Troy Davis was convicted of murdering a Savannah, Georgia, police officer in 1989. Since then, seven of the nine eyewitnesses who testified against him at trial have either recanted or contradicted their testimony. Still, Davis sits on Georgia's death row.
On Thursday, the 11th Circuit denied Davis' request to file a second habeas petition. However, Davis was originally scheduled to be executed in October of 2008. His execution has been stayed again, for another 30 days, to give him time to prepare an appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States.
Troy Davis faces execution for the murder of Police Officer Mark MacPhail in Georgia, despite a strong claim of innocence. 7 out of 9 witnesses have recanted or contradicted their testimony, no murder weapon was found and no physical evidence links Davis to the crime. The Georgia Board of Pardon and Paroles has voted to deny clemency, yet Governor Perdue can still exercise leadership to ensure that his death sentence is commuted. Please urge him to demonstrate respect for fairness and justice by supporting clemency for Troy Davis.We urge you to sign Amnesty International's petition on Change.org here.
More explanation from the Death Penalty Info Center:
In a 2-1 decision, the court held that Troy Davis could have presented most of his new evidence earlier and that the evidence did not offer clear and convincing proof of his innocence. Hence, the court did not consider his free-standing claim of innocence on its merits, but concluded it was barred because of the delay in filing. . . Judge Rosemary Barkett dissented, saying, "The concept of punishing an innocent defendant with the penalty of death simply because he did not file his papers as early as he should have is draconian. . . . where a defendant who can make a viable claim of actual innocence is facing execution, the fundamental miscarriage of justice exception should apply and AEDPA’s procedural bars should not prohibit the filing of a second or successive habeas petition."The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has coverage here.
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