Davis family portrays murder convict as prayerful, kind1A | Intown | Local News
And how he spent his own money so neighborhood kids could have ice cream on a hot summer day.
They say he is not the man prosecutors have portrayed as a cold-blooded killer who awaits execution in the 1989 slaying of off-duty police officer Mark Allen MacPhail.
"Troy has always been a very prayerful, very kind person," she said.
The jury recommended the death sentence.
The officer, 27, was shot twice with a .38-caliber pistol as he tried to break up a fight in the early hours of Aug. 19, 1989. He never unholstered his weapon.
No court reviews
Davis consistently has said he is innocent, but a number of courts have refused to intervene.
Only a July 16 clemency hearing before the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles stands between Davis and death by lethal injection the next day at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Center at Jackson.
His supporters contend the conviction was not based on physical evidence, that no murder weapon was ever found and that prosecution witnesses have since recanted their testimony.
"That jury was feeding on what they had heard for the last two years. Troy Davis was a cop killer."
Correia has memorized large portions of the trial transcript and can point to areas she said make no sense, or that show police coercion or are based on unreliable witnesses.
"There was police and prosecutoral misconduct in this case," she said.
Detectives "pressured, pressured, pressured" witnesses until they got tired and signed prepared statements containing lies, Correia said.
"Everything is not as black and white as it looks," she said. "If Troy is so guilty, why are we in such a hurry to kill him? They don't want people to know.
"Where is the evidence against Mr. Davis? I say to you: You don't have any."
"I don't believe that my son got a fair trial," she said. "My son was in there (the courtroom) fighting for his life, and I should have been in there with him."
Both women said they were barred from the courtroom during the trial because prosecutors listed them as potential witnesses.
"There was a lot of hatred directed against my brother and my entire family," Correia said.
Virginia Davis recalled how her son worked, then cashed his check and left $80 on her dresser each payday to help pay for groceries.
Or how he could be counted on to do his chores each weekend.
"Most young men wouldn't do that. He did," she said.
The Rev. Samuel Williams, pastor of Faith Missionary Baptist Church and president of the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance, also has questions.
"Based on what I have heard and what I know about the case, it seems to be a miscarriage of justice," Williams said. "I don't know.
"I think there is a grave discrepancy between process and perception. Once people develop a perception, it becomes the truth. ... It becomes more powerful than the truth."
Williams said he hopes the pardons and paroles board moves toward clemency for Davis.
On June 25, the board conducted a clemency hearing for John Hightower, 68, in a July 1987 conviction.
He was executed a day later.
"I'm on death row just like Troy," she said. "My entire family have been. You're not just killing that person. You're killing their families."
TRIAL AND SENTENCING SUMMARY
It took the jury just under two hours Aug. 28, 1991, to find Troy Anthony Davis guilty of:
Malice murder by fatally shooting off-duty police officer Mark Allen MacPhail twice while he was working as a security guard for the Greyhound Bus Terminal.
Obstructing MacPhail in the performance of his official duties.
Possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
Aggravated assault by shooting Michael Cooper in Cloverdale about an hour before the MacPhail slaying.
Aggravated assault by pistol-whipping Larry Young in the parking lot of the Burger King restaurant before MacPhail was killed.
The same jury took more than seven hours over two days to recommend the death penalty. They based their recommendation on:
MacPhail, a peace officer, was slain while in engaged in official duties.
MacPhail's "murder was outrageously or wantonly vile, horrible or inhumane in that it involved depravity of mind or aggravated battery to the victim prior to his death."
Chatham County Superior Court Judge James W. Head imposed the death sentence Aug. 30, 1991.