Georgia Board Denies Clemency for Troy Davis
The New York Times is reporting that Troy Davis has lost what appears to be his last bid to avoid death by lethal injection on Wednesday.
Rejecting pleas by Davis' lawyers that shaky witness testimony and a lack of physical evidence presented enough doubt about his guilt to spare him from execution, the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles ruled on Tuesday morning that 42-year-old Davis should die for killing Mark MacPhail, an off-duty police officer, in a parking lot in 1989, the Times reports.
Because Georgia's governor has no power to stay executions, the parole board was the last hope for Mr. Davis.
"I don't see any avenues to the Supreme Court," said Anne S. Emanuel, a law professor at Georgia State University who has formally reviewed the case and found it too weak to merit the death penalty. "There's nothing else apparent."
The last-ditch effort to spare Mr. Davis's life produced a widespread reaction among people who believe there was too much doubt to execute him.
More than 630,000 letters asking the board to stay the execution were delivered by Amnesty International last Friday. The list of people asking that the Georgia parole board offer clemency included President Jimmy Carter, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, 51 members of Congress, entertainment figures like Cee Lo Green and death penalty supporters, including William S. Sessions, a former F.B.I. director.
The Rev. Al Sharpton, president of the National Action Network, expressed dismay over the decision in a prepared statement released to The Root.
"National Action Network is stunned and outraged that a man could face execution when an overwhelming majority of the witnesses against him recanted," Sharpton said in the statement. "This is one of the most egregious examples of injustice that I have seen in years and NAN will continue to stand with this family."
Read more at the New York Times.
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