Fellow Abolitionists, The State of Georgia is scheduled to execute Troy Davis at 7 PM tonight. This is a travesty. There is no physical evidence in the case, and 7 out of 9 witnesses have recanted. Troy's legal options are dwindling. The Georgia Supreme Court, by a 6-1 vote, declined to issue a stay of execution today. And the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles has said publicly that it would not re-consider its decision to deny Troy clemency. The only good news is that his case is gaining national and international attention, as you can see from the numerous articles here. If Georgia carries out this execution, the State will be an embarrassment to people around the world. We can't allow an innocent man to be executed without a fight. In the hours to come, please take the following actions: If you haven't signed Amnesty International'
You can call the Georgia Attorney General, Thurbert E. Baker, calling on him to rescind the death warrant, at 404-656
-3300 Fax 404-657- 8733
The White House can issue executive clemency. Phone Numbers
People can also call Gov. Perdue, who appoints the Parole Board, to put pressure on the Board's members and come
out publicly against the execution at (404) 656-1776 | Fax (404) 657-7332.
You can also call the U.S. Attorney General in Georgia at 404-656-3300. The fax number is 404-657-8733. Ask them
to reopen the case so that the the new evidence can be heard.
Finally, even though the Parole Board says they won't reconsider, people can continue to flood them with calls, faxes
and emails: Phone, 404-651-6671; fax 404 651 8502.
*From ABC News: Questions Linger as Man's Execution Nears
*From the Chicago Tribune: Execution Set, But Questions Linger
*From the Associated Press: Georgia Death Row Inmate Presses Innocence
*From the Guardian (UK): US state of Georgia urged to halt Troy Davis execution
*From the Atlanta Journal-Constitutio
*BET News: Halt the Execution
*Huffington Post/Susan Sarandon: Stop the Execution of Troy Davis!
*Newsvine opeds. Also, Martina Correia, Troy's sister, outlines a growing trend on Facebook of people changing their
profile picture to Troy's picture.
Questions Linger as Man's Execution Nears
Troy Davis Scheduled to Die Today; Seven Witnesses Recant
By SCOTT MICHELS
Sept. 23, 2008 —
Georgia plans to execute a death row inmate today for the 1989 murder of a Savannah police officer, though several
key witnesses have recanted their incriminating testimony.
Unless the U.S. Supreme Court steps in, Troy Anthony Davis, 39, will die by lethal injection tonight. The Supreme
Court is scheduled to decide whether it will hear Davis' appeal Monday, six days after his planned execution. The court
usually declines to hear such cases.
Davis' case has attracted national attention because seven of the nine witnesses who testified against him in his 1991
murder trial have since recanted, several of them saying they felt pressured by police to lie on the stand and implicate
Davis. There was no physical evidence tying Davis to the murder of Officer Mark MacPhail and several new witnesses
have come forward to implicate another man in the crime, Davis' lawyers say.
Former President Carter, former Georgia Congressman Bob Barr and Pope Benedict XVI, among others, have called on
the state parole board to reduce Davis' sentence to life in prison. The board earlier this month rejected Davis'
clemency petition after what it called an exhaustive review of the evidence in his case.
Stephen Bright, a professor at Yale Law School and director of the Southern Center for Human Rights, called the
timing of Davis' execution "unseemly."
"All across the spectrum of people's views on criminal justice, there's near unanimity that this trial was not reliable," he
said. "We can't say with certainty that this man is guilty of this crime. In fact the probability is he is not guilty."
A spokesman for the Georgia Attorney General's Office declined to comment on pending litigation. In court papers,
the state has asked the Supreme Court not to stay the execution and has argued that the recantations are not enough
to grant Davis a new trial.
Several courts have agreed, saying there was not enough evidence that Davis received a constitutionally unfair trial. By
a 4-3 decision, the state Supreme Court in March found that the new evidence probably would not have produced a
different verdict at trial.
MacPhail, a father of two, was murdered Aug. 19, 1989, after responding to a fight outside a Burger King. Davis
testified that he was nearby but was not involved in MacPhail's death.
The next day, a witness told police that Davis had killed MacPhail. Davis had left town and surrendered to police a few
days later, according to the Attorney General's Office.
Witnesses at the trial said Davis pistol-whipped a homeless man then shot MacPhail when he intervened.
"My son didn't have a chance," said MacPhail's mother, Anneliese MacPhail, who added that she was "disgusted" by
the attention being paid to Davis.
"I feel disgusted about the whole case," she said. "I lost my son, my grandchildren lost their father. No one thinks
about all the tragic things that we are going through and then they are making a circus about someone who is guilty
as can be."
