eternal light Posted September 23, 2008 Share Posted September 23, 2008 Troy Davis' fate now in the hands of the US Supreme Court Troy Davis, who's scheduled to be executed tomorrow night, should get a new trial. An overwhelming majority of those who testified against him when he was convicted of murdering a Savannah police officer in 1989 have since recanted or admitted they lied. To carry out an execution based on such faulty testimony places the much-maligned death penalty on even more morally wobbly footing. If you support the death penalty, the Troy Davis case should appear to you as a threat to its future. Now, Davis' fate now rests with the US Supreme Court. This just in from the Georgia Supreme Court: In a 6-to-1 decision, the Georgia Supreme Court today denied Troy Anthony Davis’ motion for a stay of execution. All the Justices concurred, except Justice Robert Benham, who dissented. Attorneys for Davis had asked this Court to delay his execution while they attempted to appeal his case to the U.S. Supreme Court. But in today’s order, the Georgia Supreme Court found that proper jurisdiction for that request lies with the U.S. Supreme Court, where two matters are pending. Davis’s attorneys filed a petition for certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court on July 14, asking it to consider his appeal of this Court’s 4-to-3 decision last March denying his bid for a new trial. On Sept. 16, Davis’s attorneys also filed in the U.S. Supreme Court a motion for stay of execution. “Because the Supreme Court of the United States rather than this Court properly has jurisdiction over Davis’s pending petition for a writ of certiorari and because it appears that Davis has already filed in that Court a motion for a stay of execution, his motion for a stay of execution filed in this Court is denied,” the order says. In a concurrence, Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears writes that she agrees with today’s decision to deny the motion. She wrote the dissent in the decision last March, joined by Presiding Justice Carol Hunstein and Justice Robert Benham, and arguing in favor of a new hearing on the evidence. “I still believe that Davis is entitled to that hearing,” Chief Justice Sears writes in today’s concurrence. “Nevertheless, this case is currently pending before the United States Supreme Court on Davis’s petition for certiorari, and jurisdiction is properly in the Supreme Court, not this Court.” Davis is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection tomorrow – Tuesday, Sept. 23 – at 7:00 P.M. at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson, GA. He was convicted of the 1989 murder of Savannah Police Officer Mark Allen MacPhail. Although the U.S. Supreme Court had scheduled a conference for Sept. 29 to discuss whether it would consider Davis’ appeal, that Court is expected to rule on the pending proceedings before tomorrow night. http://www.sundaypaper.com/More/StaffBlog/...80/Default.aspx A Death Row visit with Troy A. Davis Sunday September 21, 2008 By Patrick Dyer Today I visited Troy Anthony Davis on Georgia's death row, a little over 48 hours before the state plans to put him to death for a crime he didn't commit. As I traveled the highway, through the red clay and green pine trees of Georgia this mild autumn Sunday morning listening to Bob Marley, I pondered what it might be like as an innocent man facing an execution in two days. Soon enough I arrived at the front wall of the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison, located in Butts County, GA. The scenery just inside the front gate on Prison Boulevard, with pond, trees, flowers, and chirping birds belies the heinousness of what lies at the end of the road - a massive penitentiary housing the state's death chamber for it's ritual execution of prisoners. After parking, I stood outside the entrance area with a small group of people who were waiting to visit other prisoners. One of those waiting referred me to the sign-in sheet, then added, "they'll get you when they feel like it". While I waited for the next 20 minutes I conversed with the group awaiting entrance, all of them upset and shocked that Troy was denied clemency. Biding my time, I stared at the words "wisdom", "justice", and "moderation" etched on Georgia's state seal. One of the first couple of his visitors to arrive, I met Troy Davis for the first time. Thanks to the relentless campaign waged by Troy, his family, and supporters, the name Troy Davis is known around the planet. Yet the person I met was humble and down-to-earth, quick to begin talking about the help that other death row prisoners need. Troy struck me immediately as a warm and compassionate person. He spent almost as much time talking about the injustice of other cases as he did about his own, repeatedly saying "this is much larger than Troy Davis." Troy told me that he wanted me to tell people that it's time to say "enough is enough!" and to "demand a complete change in the system". We talked about all the support he has on the outside, with people around the world fighting for his life. Troy then spent time talking about some of the many injustices of his case, a legal lynching to be sure. He said that he, like so many others stuck on death row, were legally incapacitated by "procedural defaults" from their attorneys, many of them the fault of the Georgia Resource Center. Once an attorney with his legal team returned to court after lunch so intoxicated that her eyes were bloodshot and she reeked of alcohol. At his habeas hearing held in a prison shack-turned-into-a-courtroom just off death row, Troy anxiously awaited the arrival of his family, who had spent their own money to rent vans to transport witnesses from Savannah. But as Troy walked into the shack-courtroom, his attorney was saying that neither his family nor his witnesses would be allowed to appear, given that it was "too expensive" to transport the witnesses. By the time effective legal counsel got on board with his defense, Troy's case was too far gone. In fact, one attorney with his private Washington, DC law firm told him that had they gotten the case five years earlier, Troy would be home by now. "And even if none of those witnesses recanted", Troy emphasized with his southern drawl as he leaned closer to me, "my fingerprints still don't match". Troy also gave his analysis of why the Parole Board refused to grant clemency. Given that the board, appointed by Gov. Sonny Perdue, is stacked with "ex"-law enforcement and prosecution types, it's no surprise. "The police and prosecution tactics used in my case are the same ones they used and that are used all over. If they stop my execution because of the police interrogation methods and prosecutor misconduct, it exposes their entire system." Over the course of the next hour, Troy's mother, sisters, brother, niece, nephew, and numerous supporters joined us in the caged visiting room. The six hour visitation flew by with a positive atmosphere of love and support. Most of the time was spent laughing, joking, and telling family stories that included childhood nicknames, teenage dating escapades, high school prom dates, and more. Eventually visiting hours wound down, and Troy was handcuffed then taken inside the entrance to one of the prison corridors, where we were allowed to join him for photographs. As a fellow prisoner snapped pictures, Troy arranged different combinations of his family and supporters for each picture, as prison guards observed from the perimeter. When the photo session ended, it was time for us to hug Troy goodbye. In a stirring and emotion-packed series of hugs, we all took turns saying goodbye. Two prisoners began printing the pictures as guards led Troy away. "Troy is such a good guy" one of them commented while we waited. Then suddenly someone yelled, "He's waving", and family members all strained to look through the prison bars down the long hallway to death row, seeing Troy's smiling face as his handcuffed hands waved goodbye. axisoflogic.com Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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