Friday, 24 October 2008
Court issues stay of execution for Troy Davis
By BILL RANKIN, RHONDA COOK
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Friday, October 24, 2008
The federal appeals court in Atlanta on Friday stayed the execution
of Troy Anthony Davis, who was scheduled to be put to death by lethal
injection Monday evening.
“Upon our thorough review of the record, we conclude that Davis has
met the burden for a stay of execution,” the court said in a ruling
issued by Judges Joel Dubina, Rosemary Barket and Stanley Marcus.
Davis, 40, recently lost an appeal before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Davis is on death row for the Aug. 19, 1989, murder of 27-year-old
Savannah police Officer Mark Allen MacPhail. Since Davis’ trial,
seven of nine key prosecution witnesses have recanted their testimony.
The defendant’s claims of innocence have drawn opposition to his
execution from leaders across the globe, including former President
Jimmy Carter and Pope Benedict XVI.
Davis’ lawyers expressed relief and jubilation over the court’s
“This is the first step toward a court hearing to consider the new
evidence — something we have been asking for for almost a decade
now,” attorney Jason Ewart said.
Neither MacPhail’s mother or sister had heard the news when a
reporter called. The officer’s 75-year-old mother, Anneliese,
declined to comment until she had more information.
MacPhail’s sister, Kathy McQuary, cried.
Earlier this week, Davis asked the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
for permission to pursue another round of appeals in federal court on
claims he is actually innocent. Permission for a new round of appeals
is required under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act
On Friday, the court said the stay of execution is conditional. Davis
must make a showing he can meet the “stringent requirements” to
pursue another round of appeals, the decision said.
The court directed Davis’ lawyers to file a legal brief on their
arguments within 15 days. The state Attorney General’s Office has
another 10 days to respond
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