Seven witnesses have since changed their testimony. Darrell Collins, a friend of Davis', said in an affidavit that he
initially denied that Davis was involved in the murder, but "after a couple hours of the detectives yelling at me and
threatening me, I finally broke down and told them what they wanted to hear. They would tell me things that they
said had happened and I would repeat whatever they said."
Another witness said she was on parole and feared she would be sent back to prison if she did not tell police that
Davis killed MacPhail.
"We need to have a day in court where a judge hears the evidence and explanation showing why that person likely
did testify falsely," said Jason Ewart, Davis' lawyer at Arnold and Porter in Washington, D.C.
Davis is now focused on his family and friends, said his sister Martina Correia who visited him Monday.
"He's more concerned about us than he is for himself," she said. "He says God has given him peace. If his life is given,
it's not given in vain because people will make a stand against what's happening in Georgia."
Copyright © 2008 ABC News Internet Ventures
Execution is set, but questions linger
Pope, Carter, Tutu have made pleas on inmate's behalf
By Dahleen Glanton
Chicago Tribune correspondent
September 23, 2008
ATLANTA — Barring a last-minute stay, Troy Anthony Davis will be executed by lethal injection Tuesday for the murder
of a Savannah, Ga., police officer. But nearly two decades after the killing, questions linger over whether Davis is
A campaign spearheaded by Davis' relatives and Amnesty International has brought worldwide attention to the case,
prompting well-known figures to speak out. Rallies have been held from Paris to Savannah.
Former President Jimmy Carter issued a statement last week urging the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles to
reverse its decision to deny clemency, saying that the case "illustrates the deep flaws in the application of the death
penalty in this country."
Pope Benedict XVI requested that Davis be re-sentenced, to life without parole. Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond
Tutu of South Africa also wrote a letter.
On Monday, supporters asked those involved in the execution — doctors, the warden and other prison officials—to
make a personal decision not to perform their duties.
"We are appealing to the humanity of those individuals that have direct responsibility for carrying out the execution to
dig into their conscience and go with their morals," said Daryl Graham, spokesman for the Georgia NAACP.
In 1989, Savannah Officer Mark Allen MacPhail had responded to a report of a man who was being pistol-whipped,
but MacPhail was shot multiple times before he could draw his gun. The 27-year-old officer was married and had two
small children. His family has said they remain convinced that the right man was convicted.
Davis, 39, was convicted in 1991 largely on testimony from eyewitnesses, seven of whom have since recanted. His
attorneys said new witnesses have come forth attesting to Davis' innocence. The attorneys filed an emergency appeal
to the U.S. Supreme Court after the state high court rejected his stay request by a 6-1 vote Monday.
In an unusual move, the Georgia Parole Board, which stopped Davis' scheduled education at the last minute last year,
issued a statement Monday reiterating its recent decision to deny clemency.
"After an exhaustive review of all available information ... the board has determined that clemency is not warranted,"
the statement said.
Copyright © 2008, Chicago Tribune
The Associated Press: Georgia death row inmate presses innocence
Georgia death row inmate presses innocence
By SHANNON McCAFFREY â€“ 5 hours ago
ATLANTA (AP) â€” One by one, nine witnesses took the stand against Troy Davis to say he was the man who gunned
down an off-duty Savannah police officer.
In 1991, their testimony helped send the Georgia man to death row. However, in the years since, seven of the nine
have recanted their testimony and his attorneys claim others say another man pulled the trigger.
A roster of big-name supporters, including former President Jimmy Carter and South Africa Archbishop Desmond Tutu,
have taken up his cause. They insist that the 39-year-old Davis, who is set to be executed Tuesday night, deserves a
Last-minute appeals from condemned inmates are nothing unusual. However, experts say so much attention is being
lavished on Davis because the case hinges on the most fundamental question in the criminal justice system: "Did he
Appeals usually try to expose legal technicalities, not actual claims of innocence, said Richard Dieter, executive
director of the Washington D.C.-based Death Penalty Information Center, which opposes capital punishment.
"To say 'I didn't do it' is an unusual claim at this late hour, especially when it's supported by evidence," Dieter said.
Davis' only hope for a reprieve lies with the U.S. Supreme Court after the state high court by a 6-1 vote rejected his
stay request Monday.
Supporters say the doubts merit a new trial. The courts have consistently disagreed.
A divided Georgia Supreme Court has already rejected his request for a new trial by a 4-3 vote. The Georgia Board of
Pardons and Paroles has turned down his bid for clemency.
