts about Troy Davis' guilt will sway Georgia's pardons board to grant him clemency when it takes up his case Monday.

She refuses to consider the alternative — that her brother's fight could end with his execution next week. When a funeral home worker asked her to fill out paperwork authorizing a hearse to move her brother's body from the prison, she signed the form but refused to write her brother's name on the document.

"I told her I'm not putting his name on it, because I'm looking for victory. Victory over death," Kim Davis said.

When his father was gunned down, Mark MacPhail Jr. wasn't quite 2 months old. Now 22, he has lived all his life in the slaying's aftermath.

He says the execution of Troy Davis will help his family begin to put the tragedy behind them.
The younger MacPhail moved back to Savannah in 2008 and enrolled at Armstrong Atlantic State University, where he's studying criminal justice. He says he would like to become a police officer, like his father, and perhaps a detective.

Last month, on Aug. 19, Mark MacPhail Jr. paid a visit to his father's grave in Savannah. It's something he does almost every year on the anniversary of the shooting. He says those visits are "a very private thing" — a solitary time to connect with the father he can barely remember.

"It's kind of my chance to have a father-son talk," said the younger MacPhail. "It's my chance to be close to him."

The two families will be brought together on Monday when they travel to Atlanta for the parole board meeting.

If there's no reprieve, the families will converge once more on Wednesday at Georgia's state prison in Jackson for Troy Anthony Davis' execution.

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Normal Re: Georgia death case grieves families on both sides. Troy Davis was accused of murdering Mark MacPhail in 1989/ Troy Davis has been executed - at 11:08pm

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Sep 17, 2011 11:46 pm

Troy Davis case
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For the Canadian Football League running back, see Troy Davis.
Troy Anthony Davis
Born October 9, 1968 (age 42)
Conviction(s) Murder with aggravating factor
Penalty Death
Status Incarcerated on death row at Georgia Diagnostic and Classification State Prison
Troy Anthony Davis (born October 9, 1968) was convicted of the August 19, 1989, murder of Savannah, Georgia, police officer Mark MacPhail. In 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered an evidentiary hearing to examine alleged recantations by trial witnesses and determine if Davis could prove his innocence. On August 24, 2010, the conviction was upheld, with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia declaring, "Davis is not innocent."

Davis has been on death row in Georgia since 1991. Throughout his trial and subsequent appeals, Davis has maintained his innocence, saying he was convicted as a result of false identification. Seven of the nine prosecution eyewitnesses who had linked Davis to the killing have recanted their trial testimony, with many stating they were coerced by police. The witness who first implicated Davis and has remained consistent, Sylvester "Redd" Coles, was initially a suspect in the crime. One person said that Coles boasted at a party that he killed an off-duty police officer. Another witness who did not recant his testimony and is not himself a suspect in the murder made an in-court identification of Davis at trial.

In October 2008, Davis filed a second habeas corpus petition in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in which he raised a freestanding innocence claim and stated that no court had held a hearing on the exculpatory evidence of recanted testimony. On April 16, 2009, the panel denied Davis' petition by a 2–1 majority. On August 17, 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court, over the dissenting votes of two justices, ordered a federal district court in Georgia to consider and rule on whether new evidence "that could not have been obtained at the time of trial clearly establishes [Davis'] innocence."

Davis was given an opportunity to present new evidence at a hearing in Savannah in June 2010, but he put on very little testimony. He did not take the stand in his defense and did not call Coles as a witness. He also did not call some of the other witnesses who had given affidavits on his behalf. Savannah journalist Patrick Rodgers commented, "Although the defense team had been arguing for a hearing like this since they took over the case, ... they seemed to be wishing they could have a second chance."

Amnesty International has taken up Davis' cause, although they are neutral as to whether Davis is guilty or innocent. The group strongly condemned U.S. courts that refused to examine Davis' evidence and organized rallies and letter-writing campaigns to persuade the Georgia and federal courts to grant Davis a new trial or an evidentiary hearing. Many prominent politicians and leaders, including former President Jimmy Carter, Al Sharpton, Pope Benedict XVI, Nobel laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Presidential candidate Bob Barr, and former FBI Director and judge William S. Sessions have called upon the courts to grant Davis a new trial or evidentiary hearing.

