Updated 7:59 p.m.: The White House has declined to weigh in on Troy Davis’ scheduled execution, ABC News reports. “It is not appropriate for the President of the United States to weigh in on specific cases like this one, which is a state prosecution,” said White House press secretary Jay Carney, in part.
Updated 7:20 p.m.: Several journalists and news outlets, including CNN’s Anderson Cooper, are reporting via Twitter that Troy Davis’ execution has been delayed as the Supreme Court considers the last-minute appeal. We’ll provide more details as they come in.
Georgia death row inmate Troy Davis is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection 7 p.m. EDT tonight. His attorneys are filing a desperate last-minute appeal.
Davis’ attorney, Brian Kammer, told the Associated Press that the appeal will ask a judge to block the execution, arguing that ballistic testing that linked Davis to the shooting was flawed.
The case has drawn worldwide attention, and the facts are familiar by now: Davis was convicted in the killing of off-duty Savannah officer Mark MacPhail, who was slain while rushing to help a homeless man being attacked. No blood or DNA tied Davis to the crime, and the weapon was never found. Seven of nine key witnesses who testified at his trial have disputed all or parts of their testimony, and lawyers have long argued that Davis was a victim of mistaken identity.
Earlier today, attorney Stephen Marsh told the Associated Press that the Georgia Department of Corrections denied his request to allow Davis to take a polygraph test. Marsh had hoped that the polygraph test would convince the state pardons board to reconsider its decision against clemency.
There has been an outpouring of support for Davis from hundreds of thousands of people, including a former FBI director, former President Carter and Pope Benedict XVI. Vigils outside Georgia’s death chamber are set, and protests planned for today. In Europe, where the case has drawn widespread criticism, legislators and activists are making a last-minute appeal to the state of Georgia to refrain from executing Davis. Amnesty International and other groups planned a protest outside the U.S. Embassies in Paris and London later today.
Supporters have urged prison workers to strike or call in sick today to protest the execution, and have even considered a desperate appeal for White House intervention.
Meanwhile, Loop 21 has gathered five individuals who have been following Troy Davis’ case over the years and who have been vocal and vigilant about his innocence and his right to live. Big Boi, dream hampton, Jasiri X, William Jelani Cobb and Pastor Troy will discuss Troy Davis, the death penalty and more in a Twitter roundtable today from 3-4 p.m., using the hashtag #SAVETroy. Join them to hear the latest developments in this case, in which the world seems to agree that there is simply too much doubt.