In a sign of the intense publicity surrounding the case, the normally reticent parole board said in a statement Monday
that the five-member panel has spent more than a year studying the voluminous trial record after temporarily halting
Davis' execution last year.
"After an exhaustive review of all available information ... the Board has determined that clemency is not warranted,"
the statement said.
Twenty-two inmates have been executed â€” an average of about one a week â€” since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled
in April that lethal injection was constitutional. That decision ended a seven-month de facto moratorium on executions
throughout the country.
None of the other cases have attracted this kind of international attention.
Besides Carter and Tutu, Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr and Pope Benedict XVI also have urged officials to
reconsider. The Rev. Al Sharpton prayed with Davis Saturday night.
Amnesty International has taken up the cause, helping organize rallies as far away as Paris.
Davis was convicted of the 1989 murder of 27-year-old officer Mark MacPhail, who was working off-duty as a security
guard at a bus station.
MacPhail had rushed to help a homeless man who had been pistol-whipped at a nearby parking lot, and when he
approached Davis and two other men, he was shot in the face and the chest.
Witnesses identified Davis as the shooter, and at the trial, prosecutors said he wore a "smirk on his face" as he fired
the gun, according to records. Jurors convicted and sentenced him.
But Davis' lawyers say new evidence could exonerate their client and prove that he was a victim of mistaken identity.
Besides those who have recanted their testimony, three others who did not testify have said another man, Sylvester
"Red" Coles confessed to the killing.
Coles testified against Davis at his trial. He refused to talk about the case when contacted by The Associated Press
during a 2007 Chatham County court appearance on an unrelated traffic charge, and he has no listed phone number.
Prosecutors have labeled the witness statements "suspect," and say the case is closed.
In April, the state high court said the evidence was not enough to force a new trial. The court cannot disregard the
jury's original verdict, Justice Harold Melton wrote for the majority.
On Monday, with Davis' execution about 36 hours away, protesters gathered outside the state Capitol in Atlanta. They
called on prison guards and medical personnel to refuse to participate in the execution.
Three protesters camped out in the office of Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue on Monday, although he was not in the state
Capitol and has no power to commute Davis' sentence,
"This man is innocent," said Marvin Morgan, a minister at the First Congregational United Church in Atlanta. "We're
seeking to have the governor do something extraordinary to save this man's life."
Hosted by Copyright Â© 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved
US state of Georgia urged to halt Troy Davis execution
Tuesday September 23 2008 12:46 BST
Amnesty International today urged the US state of Georgia to stop the execution of Troy Davis, who faces death by
lethal injection tonight despite doubts over his conviction.
Las July, the state's board of pardons and paroles stopped the execution less than 24 hours before it was to be carried
However, it yesterday rejected pleas to reconsider its recent decision to deny clemency on the grounds that so much
uncertainly exists over whether Davis shot and killed a Savannah police officer.
Georgia's supreme court also denied Davis's request for a stay of execution, and his last hope of avoiding execution at
7pm local time (midnight BST) now appears to rest with the US supreme court, where his lawyers have asked for a
stay of execution.
In a case that has attracted international attention, Pope Benedict XVI and the former US president Jimmy Carter have
asked for the sentence to be commuted to life in prison without parole.
Davis, a 39-year-old African-American, is on death row for the murder of officer Mark MacPhail in 1989, but seven key
prosecution witnesses have recanted their testimonies since his 1991 trial and post-trial testimony implicating another
man as the gunman has emerged.
A "jailhouse informant" retracted his incriminating account of Davis' supposed confession, while several other
supposed eyewitnesses later took back their trial evidence while insisting they had been under "a lot of pressure" from
police to provide signed statements.
One witness, Antoine Williams, a Burger King employee who identified Davis as the gunman at the trial, later said:
"Even today, I know that I could not honestly identify with any certainty who shot the officer that night. I couldn't
"After the officers talked to me, they gave me a statement and told me to sign it. I signed it. I did not read it because
I cannot read."
Chatham County prosecutors, however, are sure that Davis killed MacPhail, who rushed to a Savannah Burger King car
park late at night after hearing the screams of a man who was being pistol-whipped.
Prosecutors say that MacPhail, a 27-year-old father of two, was shot down by Davis before he could draw his weapon.
They say Davis then stood over the fallen officer and fired again and again.
Davis has admitted being at the scene, but has always denied shooting MacPhail. No physical evidence against him
has ever been produced, the murder weapon has never been found and the case against him at trial consisted entirely
of witness testimony.
Georgia's board of pardons says it has extensively studied and considered the case, including hearing from every
witness presented by Davis's lawyers, retesting the state's evidence and interviewing Davis himself.