Davis is the eldest child of Korean War veteran Joseph Davis and hospital worker Virginia Davis.The couple divorced when Davis was very young, and Davis grew up with four siblings in the predominantly black, middle-class neighborhood of Cloverdale, Savannah. He attended Windsor Forest High School but dropped out in his junior year so as to be able to drive his disabled younger sister to her rehabilitation.Davis obtained his high-school equivalency diploma from Richard Arnold Education Center in 1987. A teacher noted that he attended school regularly but seemed to lack discipline.[ Davis' nickname at the time was "Rah," or "Rough as Hell" , but neighbors reported that it did not reflect his behavior; they described him as a "straight up fella" who acted as a big brother to local children. In July 1988, Davis pled guilty to carrying a concealed weapon; he was fined $250 as part of a plea agreement in which a charge of possession of a gun with altered serial numbers was dropped.

In August 1988, Davis began work as a drill technician at a plant manufacturing railroad crossing gates. His boss reported that Davis was a likable and good worker who appeared to have positive life goals. However, his job attendance was poor, and by Christmas 1988 he stopped coming to work. Davis returned to the job twice in the following months, but neither time remained for long.

Shootings and arrest

On the evening of August 18, 1989, Davis briefly attended a pool party hosted by a friend. As he left with his friend Darrell Collins, the occupants of a passing car yelled obscenities at them. Michael Cooper, a passenger in the other car, was shot in the face, allegedly by Davis. Davis and Collins continued on, and later met Sylvester "Redd" Coles, who was arguing with a homeless man, Larry Young, over a beer. Off-duty policeman Mark MacPhail was working as a security guard at a Burger King restaurant in Savannah, Georgia.

MacPhail, age 27, the son of a U.S. Army colonel, was married with a 2-year old daughter and an infant son. He had joined the Savannah Police Department in 1986 following six years of military service as an army ranger. MacPhail had worked for three years as a regular patrol officer and in the summer of 1989 had applied to train as a mounted policeman. At about 1:15 am, seeking to help Young who was being attacked in a nearby parking lot, MacPhail was killed. He had been shot twice, once through the heart and once in the face, without drawing his gun. No physical evidence from the crime was retrieved, apart from the bullets and shell casings, which were determined to have come from a .38-caliber pistol. Witnesses to the shooting agreed that a man in a white shirt had struck Young and then shot MacPhail.

On the evening of August 19, Redd Coles went to the police. He told them that he had seen Davis with a .38-caliber gun, and that Davis had assaulted Young. The same evening, Davis drove to Atlanta with his sister. In the early morning of August 20, 1989, the Savannah police, suspecting Davis and seeking a murder weapon, converged on the Davis home. Having sealed off the area, the police searched the house, and a pair of shorts belonging to Davis were found in a dryer and confiscated.[23] Police issued a reward for information leading to Davis' arrest. Davis' family began negotiating with police, motivated by concerns about his safety; local drug dealers were making death threats because the police dragnet seeking Davis had interrupted their business.On August 23, 1989, Davis was driven back to Savannah by members of his family, where he surrendered to police, and he was charged with MacPhail's murder. Hundreds of mourners, including county, state and federal law enforcement officials, had attended MacPhail's funeral at Trinity Lutheran Church in Savannah the day before.

Trial and conviction

On November 15, 1989, a grand jury indicted Davis for murder, assaulting Larry Young with a pistol, shooting Michael Cooper, obstructing MacPhail in performance of his duty and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime. Davis pled not guilty in April 1990. In a hearing in November 1990, the judge barred forensic evidence from the shorts that had been retrieved during the police search of the Davis home. The judge ruled that Davis' mother did "not freely and voluntarily grant the police the right to search her home". She had testified that police officers had threatened to break down her door unless she let them into her home. The Georgia Supreme Court upheld the exclusion of the evidence in May 1991, saying that the police should have obtained a search warrant.

