Saturday, 14 July 2007

Courts should hear new testimony in Davis case

July 14, 2007


Courts should hear new testimony in Davis case

Letters to the editor

Raphael Semmes can conjure up whatever story he likes about the murder of
Mark McPhail ("Troy Davis deserves to die," July 2), but the only story that
matters is the truth.

The murder weapon was never found - let alone found anywhere near Troy
Davis' hands. The case against Davis consisted entirely of witness testimony
that was inconsistent even at the time of the trial. Since then, seven of
the prosecution'

s nine non-police witnesses have recanted or contradicted
their testimony in sworn affidavits.

One of those witnesses, Jeffrey Sapp, said, "The police came and talked to
me and put a lot of pressure on me... They wanted me to tell them that Troy
confessed to me about killing that officer. The thing is, Troy never told me
anything about it. I got tired of them harassing me ... I told them that
Troy did it, but it wasn't true."

Because of procedural technicalities, the new statements and evidence have
never been heard in court. Now, only the Georgia State Board of Pardons and
Paroles can stop this execution, so that the facts of the case can be fully
heard. It is my hope that they will examine the information before them
closely and realize that fairness matters over finality.

More than 124 individuals have been released from death rows around the
country in the past three decades on grounds of innocence. Individuals who
had seemed so guilty to many turned out to be innocent, and many of them
came within hours of being executed. It's a lesson worth remembering.


Executive director, Amnesty International USA

New York

Source : Savannah Morning News, Letters to the editor

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