"After an exhaustive review of all available information regarding the Troy Davis case, and after considering all possible
reasons for granting clemency, the board has determined that clemency is not warranted," a board spokeswoman told
the Atlanta Journal-Constitutio
Since its resumption of executions in 1977, the US has executed 1,118 prisoners, 42 of them in Georgia.
Meanwhile, more than 100 people have been released from death rows around the country, many in cases in which
witness testimony has been exposed as unreliable.
Sharpton seeks clemency for Troy Anthony Davis
Civil rights activist takes up case of condemned killer
By JEFFRY SCOTT and MARCUS K. GARNER
The Atlanta Journal-Constitutio
Saturday, September 20, 2008
New York civil rights activist Al Sharpton said condemned cop killer Troy Anthony Davis was "surprisingly upbeat"
Saturday night after the two prayed together on Georgia's death row.
"He was not overly optimistic or pessimistic,
Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson at the request of Davis' family. "He was suprisingly upbeat. He seemed
like he was depending on his faith to see him through."
Sharpton seeks clemency for Troy Anthony Davis
Forsyth residents try to bar building of jail
Video game programming a hot college program in Georgia
• Metro and state news
Sharpton has joined a growing chorus of prominent figures calling for Georgia to spare the life of the 39-year-old,
who is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection Tuesday night for the 1989 murder of Savannah police Officer
Mark Allen MacPhail.
"If you have this kind of wide array of people who don't agree on much, but who believe that clemency is needed in
this case, that should impress upon [the Georgia State Pardons and Parole Board] to give him another opportunity to
show that there is not reasonable doubt," Sharpton said.
But Scheree Lipscomb, a spokeswoman for the Pardons and Parole Board, said Saturday night there would be no last-
"The board members have considered clemency on two occasions," Lipscomb said. "They stand firm in the decision
that they have made."
Both former President Jimmy Carter and Bob Barr, a Libertarian Party presidential candidate and former Georgia
congressman, on Friday asked the board to grant Davis a stay of execution.
Barr wrote a letter to the parole board last week asking it to reconsider the Davis case because, he wrote, "the doubts
about the Davis case have not been resolved, and fears that Georgia might execute an innocent man have not been
Carter issued a statement Friday asking the parole board to reconsider the case, saying it "illustrates the deep flaws in
the application of the death penalty in this country."
Carter wrote that "executing Troy Davis without a real examination of potentially exonerating evidence risks taking the
life of an innocent man and would be a grave miscarriage of justice."
Georgians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty and the NAACP said Saturday they are planning another rally at 11
a.m. Monday in front of the State Capitol to urge the parole board to reconsider or the state Supreme Court to stay
the execution of Davis while his case is appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Davis is convicted of killing MacPhail, on Aug. 19, 1989. Since Davis' 1991 trial, several key witnesses have recanted
their testimony. Witness testimony formed the core of the prosecution'
murder weapon, no fingerprints, no DNA.
The case has attracted worldwide attention, with calls to stop his execution from Pope Benedict XVI, Amnesty
International and Nobel Peace Prize-winner Desmond Tutu. Rallies have been held as far away as Paris.
Officer MacPhail's mother, Anneliese MacPhail, 74, of Columbus, said Saturday she is "disgusted" by the outpouring of
support for Davis. "It's tearing me apart to see my son's name dragged through the mud because of all of this."
She said she had no doubt Davis is guilty. "I hope this is over Tuesday and I can have some peace," she said.
She will not attend the scheduled execution, but "three of my children will be in Jackson," she said.
GFADP also plans a vigil outside the Jackson jail, as well as a protest on the Capitol steps, both to begin at 6:30 p.m.
Sharpton spent about 35 minutes with Davis on Saturday night, and said by phone that the death-row inmate
reflected on how he became a murder suspect.
"He said he got in with the wrong crowd and thought one of the guys he was hanging with killed [MacPhail],"
Sharpton said. "He said young people should be careful who they hang around."
HALT THE EXECUTION
By Ed Wiley III, BET.com Staff Writer
World Leaders Urge Georgia To Halt the Execution of Troy Davis
Posted Sept. 22, 2008 – The fact that Troy Anthony Davis is about to be executed for murder even though there’s no
weapon, no fingerprints and not a single drop of DNA shows just how unfair the American system of justice is, says a
growing number of high-profile leaders.
The 39-year-old Georgia man is scheduled to die by lethal injection Tuesday night after being convicted of killing
Savannah Police Officer Mark Allen MacPhail in 1989. But Davis’ case has drawn worldwide attention because of how
skimpy the evidence is that sent him to the death chamber.