At the trial in August 1991, the district attorney sought the death penalty. According to the prosecution, Davis had shot Michael Cooper, then met up with Redd Coles at a pool hall, pistol-whipped the homeless man Larry Young, and then killed Mark MacPhail.Trial witnesses Harriet Murray, Redd Coles, Dorothy Ferrell and Antoine Williams testified that Davis, wearing a white shirt, had struck Young and then shot MacPhail. Coles admitted arguing with Young but stated that Davis had hit him with a pistol.On cross-examination, Coles admitted that he also had a .38 pistol, but stated that he had given it to another man earlier that night. A neighbor of the Davis family, Jeffrey Sapp, testified that soon after the murder Davis had confessed to him. Kevin McQueen, a former fellow prisoner, testified that Davis had confessed to shooting MacPhail as he feared that the officer would connect him to the shooting of Cooper earlier in the evening. Cooper testified that he was inebriated when shot and said that Davis "don't know me well enough to shoot me". A friend of Cooper's, Benjamin Gordon, stated that the man who shot Cooper was wearing a white T-shirt, though on cross-examination he admitted he did not know Davis and had not seen the person who shot Cooper. Darrell Collins, who had made an August 1989 police statement that he had seen Davis shoot at people in a car in Cloverdale and approaching MacPhail, recanted his statement under cross-examination by the defense, saying that he made the statement after threats by police with prison if he did not cooperate. He said in court that he had not seen Davis in possession of a gun or fire one.No murder weapon – neither the gun owned by Cole nor that said to be owned by Davis – was recovered. A ballistics expert testified that the .38 caliber bullet that killed MacPhail could have been fired from the same gun that wounded Cooper at the pool party, though he admitted doubt about this. However, he stated he was confident that .38 casings found in Cloverdale matched one allegedly later found by a homeless man near the scene of MacPhail's shooting.

For the defense, Davis' mother testified that Davis was at their Cloverdale home on August 19, 1989, until he left for Atlanta with his sister at about 9 pm Davis denied shooting MacPhail, saying he had observed Coles striking Young after a quarrel about beer, but that he had fled before any shots were fired and did not know who had shot the officer. He also denied shooting Cooper.

On August 28, 1991, the jury, composed of seven blacks and five whites, took under two hours to find Davis guilty on one count of murder and the other offenses. Davis and three of his family members testified during the sentencing phase. In a final address to the jury, Davis pleaded, "Spare my life. Just give me a second chance. That's all I ask." He told jurors he was convicted for "offenses I didn't commit." As the death penalty was being requested by the prosecutors, MacPhail's family members and friends were not allowed to testify. On August 30, 1991, after seven hours of deliberation, the jury recommended the death penalty and Davis was sentenced to death.

State appeals

Since the death penalty was imposed, both the conviction and sentence were automatically appealed to the Georgia Supreme Court. Davis and his lawyers requested a new trial, citing problems with the selection of the trial site and the jury and a failure of defense lawyers to provide effective counsel. The request was denied in March 1992. In March 1993, the Georgia Supreme Court also upheld Davis' conviction and sentence, ruling that the judge had correctly refused to change trial site and that the racial composition of the jury did not deny his rights. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal in November 1993, The first round of direct appeals having been exhausted, in March 1994 an order was signed for Davis' execution.

In 1994, Davis began habeas corpus appeals when he made a petition in state court, stating that he was the victim of miscarriage of justice and wrongful conviction.[33] In 1995, the federal funding of the Georgia Resource Center, which helped represent Davis, was cut by 70%, leading to the departures of most of the center's lawyers and investigators. According to a later affidavit by the Executive Director the "work conducted on Mr. Davis' case was akin to triage... There were numerous witnesses that we knew should have been interviewed, but lacked the resources to do so." The appeal stated that the testimony of the prosecution witnesses had been coerced by law enforcement personnel. The petition was denied in September 1997, with the court ruling that claims of improper law enforcement approaches should have been raised earlier in the appeal process, and the court could not usurp the jury's role to evaluate the evidence offered during the trial.The Georgia Supreme Court affirmed the denial of state habeas corpus relief on November 13, 2000. During 2000 Davis also challenged the use of the electric chair during executions in Georgia, arguing that it constituted cruel and unusual punishment. By a 4-3 margin the Georgia Supreme Court rejected the challenge, stating once again that Davis should have raised the issue earlier in the appeal process.[49] The decision was upheld on appeal.

