Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Supreme Court Halts Troy Davis Execution

The state of Georgia was less than two hours away from executing an innocent man when the U.S. Supreme Court stepped in.

On numerous occasions, Howling Latina has written about the gawd-awful state of affairs in the case of Troy Davis. Thank a few good angels above as well as the Supreme Court for stopping this huge miscarriage of justice from being carried out.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the Court stayed the execution and next Monday will decide whether or not to "hear Davis’ appeal of a ruling issued by the Georgia Supreme Court in March."

In that 4-3 decision, the state Supreme Court rejected Davis’ bid for a new trial or a court hearing to present new evidence.


Since his 1991 trial, seven of nine key prosecution witnesses who testified against Davis have recanted their testimony.

In March, a deeply divided state Supreme Court turned down Davis’ appeal, saying the recantations of seven witnesses who testified against him were not enough to win him a new trial or court hearing.

Unfortunately if the Court refuses to hear the appeal, Davis will be executed without any further ado -- and guilt will have absolutely nothing to do with it.

Update: Rev. Al Sharpton has arrived on the scene.

Sharpton has joined a growing chorus of prominent figures calling for Georgia to spare the life of the 39-year-old, who is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection Tuesday night for the 1989 murder of Savannah police Officer Mark Allen MacPhail.

“If you have this kind of wide array of people who don’t agree on much, but who believe that clemency is needed in this case, that should impress upon [the Georgia State Pardons and Parole Board] to give him another opportunity to show that there is not reasonable doubt,” Sharpton said.

Indeed, the chorus of wide-ranging luminaries asking the Court, the parole board, ANYONE to stop the madness is very impressive: Libertarian candidate Bob Barr, former President Jimmy Carter, Pope Benedict XVI, Amnesty International, Nobel Peace Prize-winner Desmond Tutu and former FBI director William S. Sessions -- a capital punishment proponent.

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