Not only have international celebrity human rights activists – such as South African Nobel Peace Prize-winner
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Pope Benedict XVI and officials at Amnesty International – chimed in, but conservative
called the state’s push for death a travesty.
“Executing Troy Davis without a real examination of potentially exonerating evidence risks taking the life of an
innocent man and would be a grave miscarriage of justice,” Carter said in a statement Friday, adding that the parole
board’s failure to reconsider the case would show “the deep flaws in the application of the death penalty in this
A day later, the Pardons and Parole Board announced that it would not be granting last-minute clemency. “The board
members have considered clemency on two occasions,” said board spokeswoman Scheree Lipscomb. “They stand firm
in the decision that they have made.”
A fellow Georgian, Barr wrote the Parole Board that “the doubts about the Davis case have not been resolved, and
fears that Georgia might execute an innocent man have not been allayed.” This weekend, the Rev. Al Sharpton, who
heads the Harlem-based National Action Network, met with Davis on Georgia’s death row at Georgia Diagnostic and
Classification Prison in Jackson and prayed with him. Sharpton reported that the condemned man was “surprisingly
upbeat. “He was not overly optimistic or pessimistic. He seemed like he was depending on his faith to see him
Others, including the NAACP and Georgians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, are planning rallies between today
and Tuesday afternoon. Although several witnesses, on whom the prosecution based most of its case, have recanted
their testimony, the slain officer’s mother called the support for Davis “disgusting.”
Said she: “It’s tearing me apart to see my son’s name dragged through the mud because of all of this. I hope this is
over Tuesday and I can have some peace.”
Does Troy Anthony Davis deserve another trial, or has he had his day in court? Click "Discuss Now," on the upper
right, to post your comment.
Susan Sarandon: "Stop the Execution of Troy Davis <http://www.huffingt
Georgians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty <http://www.gfadp.
Default.aspx> and the NAACP said they are planning a rally at 11 a.m. on September 22nd in front of the State
Capitol to urge the parole board to reconsider or the state Supreme Court to stay the execution of Davis. What might
be too little too late, the United States Supreme Court will hear an appeal on September 29th.
Actor/Activist Susan Sarandon in a recent letter she wrote to the Georgia State Board of Pardon and Parole stated
"Despite mounting evidence that Davis may be in fact be innocent of the crime, appeals to the courts to consider this
evidence have been repeatedly denied for procedural reasons. Instead, the prosecution based its case on the
testimony of purported "witnesses," many of who allege police coercion and most of whom have since recanted their
testimony. One witness signed a police statement declaring that Davis was the assailant then later said "I did not read
it because I cannot read." In another case a witness stated that the police "were telling me that I was an accessory to
murder and that I would...go to jail for a long time and I would be lucky if I ever got out, especially because a police
officer got killed...I was only sixteen and was so scared of going to jail." There are also several witnesses who have
implicated another man in the crime but the police focused their efforts on convicting Troy.
It is deeply troubling that Georgia might proceed with this execution given the strong claims of innocence in this
case. It has been repeatedly demonstrated that our criminal justice system is not devoid of error and we now know
that since 1973, 129 individuals have been released from death rows across the United States due to wrongful
conviction. We must confront the unalterable fact that the system of capital punishment is fallible, given that it is
administered to demonstrate your strong commitment to fairness and justice and commute the death sentence of Troy
Thank you for your consideration.
Sincerely, Susan Sarandon
Even family members of those who were violently murdered speak out against the execution of Troy Davis. Derrel
eloquently about his son's death and how he came to terms with it in a interview <http://www.radio4al
You can protest this travesty of justice by calling the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles to reconsider its clemency
decision, telephone board chair Gale Buckner at 404-657-9350, or Georgia Attorney General Thurbert E.
Baker at 404-656-3300.
More information on the case can be found at www.gfadp.org and www.troyanthonydavi
Campaign to End the Death Penalty <http://www.evite.
Critical Resistance Conference <http://www.critical
------ Forwarded Message
From: Martina Correia <martina.correia@
A lot of activity and dedication at Newsvine. When you go, be sure to vote the story up. It's now on the front page
Be sure to check out the comments. A wonderful person, Vas, started this movement in which everyone changed
their profile photos to a photo of Troy, so when you see a diagram of who's engaged in the stories, it's all photos of
Troy. Mine, too. People are also doing it on Facebook. It's a beautiful thing.
So many people are engaged and VERY committed to this. There is nothing but enormous support. It's very