Federal appeals

In December 2001, Davis filed a habeas corpus writ in the United States District Court.He submitted exculpatory affidavits that contained recantations of testimony of prosecution eyewitnesses, the testimony of a previously undiscovered eyewitness and others with information bearing on the crime. From 1996 onwards, seven of the nine prosecution witnesses recanted all or part of their trial testimony.Dorothy Ferrell, for example, stated in a 2000 affidavit that she felt under pressure from police to identify Davis as the shooter because she was on parole for a shoplifting conviction. In her affidavit, she wrote: "I told the detective that Troy Davis was the shooter, even though the truth was that I didn't know who shot the officer." In a 2002 affidavit, Darrell Collins wrote that the police had scared him into falsely testifying by threatening to charge him as an accessory to the crime, and asserted that "I never saw Troy do anything to the man (Larry Young)."Antoine Williams, Larry Young and Monty Holmes also stated in affidavits that their earlier testimony implicating Davis had been coerced by strong-arm police tactics. In addition, three witnesses signed affidavits stating that Redd Coles had confessed to the murder to them.The State of Georgia argued that the evidence had been procedurally defaulted since it should have been introduced earlier, and this position was accepted by the judge in May 2004, who stated that as the "submitted affidavits are insufficient to raise doubts as to the constitutionality of the result at trial, there is no danger of a miscarriage of justice in declining to consider the claim."He also rejected other defense claims about unfair jury selection, ineffective defense counsel and prosecutorial misconduct. The decision was appealed to the 11th Circuit Court, which heard oral arguments in the case in September 2005. On September 26, 2006, the court affirmed the denial of federal habeas corpus relief, and determined that Davis had not made "a substantive claim of actual innocence" or shown that his trial was constitutionally unfair; in addition, neither prosecutors nor defense counsel had acted improperly or incompetently.A petition for panel rehearing was denied in December 2006.

Legal experts argued that a major obstacle to granting Davis a new trial was the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, passed after the Oklahoma City bombing, which restrained federal courts from overturning death penalty convictions, and ordering new trials. Legal authorities have criticized the restricting effect of the 1996 Act on the ability of wrongfully convicted persons to prove their innocence.

First execution date

On June 25, 2007, Davis' first Certiorari petition to the US Supreme Court was denied,and his execution was then set for July 17, 2007.

Davis' case gained increasing public exposure and support from organizations and prominent individuals. Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu urged the courts to agree to hear the evidence of police coercion and recanted testimony. An appeal to Governor of Georgia Sonny Perdue urging him to spare Davis' life was sent on behalf of Pope Benedict XVI. Similar appeals were sent by singer Harry Belafonte, Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking,and actor Mike Farrell.Amnesty International published a report about Davis' case characterizing it as a miscarriage of justice and a "catastrophic flaw in the U.S. death penalty machine." The human rights group initiated a letter-writing campaign and delivered 4,000 letters to the clemency board. William S. Sessions, former FBI Director and federal judge, called on authorities to halt the execution process, writing that "[i]t would be intolerable to execute a man without his claims of innocence ever being considered by the courts or by the executive". Politicians and others such as Jesse Jackson, Jr. and Sheila Jackson Lee, and former Texas District Attorney Sam D. Millsap, Jr., and the organization Murder Victims Families for Reconciliation requested that the courts grant Davis a new trial.U.S. Congressman John Lewis spoke to the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles, suggesting that Coles – one of the two eyewitnesses who had not recanted – was the real killer. Representatives from the Council of Europe and European Parliament also spoke out on Davis' case, asking U.S. authorities to halt the planned execution and calling for a new trial.

On July 16, 2007, the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles granted a ninety-day stay of execution in order to allow the evaluation of evidence presented, including the doubts about Davis' guilt. The stay was superseded by the August 2007 decision of the Georgia Supreme Court to grant Davis’ application for discretionary appeal from the denial of his Extraordinary Motion for a New Trial. Defense lawyers requested a new trial based on statements of mistaken identity. On March 17, 2008, the Georgia Supreme Court denied the appeal by a 4–3 majority. The majority wrote that the recanting witnesses "have merely stated they now do not feel able to identify the shooter", that the trial testimony could not be ignored, and that they "in fact, favor[ed] that original testimony over the new." In dissent, the Chief Justice wrote that "if recantation testimony, either alone or supported by other evidence, shows convincingly that prior trial testimony was false, it simply defies all logic and morality to hold that it must be disregarded categorically".

Second execution date

In July 2008, Davis' lawyers filed a petition for a writ of certiorari in the US Supreme Court, appealing from the Georgia Supreme Court decision and arguing that the Eighth Amendment creates a substantive right of the innocent not to be executed.However, an execution date was scheduled for September 23, 2008, before the United States Supreme Court decided whether to take up Davis' case.The Georgia Supreme Court refused to grant a stay of execution and the Board of Pardons and Paroles denied clemency without giving a reason for their decision.



Demonstration in support of Troy Davis, Paris, July 2008

Amnesty International condemned the decision to deny clemency, and the executive director of Amnesty International USA, added: "The U.S. Supreme Court must intervene immediately and unequivocally to prevent this perversion of justice." Former President (and Georgia Governor) Jimmy Carter released a public letter in which he stated "Executing Troy Davis without a real examination of potentially exonerating evidence risks taking the life of an innocent man and would be a grave miscarriage of justice." Reverend Al Sharpton also called for clemency after he met and prayed with Davis on death row. A stay of execution was also supported by the NAACP; the president of the Georgia state conference said "This is a modern-day lynching if it's allowed to go forward." Former Republican Congressman and presidential candidate Bob Barr wrote that he is "a strong believer in the death penalty as an appropriate and just punishment," but that the proper level of fairness and accuracy required for the ultimate punishment has not been met in Davis' case.

A last minute emergency stay issued by the Supreme Court less than two hours before Davis was scheduled to be put to death, halted the execution.Lawyers for Davis argued that lower courts had failed to permit a hearing to carefully examine the recanted testimony and four eyewitnesses who implicated Coles. Lawyers for the Georgia attorney general's office argued that most of the affidavits had already been presented and reviewed, and that questions about the quality and credibility of the witnesses were raised at the initial trial.

On October 14, 2008, the Supreme Court declined to hear Davis' petition,and a new execution date was set for October 27, 2008.

Third execution date

On October 21, 2008, Davis' lawyers requested an emergency stay of the pending execution, and three days later the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay of execution to consider a newly-filed federal habeas petition.Davis' supporters continued their appeals and actions; these included such as rallies held worldwide, a petition with 140,000 signatures presented to the state Board of Pardons and Paroles,and an appeal from the European Union calling for the death sentence to be commuted.In contrast, the Chatham County prosecutors asserted that Davis was guilty and deserved the death penalty.

Oral arguments were heard by a three-judge panel on December 9 in Atlanta. Davis' lawyers again argued that exculpatory affidavits proving Davis innocent had not been examined in a court of law; they noted the witnesses who had implicated Coles, and that his photo was not included among those shown to witnesses in the case.The Senior Assistant Attorney General argued that, in extraordinary cases, evidence of wrongful conviction could be heard at this stage of the appeals process but that in this case the recantation evidence was untrustworthy, and are generally regarded with the "highest suspicion." Multiple courts and boards had also previously declined appeals.[4] During the hearing, judge Joel Dubina commented: "As bad as it would be to execute an innocent man, it's also possible the real guilty person who shot Officer MacPhail is not being prosecuted." Another judge, Stanley Marcus, noted that two of eyewitnesses had not changed their recollections, and that no DNA was available to categorically clear Davis. After the hearing, Davis' sister, Martina Correia, an active campaigner for her brother stated "This is not family against family. We have no ill will against the MacPhail family. When justice is found for Troy, there will be justice for Officer MacPhail."

On April 16, 2009, the panel denied Davis' application by a 2–1 majority. Judges Dubina and Marcus rejected the petition stating that Davis' claims having been reviewed and rejected in the past, and that the recantations were not persuasive.

Judge Rosemary Barkett, the dissenting judge, stated that it would be "unconscionable and unconstitutional" to execute Davis when evidence may establish his innocence.She wrote that the procedural bars "should not prohibit the filing" of another legal challenge. In an interview, Mark MacPhail Jr. said of his father, "He gave his life for the community and now I'm trying to help out his name and help him in some way." Of the appeals process, he says, "The past two years we've had countless appeals and it just keeps on getting drug out." Of Davis, MacPhail said, "He decided to break the law. And our law says, you kill an officer of the law, who tries to uphold it, you must be punished. The 11th Circuit issued an order extending the stay of execution for 30 days to allow Davis the opportunity to file a habeas corpus petition with the U.S. Supreme Court.Davis filed a petition for habeas corpus with the U.S. Supreme Court on May 19, 2009.

On August 17, 2009, the Supreme Court ordered the Savannah federal district court to "receive testimony and make findings of fact as to whether evidence that could not have been obtained at the time of trial clearly establishes [Davis'] innocence."Justice John Paul Stevens, joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer wrote that "[t]he substantial risk of putting an innocent man to death clearly provides an adequate justification for holding an evidentiary hearing." Justice Antonin Scalia dissented, stating the a new hearing would be "fool's errand" because Davis' claim of innocence was "a sure loser." He was joined by Justice Clarence Thomas.

Federal hearing

In response to the Supreme Court order, a two-day hearing was held in June 2010 in a federal district court in Savannah in front of Judge William Moore.Former prosecution witness Antoine Williams stated he did not know who had shot MacPhail, and that because he was illiterate he could not read the police statements he had signed in 1989.Other prosecution witnesses, Jeffrey Sapp and Kevin MacQueen testified that Davis had not confessed to them as they had stated at the initial trial.[100] Darrell Collins also recanted his previous evidence that he had seen Davis shoot Cooper and MacPhail. The witnesses variously described their previous testimony against Davis as being the result of feeling scared, of feeling frightened and pressured by police or to get revenge in a conflict with Davis. Anthony Hargrove testified that Redd Coles had admitted the killing to him. The state's lawyers described Hargrove's testimony as hearsay evidence; Judge William T. Moore permitted the evidence but stated that unless Coles appeared, he might give the evidence "no weight whatsoever."Another witness making a similar statement was heard, but a third was rejected by Judge Moore as the claims were inadmissible hearsay because Coles was not called as a witness and given the opportunity for rebuttal.Moore criticized the decision not to call Coles, saying that he was "one of the most critical witnesses to Davis' defense". One of Davis' lawyers stated that the day before they had been unsuccessful in serving a subpoena to Coles; Moore responded that the attempt had been made too late, given that the hearing had been set for months.State attorneys called current and former police officers and the two lead prosecutors, who testified that the investigation had been careful, and that no witnesses had been coerced or threatened. A state attorney asserted that the testimony of at least five prosecution witnesses remained unchallenged, and the evidence of Davis' guilt was overwhelming.[98] In July 2010, Davis' lawyers filed a motion asking Moore to reconsider his decision to exclude testimony from a witness to a confession by Coles, but in August 2010, Moore stood by his initial decision, stating that in not calling Coles, Davis' lawyers were seeking to have only part of the evidence on the matter.

Moore ruled that executing an innocent person would violate the Eighth Amendment, but that Davis and his legal team had failed to demonstrate his innocence. In his decision, Moore wrote: "while Mr. Davis's new evidence casts some additional, minimal doubt on his conviction, it is largely smoke and mirrors."Of the seven recantations, Moore found that only one was wholly credible and two who were partly credible. He did not consider Coles' alleged confessions because of the failure of Davis' lawyers to subpoena Coles, and suggested that Davis should appeal directly to the Supreme Court. In November 2010, the federal appeals panel dismissed an appeal on the case, without ruling on its merits. They stated that Davis should appeal the case directly U.S. Supreme Court "because he had exhausted his other avenues of relief." Rosemary Barkett, one of the panel judges, later released a statement saying that though she agreed with decision, she still believed that Davis should be given a new trial.[

U.S. Supreme Court appeal

In January 2011, Davis' legal team filed a new appeal with the United States Supreme Court, alleging that the 11th Circuit appellate panel had "evinced a clear hostility" during his August 2010 appeal, and again asking for a new trial.The appeal was rejected without comment by the Supreme Court in March 2011, setting the stage for a new execution date.

In May 2011, Amnesty International and People of Faith Against the Death Penalty asked religious leaders to sign a letter to the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles calling for the commutation of Davis' death sentence. As of May 5, 2011, more than 1,600 people had signed the letter. By September 12, 2011, over 60,000 people had signed for clemency including Pope Benedict XVI, Archbishop of Atlanta Wilton Gregory, William Sessions (former head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation), President Jimmy Carter, representatives for the European Parliament, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Fourth execution date

On September 7, 2011, Georgia set Davis's execution date for September 21, 2011.The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles set a hearing for Davis's second bid for clemency for September 19. The Board did not grant him clemency in September 2008, but the five-member Board has three new members.

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Normal Re: Georgia death case grieves families on both sides. Troy Davis was accused of murdering Mark MacPhail in 1989/ Troy Davis has been executed - at 11:08pm

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Sep 17, 2011 11:57 pm

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Normal So Sad!!!!!!

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Sep 17, 2011 11:59 pm

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Post by Wrapitup on Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:57 am

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Normal Re: Georgia death case grieves families on both sides. Troy Davis was accused of murdering Mark MacPhail in 1989/ Troy Davis has been executed - at 11:08pm

Post by artgal16 on Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:43 am

I think that as long as there is a doubt and with so many witnesses recanting that they should stay the execution. I read about the case in Texas where a father was convicted of burning his house with his children in it and was executed and Im convinced after reading the article in the New Yorker that he was innocent. In most cases I have been against the death penalty but over years some of the crimes have been so vicious and heinous that I have changed my mind. Now again, I wonder if the State putting people to death is the right thing to do.
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Normal Re: Georgia death case grieves families on both sides. Troy Davis was accused of murdering Mark MacPhail in 1989/ Troy Davis has been executed - at 11:08pm

Post by raine1953 on Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:46 pm

Artgal, I remember the case well of the Father that was convicted and ultimately put to death, what a tragic thing that was!
I'll never vote for the death penalty again because there have been people executed for crimes they probably didn't commit and if there's any doubt I think this execution should be stayed.
Because of some close involvement with someone who did time (a couple of years) for something they didn't do, knowledge of another and as history has proven, many people have been locked up for horrible things that they did not do I cannot support the death penalty. But I have to be honest, I'm a hypocrite about this issue, I don't have a second thought about wanting to do it myself to some who have viciously killed and especially children and the elderly. I also don't really think the death penalty is a deterrent.
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Normal Re: Georgia death case grieves families on both sides. Troy Davis was accused of murdering Mark MacPhail in 1989/ Troy Davis has been executed - at 11:08pm

Post by raine1953 on Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:00 pm

Supreme Court denies Davis' request for stay of execution

Georgia inmate Troy Davis is expected to be executed shortly for the 1989 murder of Mark MacPhail, an off-duty Savannah police officer. The execution was scheduled for 7 p.m. ET Wednesday, but officials in Georgia delayed it, pending 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 have sought to prevent the execution, saying seven of the nine witnesses against him have recanted or contradicted their testimony.

Follow the latest developments here:

[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.
[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.”

[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:

[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."

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.
he 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.


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Normal Troy Davis executed/ Davis maintains innocence in final words

Post by Nama on Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:16 pm

Georgia inmate Troy Davis was defiant to the end, proclaiming his innocence in the 1989 slaying of off-duty Savannah police officer Mark MacPhail.
Here are his final words, as witnessed by an Associated Press reporter:
"I'd like to address the MacPhail family. Let you know, despite the situation you are in, I'm not the one who personally killed your son, your father, your brother. I am innocent.
The incident that happened that night is not my fault. I did not have a gun. All I can ask ... is that you look deeper into this case so that you really can finally see the truth.
I ask my family and friends to continue to fight this fight.
For those about to take my life, God have mercy on your souls. And may God bless your souls."

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Normal Re: Georgia death case grieves families on both sides. Troy Davis was accused of murdering Mark MacPhail in 1989/ Troy Davis has been executed - at 11:08pm

Post by raine1953 on Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:51 am

In the video above where Anderson Cooper interviewed the police officers Mother, she said that Davis had shot someone else in the face prior to shooting her son. Did anyone else catch that and does anyone know about that?
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Normal Michael Cooper, a passenger in the other car, was shot in the face, allegedly by Davis

Post by Nama on Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:18 am

raine1953 wrote:In the video above where Anderson Cooper interviewed the police officers Mother, she said that Davis had shot someone else in the face prior to shooting her son. Did anyone else catch that and does anyone know about that?
Quite a long article about Davis and Cooper, etc. on the link.

On the evening of August 18, 1989, Davis briefly attended a pool party hosted by a friend in the Cloverdale neighborhood of Savannah, Georgia. As he left with his friend Darrell Collins, the occupants of a passing car yelled obscenities at them. A bullet was fired into the car and Michael Cooper, a passenger in the other car, was shot in the face, allegedly by Davis..................................

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Post by Wrapitup on Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:21 am

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